Presentation on theme: "Campaign Finance: Pros and Cons Why might people argue against the BCRA? How might limiting expenditures and contributions be positive? Negative?"— Presentation transcript:
Campaign Finance: Pros and Cons Why might people argue against the BCRA? How might limiting expenditures and contributions be positive? Negative?
Loopholes/Issues of BCRA Purpose: outlaw use of soft money (fed. elections) 527 committee—unregulated interest groups focusing on a specific cause Continuous re-writing of FEC regulations Unlimited state-to-state transfers of money Honor system vs. realistic expectations Constitutional violations Internet 501c committee—tax- exempt, non-profit/business group
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” influence Some believe campaign finance is political corruption/bribery. Many want the government, rather than private individuals/organizations, to provide funding for campaigns –democratic countries have differing regulations on types of donations to parties and campaigns
Proposed reforms: Eliminate soft money completely FAVOR Define what would this reform mean? Tries to avoid limits on hard money Decreases overall cost of campaigning Less concern about “buying” influence More disclosure of fund usage OPPOSE Define what NOT having this reform would mean? First amendment! Contrary to Buckley ruling! Weakens political parties Money is only one step removed from contributor to decision-maker
Proposed reforms: Limit independent expenditures FAVOR Could be used to avoid limits on hard money “Levels the playing field” Could reduce negative issue ads Candidates want to control their own campaigns OPPOSE First amendment! Contrary to Buckley! Might lessen grassroots participation in campaigns/support
Proposed reforms: Raise limits on contributions FAVOR Limits don’t account for inflation Candidates can spend less time fundraising Decreases PAC influence Decreases restrictions on First Amend. rights OPPOSE Allows the rich to have more influence Already too much money in the process already! Drives up cost of campaigns
Let’s see what happens when donations are made… http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/10/ 17/us/politics/a-guide-to-political- donations.html?hp