Premium Essay

‘Despite Several Attempts to Regulate Campaign Finance, Money Increasingly Dominates the U.S. Electoral Process and Is the Main Factor Contributing to a Candidates Success’ Discuss

In: Other Topics

Submitted By Amartell98
Words 1270
Pages 6
‘Despite several attempts to regulate campaign finance, money increasingly dominates the U.S. Electoral process and is the main factor contributing to a candidates success’ Discuss (30 marks)

Despite its popularity, there is no serious evidence that campaign finance regulation has actually accomplished any of the goals set out for it by its supporters. Efforts to regulate campaign finance have been little short of disastrous. They have distorted the political process, hindered grassroots political involvement, infringed on First Amendment rights, and helped to entrench incumbents in office while doing nothing to address the allegedly corrupting influence of money in politics.

The 1974 amendments to the federal election campaign act constituted the first effort to establish a comprehensive, national system of campaign finance regulation. Specifically, the amendments established these limits for federal campaign finance, individual contributions were limited to $1,000 per candidate per election, with primary and general elections counting as separate elections, individuals were limited to $25,000 per calendar year in total contributions to candidates, party committees, and political action committees, PAC’s and party committees were limited to contributing $5,000 per candidate per election. In addition, the 1974 amendments established the presidential financing system of matching funds to candidates for amounts raised in contributions of $250 or less, established overall spending limits for eligibility to receive matching funds, and provided for public funding of major party candidates in the general election for president. The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 brought about a modern take on the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1974.

Buckley vs Valeo, is a famous case around campaign finance as a coalition of liberals and conservatives attacked FECA as…...

Similar Documents

Free Essay

Campaign Finance

...Any campaign finance reform must be structured within the framework of the Constitution. When examining the role of the government in situations of participation in political processes, the role as the protector of rights and privileges as identified in the Constitution must be weighed against its role as a regulator of the political process. A primary principle of the First Amendment is to protect and encourage the rights of individuals and organizations to participate in our civic process (Federal Campaign Finance Law). This right to be involved in the political system is an important privilege and should not be taken lightly. Any campaign finance reform must be structured within the framework of the Constitution. Disclosure requirements are observed as means to deter corruption by requiring that contributions made to elected officials and candidates are made public in federal elections. Disclosure allows voters to make up their own minds based on the information that is placed before them. Supreme Court Justice Louis Dembitz Brandeis believes, “Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants, electric light the most efficient policeman” (Brandeis, 97). Brandeis’ statement laid the groundwork of the Sunlight Foundation, which was founded on the idea that utilizing new technology to facilitate citizens with information concerning Congress, will lead to the reduction of corruption,......

Words: 1400 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Discuss Wether Price Is the Main Factor Affecting Demand of a Consumer Product

...Discuss whether price is the main factor affecting the demand for Pepsi The question is telling us to discuss the whether price is the main factor which would affect the demand (the quantity of Pepsi consumers are willing to buy each month or so) for the product in this case Pepsi, this basically means to analyse the alternate factors (non price) which would also alter the demand for the product for example: price of substitute, the quality of substitute, the number of substitute, the quality, the customers income, trend of the time and also factors such as the price of the complement (a product bought with my product i.e. an association). Which in this case would be a complementary food item, like a chocolate bar or sandwich, as Pepsi may be part of a meal deal involving these category of items. The factors which will affect the demand can most generally be categorised into two groups ‘price’ and ‘non-price’ factors, and can most simply be categorised into having two affects on demand these being a direct affect (if this goes up or down the demand will move in sync) which are always non-price as price is an inverse factor which means if it rises or falls the demand will move in the opposite direction. In sum an increase in demand is caused by either an increase in a direct factor, examples: quality, income, advertising and price of substitutes, and a decrease in an inverse factor, examples: quality of substitute, price of complements. And a decrease is caused by......

