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Nature of Modern Campaigns Most electoral contests are similar in a number of ways. Nomination campaign aimed at winning primary. General election campaign.

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Presentation on theme: "Nature of Modern Campaigns Most electoral contests are similar in a number of ways. Nomination campaign aimed at winning primary. General election campaign."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Nature of Modern Campaigns Most electoral contests are similar in a number of ways. Nomination campaign aimed at winning primary. General election campaign aimed at winning final race.

3 Cost of Campaigns In 2008, Obama and McCain raised and spent more than $1 billion in their race for the White House The average winning candidate in the House of Representative now spends 1.4 million; the average winning candidate in the Senate over 9 million (exceptions Hillary Clinton of New York: 41 million; Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania: 28 million) Its costs money to raise funds; Bush spent $1 for every $4.5 raised in 2004

4 Money and Campaigning The Maze of Campaign Finance Reforms Federal Election Campaign Act (1974) Created the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to administer campaign finance laws for federal elections Provided public financing for presidential primaries and general elections (sufficient contributions in at least 20 states) Limited Presidential Campaign spending Limited Contributions (Individuals $1000; PACs $5,000) Required disclosure Filing of periodic reports with the FEC Moneyfrom whom? How much was spent? For what?

5 Loopholes in 1974 FECA Soft money Independent expenditures bundling

6 Money and Campaigning The Maze of Campaign Finance Reforms Soft Money: political contributions (not subject to contribution limits) earmarked for party-building expenses or generic party advertising Hard Money: funds that are raised subject to federal campaign contributions and expenditure limitations The McCain-Feingold Act (2002) banned soft money, increased amount of individual contributions, and introduced restrictions on political advertising close to an election

7 Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act Passed in 2002 to update FECA of Does not regulate use of personal money. Outlaws use of soft money. New limits on individual and political action committee funds.political action committee Independent expenditures: Individuals, PACs, and Parties may spend unlimited amount of money directly advocating the election or defeat of a candidate as long as expenditures are not coordinated with campaign.

8 Money and Campaigning The Proliferation of PACs Political Action Committees (PACs): created by law in 1974 to allow corporations, labor unions and other interest groups to donate money to campaigns; PACs are registered with and monitored by the FEC. As of 2006 there were 4,217 PACs. PACs contributed over $372.1 million to congressional candidates in PACs donate to candidates who support their issue. PACs do not buy candidates, but give to candidates who support them in the first place.

9 The 527 Loophole: Result of BCRA 527s: independent groups that seek to influence political process but are not subject to contribution restricts because they do not directly seek election of particular candidates Advocacy may only be paid for with hard money. Soft money is banned under BCRA. Cannot advocate for candidates, only causes and policy.

10 AV- 527 Groups Back

11 PACs and Their Conributions

12 Money and Campaigning Are Campaigns Too Expensive? Fundraising takes a lot of time. Incumbents do worse when they spend more money because they need to spend to defeat quality challengers. The doctrine of sufficiency suggests that candidates need just enough money to win, not necessarily more.


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