The Perverse Effect of Campaign Contribution Limits: Making the Amount of Money that can be Offered Smaller Increases the Likelihood of Corruption in the Federal Legislature

Corruption is an important issue, which poses a special threat to the democratic institutions and integrity of the United States. The purpose of campaign finance regulation is to reduce or eliminate corruption. Congress has enacted substantial legislation for this purpose, yet corruption flourishes. This paper suggests that the campaign finance laws fail to take into account the actual decision-making process of a legislator contemplating a corrupt act. By diagramming that process, this paper demonstrates that the legislation, which focuses on limiting the size of individual campaign contributions, actually increases the likelihood of corruption. An understanding of the decision-making process points to other directions for meaningful regulation of campaign finance.

Filed Under: Contribution Limits, Contribution Limits, Contributions & Limits, Research, campaign contributions, Contribution, Contribution Limits, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Contributions & Limits, Jurisprudence & Litigation

Regulating Political Contributions by State Contractors: The First Amendment and State Pay-to-Play Legislation

In this article, Melanie D. Reed analyzes a legislative trend in which states are increasingly enacting broad contribution restrictions on state contractors, known as “pay-to-play” laws, in response to corruption allegations against elected officials. Reed asserts that these laws may actually go overboard, restricting individuals’ constitutionally protected First Amendment right to participate in the political system. Her article challenges the perception that broad restrictions will accomplish their intended goal of reducing corruption in the bidding process on government contracts. She concludes by suggesting that, “states passing pay-to-play laws should tailor the reach of such laws to focus on those contributors and recipients closely related to state contracts.” According to Reed, it is important that legislation focus on increasing the competitiveness of the contract bidding process, which should result in increased public confidence in government.

Filed Under: Contribution Limits, Contribution Limits, Contributions & Limits, Pay to Play, Research, campaign contributions, Contribution, Contribution Limits, Pay to Play, Contributions & Limits, Pay to Play

Case Study No. 1: Philadelphia’s (Predictable) Unintended Consequences: The Failure of Contribution Limits in the 2007 Mayor’s Race

CCP study on the effect of contribution limits on Philadelphia’s 2007 mayoral race.

Filed Under: Contribution Limits, Contribution Limits, Contribution Limits State, Contributions & Limits, External Relations Sub-Pages, Research, campaign contributions, Center for Competitive Politics, Contribution limits, Michael Nutter, Mike Schrimpf, Philadelphia, Philadelphia Daily News, Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Mayor, Tom Knox, Contribution Limits, Contributions & Limits, Pennsylvania

Campaign Finance Red Tape: Strangling Free Speech & Political Debate

Raymond J

Twenty-four states provide citizens the ability to make laws directly through ballot measures. However, these states also strictly restrict the First Amendment rights of citizens to speak out about these ballot measures. As such, various disclosure requirements result in complex registration and reporting requirements that are difficult for even the most highly educated citizens to decipher. In an effort to prove this, the author used an innovative experiment, where a sample of 255 citizens was asked to complete actual disclosure forms. Unsurprisingly, not one person completed the forms correctly. Using these findings, the author argues that these disclosure laws are both unnecessary and an obstacle to the free speech guaranteed to all.

Filed Under: Disclosure, Disclosure, Expenditure, First Amendment, Independent Speech, Issue Advocacy, Research, campaign contributions, Contribution, Contribution Limits, Disclosure, Expenditure, Contributions & Limits, Disclosure, Expenditure, California, Colorado, Missouri

Overview of New York Proposal to Regulate Campaign Finance

The following is a CCP analysis of the effort in New York to overhaul their campaign finance regulations.

Filed Under: Uncategorized, campaign contributions, Contribution, lobbying, lobbyist, Contribution Limits, Enforcement, Lobbying, Contributions & Limits, Enforcement, Lobbying, New York

Comments of CCP Vice President Steve Hoersting on Hybrid Communications

Written comments  of CCP Vice President Steve Hoersting on a June 8, 2007 message to the Federal Election Commission on the topic of hybrid communications.

Filed Under: Blog, External Relations Comments and Testimony, External Relations Sub-Pages, Federal, Federal Comments and Testimony, Uncategorized, campaign contributions, Contribution, Political Parties, Comments and Testimony

Comments on Alternative Draft AO 2006-30 (ActBlue)

CCP comments on Alternative Draft Advisory Opinion 2006-30 (ActBlue). Associate Director Paul Sherman recommends that the Commission adopt this alternative draft and explains some of the previous draft’s shortcomings.

Filed Under: Blog, External Relations Comments and Testimony, External Relations Sub-Pages, Federal, Federal Comments and Testimony, Uncategorized, campaign contributions, Contribution, Comments and Testimony

The Center for Competitive Politics is now the Institute for Free Speech.