Words: 1591 - Pages: 7

Free Essay

Corporate Contributions to Political Campaigns

...Pickett Corporate Contributions to Political Campaigns Craig Allen SOC 120 Introduction to Ethics and Social Responsibility January 7, 2013 The recent election has got the blood boiling of many voters. Corporate contributions have become a major problem in the United States and affected and have affected many elections. I would like to discuss how money and greed can affect the decision of any candidate and cause them to betray their own personal beliefs and cause the betrayal to the people that they represent. I will also look at the issue using classical ethical and contemporary ethical theories, as well as looking at the issue through the view of utilitarianism. Any corporation should not be able make any contribution towards a campaign because then their ideas could become the candidates ideas even if a candidates is strongly against a subject that the corporation supports. We are going to look at the issue from the point of view of utilitarianism. Utilitarianism is a classical form of ethics that I will use to look at this issue. First off utilitarianism is described in our text book as a natural way to see if an act is the right thing to do or the wrong thing to do is to look at the consequences or the results of that action. (Mosser 2010) Looking at corporate contributions and seeing the type of candidates that the American people are being offered I believe that the corporations should not be allowed to contribute to a campaign. I do not see a problem,......

Words: 3007 - Pages: 13

Premium Essay

Elections, Electoral Reforms and Post-Election Violence: Problems and Way Forward

...ELECTIONS, ELECTORAL REFORMS AND POST- ELECTION VIOLENCE: PROBLEMS AND WAY FORWARD BY IRABOR PETER ODION DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL STUDIES COLLEGE OF EDUCATION, IGUEBEN, EDO STATE 07037830536. ABSTRACT In the contemporary world of today, elections have become the most accepted means of changing the government. Although history has shown that it is usually difficult to hold elections that are free and fair. But the importance of a good electoral act cannot be underestimated especially in a developing country like Nigeria where elections were reported to be marred by irregularities by foreign and local observers. It is on this basis that this paper critically observed, even with the electoral reforms carried out, the reasons why there were violence after the 2011 general election and recommended that adopting the basic part of the reforms, devolvement of power at the centre are other plausible way forward to true and sustainable democratic system in Nigeria. INTRODUCTION The electoral system of any given country plays a fundamental role in sustaining and moulding the political behaviour of its citizens (Okolo,2000). The way and manner election is conducted in a country goes a long way to determine the level of poltical culture, political participation and good governance in...

Words: 5044 - Pages: 21

Free Essay

Campaign Contributions

...Introduction The slow evolution of federal campaign finance regulations, beginning with the Tillman Act in 1907, undercuts dramatic proclamations that Citizens United indicates a privileged where corporate interests trump the public interest and politicians do the will of the highest bidder. Corporations in the early twentieth century not only faced scattered and weak enforcement of the Tillman Act's contribution ban and thus no great deterrent to violating the ban, but also exploited glaring legal loopholes that allowed them to bankroll their favored campaigns with relative ease. Even after the enactment of independent corporate expenditure restrictions, corporations faced minimal barriers to political spending on television or in other national media. Until the FEC's creation in 1974, the ban on independent corporate spending on elections was not rigorously enforced. The relevant time frame for evaluating the decision's practical consequences is, at the very longest, the period after Congress substantially amended FECA in 1974. Campaign contributions as emphasized here discusses the ways in which contributions are made to influence new or incumbent candidates to support a particular agenda based on factors that impact the candidate personally, such as the raising of significant funds to help a candidate be re-elected, or environmental issues to even social issues are of concern. Since the last decade, millions upon millions of dollars have been spent in state......

