Presentation on theme: "Campaign Finance: Pros and Cons"— Presentation transcript:
1 Campaign Finance: Pros and Cons Why might people argue against the BCRA?How might limiting expenditures and contributions be positive? Negative?
2 Loopholes/Issues of BCRA Purpose: outlaw use of soft money (fed Loopholes/Issues of BCRA Purpose: outlaw use of soft money (fed. elections)527 committee—unregulated interest groups focusing on a specific causeContinuous re-writing of FEC regulationsUnlimited state-to-state transfers of moneyHonor system vs. realistic expectationsConstitutional violationsInternet501c committee—tax-exempt, non-profit/business group
3 Why is there campaign reform, anyway? Most contributors give to support parties or candidates with whom they are already in agreement.However, public perception= donors expect illegal gov’t favors in return (such as specific legislation being enacted or defeated)— “buying” influenceSome believe campaign finance is political corruption/bribery.Many want the government, rather than private individuals/organizations, to provide funding for campaignsdemocratic countries have differing regulations on types of donations to parties and campaigns
4 Proposed reforms: Eliminate soft money completely FAVORDefine what would this reform mean?Tries to avoid limits on hard moneyDecreases overall cost of campaigningLess concern about “buying” influenceMore disclosure of fund usageOPPOSEDefine what NOT having this reform would mean?First amendment!Contrary to Buckley ruling!Weakens political partiesMoney is only one step removed from contributor to decision-maker
5 Proposed reforms: Limit independent expenditures FAVORCould be used to avoid limits on hard money“Levels the playing field”Could reduce negative issue adsCandidates want to control their own campaignsOPPOSEFirst amendment!Contrary to Buckley!Might lessen grassroots participation in campaigns/support
6 Proposed reforms: Raise limits on contributions FAVORLimits don’t account for inflationCandidates can spend less time fundraisingDecreases PAC influenceDecreases restrictions on First Amend. rightsOPPOSEAllows the rich to have more influenceAlready too much money in the process already!Drives up cost of campaigns