In this Brookings Institution report by Raymond J. La Raja and Jonathan Rauch, the authors examine the campaign finance rules and regulations ensnaring state parties and assess how they are increasingly costly in an age when burgeoning independent groups face no such restrictions. According to the authors, historically, and still today, state parties act as […]
In this symposium article draft by University of Virginia Law Professor Michael D. Gilbert and University of Virginia Law J.D. Candidate Brian Barnes, the authors examine the relationship between coordinated expenditures and corruption. Only one form of corruption, the quid pro quo, is constitutionally significant, and it has three logical elements: (1) an actor, such […]
Filed Under: Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Coordination, Independent Speech, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Money in Politics, Coordination, Independent Speech, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Coordination, Independent Speech, Jurisprudence & Litigation
In the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Citizens United v. FEC, the Court struck down a federal ban on independent expenditures in political campaigns by corporations. The Court held that independent spending could not create the type of “corruption” that the Court has recognized as a compelling government interest sufficient to overcome the intrusion of […]
Filed Under: Coordination, External Relations Sub-Pages, First Amendment, Independent Speech, Issues, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Research, Super PACs, Super PACs, Bradley A. Smith, Buckley v. Valeo, Center for Competitive Politics, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, coordination, corruption, money in politics, SpeechNow.org, super PACs, Supreme Court, Willamette Law Review, Coordination, First Amendment, Independent Speech, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Coordination, First Amendment, Independent Speech, Jurisprudence & Litigation
The Right to “Do Politics” and Not Just to Speak: Thinking About the Constitutional Protections for Political Action
In this Duke Journal of Constitutional Law and Public Policy article by former White House Counsel to Barack Obama, Robert F. Bauer, the author examines the Supreme Court’s distinction between political contributions and campaign expenditures and its impact on campaign finance jurisprudence. In Buckley v. Valeo, the Court upheld the Federal Election Campaign Act’s limits […]
Filed Under: Contributions & Limits, Coordination, Expenditure, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Research, Buckley v. Valeo, FECA, Federal Election Campaign Act, McCain-Feingold, Robert F. Bauer, Contribution Limits, Coordination, Expenditure, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Contributions & Limits, Coordination, Expenditure, Jurisprudence & Litigation
On Jan. 21, 2010, the Supreme Court handed down its opinion in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. Since then, congressional critics of the Court’s broad holding have promised a legislative “fix.” These Members believe that the decision to recognize constitutional protection for corporate (and labor) independent expenditures in federal elections will have a pernicious effect on American politics. Accordingly, on April 29, 2010, Senator Charles Schumer and Representative Chris Van Hollen introduced the “DISCLOSE Act.”
The DISCLOSE Act contains two main features. First, it requires corporations to include certain notices in their expenditures and file additional disclosure reports. Second, the DISCLOSE Act identifies certain types of corporations that would not be permitted to make independent expenditures.Leaders in both the Senate and the House have promised expedited consideration of this legislation. The sponsors intend for it to enter into effect for much of the 2010 election cycle.
Filed Under: Disclosure, Disclosure, Research, campaign finance, campaign finance disclosure, DISCLOSE, Disclose Act, Disclosure, Coordination, Disclosure, Independent Speech, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Coordination, Disclosure, Independent Speech, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Stand By Your Ad
In Better Parties, Better Government: A Realistic Program for Campaign Finance Reform (Washington, D.C.: American Enterprise Institute Press, 2009), authors Joel M. Gora and Peter J. Wallison conduct a significant survey of campaign finance regulations beginning in the early 1970’s.
The authors assert that most of the provisions enacted over the past several decades have failed to achieve their goal of limiting corruption and instead have acted to strengthen the incumbency advantage. According to Gora and Wallison, “the current campaign finance system works to assist the campaigns of those who created it.”
After their exhaustive look at the history of campaign finance reform measures, Gora and Wallison examine past and current alternatives to remedy the broken system. They conclude that most reform schemes further the incumbency advantage, with taxpayer financed campaigns and contribution limits being the biggest offenders in this regard.
To remedy this issue, the authors demonstrate that the best and most effective way to fix the current incumbent-advantaged system would be to ease the coordination restrictions on parties, allowing them to become the principle campaign financier. Ultimately, the authors argue that this single change in the current system would have substantial benefits for the American election model.
Filed Under: Coordination, Political Parties, Research, Tax Financed Campaigns Research, Tax-Financing, Taxpayer Financed Campaigns, campaign contributions, Contribution, Contribution Limits, Coordination, Political Committees & 527s, Contributions & Limits, Coordination, Political Committees & 527s, Political Parties
This chapter first appeared in Money, Elections, and Democracy: Reforming Congressional Campaign Finance, edited by Margaret Lotus Nugent and John R. Johannes (Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1990), pp. 187–204. In “PACs and Parties,” Sabato, a professor of political science at the University of Virginia and the author of several books on the American political process, considers the relationship between political action committees and political parties, especially since the passage of the campaign finance legislation of the 1970s.