Words: 4484 - Pages: 18

Premium Essay

Campaign Finiance Restriction Is Right Fail

...IS CAMPAIGN FINIANCE RESTRICTION FAIL OF RIGHTS? INTRODUCTION Campaign finance reform has not managed either to promote political equality or prevent corruption. Even worse, in order to enhance the relative voice of others, the government decides to set donation limitation—restrict the speech of some elements. It is nothing else but to sacrifice people’s right to pursue an alleged political equality and preventing corruption, thus, it raises an ethical problem that restriction on campaign finance is fail of right. When looking into literatures of campaign finance reform, the debate of rights often based on the free speech protected by the First Amendment. People neglected that the free express of political petition is also a basic right acknowledged by the Universal Declaration of Human rights. Thus, I will examine this argument in the article from a broad to narrow scope. This article will analyze the campaign finance regulation’s failure from a right perspective. The article will demonstrate that some moral theorists divide rights into positive and negative categories which create distinctive correlative duties. This article will argue that the present restriction is actually infringe people’s rights and goes against with Universal Declaration of Human rights and the First Amendment. Moreover, the compel disclosure of donor’s information violates people’ s right to privacy, thus, such an act by government may be over regulated. Part 1 of this article will introduce...

Words: 4363 - Pages: 18

Premium Essay

How Campaign Finance Affects Electoral Outcomes

...How Campaign Finance Affects Electoral Outcomes (Name) (Subject) (Nature of Work) I. Introduction An electoral candidate can win an election if he has plenty of campaign finances. This seems to be the common wisdom that people believe in when it comes to the electoral success of candidates. However, such a statement is not easily verifiable. In fact, there are several factors involved in the determination of whether or not there is a correlation between the campaign finances used by candidates and the probability of winning due to these funds. It has been the contention of majority that for a candidate to get a seat or win the presidency, it is important that he spend lavishly. If this is the case, then incumbents, who are generally the ones equipped with the biggest campaign funds, have edge over challengers. It is also an assurance to potential challengers that if they manage to put up campaign funds, whether from contributors or from their own pockets, they are already assured of a win in the elections. With the government structure the United States have, generalizing for all sectors of the government, particularly during the electoral races, will be quite complex. Moreover, though it is very easy to make assumptions, such arguments could start crumbling once empirical studies of various experts on the subject of political science come to light. Factors such as policy decisions, party affiliations, popularity, etc. play a role in the...

Words: 2489 - Pages: 10

Free Essay

Political Parties and Electoral Process

...Political Parties and Electoral Process Strayer University POL 110 December 8, 2014 Political Parties and Electoral Process Democrats and Republicans have shaped the political landscape in the U.S. throughout history. Both parties intend to do what is best for the American people but vastly differ in philosophy and ideals. Democrats have been generally viewed as supporters of social services while Republicans encourage a limited government influence and a robust foreign policy. Furthermore, Democrats tend to lean towards an active government with the belief of improving the opportunity and equality. Meanwhile, Republicans tend to be more adamant about being pro-business and more self-reliant. The recovery of the economy has been a very divisive issue between Democrats and Republicans and has been well documented in recent years. A prime example is the dispute over the stimulus package released few years ago. One major dispute between the Republicans and Democrats regarding the growth of the economy is the proportion of tax cuts. Democrats heavily favored tax cuts for the lower and middle class and conceded to the idea of raising taxes for the 1 percent to stay economically balanced. While Republicans were opposed to the idea, they were in favor of tax cuts across the board. In addition, Democrats were in favor of impermanent exceptions for businesses creating additional employment opportunities. Another issue where Democrats and Republicans differ......

Words: 839 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay


...learning solutions with office locations around the globe, including Singapore, the United Kingdom, Australia, Mexico, Brazil, and Japan. Locate your local office at: Cengage Learning products are represented in Canada by Nelson Education, Ltd. To learn more about Cengage Learning Solutions, visit Purchase any of our products at your local college store or at our preferred online store Printed in Canada 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 17 16 15 14 13 Copyright 2013 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved. May not be copied, scanned, or duplicated, in whole or in part. Brief Contents Part one 1 2 introDUCtion to strateGiC ManaGeMent 1 43 Strategic Leadership: Managing the Strategy-Making Process for Competitive Advantage External Analysis: The Identification of Opportunities and Threats Part tWo the natUre oF CoMPetitiVe aDVantaGe 3 4 Internal Analysis: Distinctive Competencies, Competitive Advantage, and Profitability Building Competitive Advantage Through Functional-Level Strategies 80 116 Part three 5 6 7 8 9 10 strateGies 153 178 210 246 286 318 Business-Level Strategy Business-Level Strategy and the Industry Environment Strategy and Technology Strategy in the Global Environment Corporate-Level Strategy: Horizontal Integration, Vertical Integration, and Strategic Outsourcing Corporate-Level Strategy: Related and Unrelated Diversification Part FoUr 11 12 13 iMPleMentinG strateGY 359 395......

Words: 320592 - Pages: 1283

Free Essay

Political Parties and the Electoral Process

...and the Electoral Process Dr. Michael Keith Smith U.S Government- POL 110 Strayer University March 7, 2015 Political Parties and the Electoral Process The relationship between political parties and the electoral system has always been a significant one. Federalists and Anti-Federalists formed political parties, each seeking control over the destiny of the new nation that was emerging from the Revolution. It was not long into the foundation of the United States that the protection of the people became a divergent issue among the country's first political parties. Federalists and Anti-Federalists clashed over how to best represent the needs of American citizens in the one document that would become the highest law in the nation — the Constitution. The issue of particular controversy was a component that has since become the mainstay of protecting the interests of the people: the Bill of Rights (Auerbach, 2015). This paper will take an in-depth look at the nature of political parties, as well as the two-party system that has evolved in the United States since its creation in 1776. An ideological difference between political parties is the contrasting visions that constitute their distinct mission and actions as well as the electorial program. While other democracies have numerous active political parties, in the United States there are but two major parties taking part in national elections—the Republican Party and the Democratic Party. The main......

Words: 1359 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

The Relationship Between Electoral Process and Stability in Nigeria

...CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION 1.1 Background to the study Structured election process is one of the indicators of stability in Nigeria’s democracy. Elections in Nigeria continue to elicit more than casual interest by Nigerian scholars due to the fact that despite the appreciation that only credible election can consolidate and sustain the country’s nascent democracy, over the years, Nigeria continues to witness with growing disappointments and apprehension inability to conduct peaceful, free and fair, open elections whose results are widely accepted and respected across the country (Ekweremadu, 2011). All the elections that have ever been conducted in Nigeria since independence have generated increasingly bitter controversies and grievances on a national scale because of the twin problems of mass violence and fraud that have become central elements of the history of elections and of the electoral process in the country (Gberie, 2011). Despite the marked improvement in the conduct of the 2011 elections, the process was not free from malpractices and violence (National Democratic Institute, 2012). Thus over the years, electoral processes in the history of Nigeria’s democratic governance have continued to be marred by extraordinary display of rigging, dodgy, “do or die” affair, ballot snatching at gun points, violence and acrimony, thuggery, boycotts, threats and criminal manipulations of voters' list, brazen falsification of election results, the use of security agencies......

Words: 23070 - Pages: 93

Premium Essay

“Despite Several Attempts to Regulate Campaign Finance, Money Increasingly Dominates the Us Electoral Process and Is the Main Factor Contributing to a Candidate’s Success.” Discuss.

...statement suggests, several attempts have been made over the last 50 years to regulate the financing of campaigns, which has been criticised for damaging the election process of democracy in the USA for being too expensive and dominant. Earliest reforms in the 1970s include the 1971 Federal Election Act, and famously, the 1974 Federal Election Campaign Act, known by many now as FECA. These congressional acts limited the ability of candidates to spend their own money on campaigns, and limited PAC donations to $5,000 per candidate through the creation of the Federal Election Commission. They also introduced the ‘matching funds system’ to this effect. Far more recent reforms have also taken place to further restrict such donations to candidate campaigning, such as the 2002 Bi-Partisan Campaign Reform Act, also known as ‘McCain-Feingold’ capping the soft money spending by parties and welfare/charity organisations which had increased since the 1970s. This is when money is not directly donated to the candidate and cannot be used for self promotion. The 2002 Act ruled that such organisations can spend up to 49% of their income on parties and campaigns, yet this spending remains undisclosed, allowing anonymity. This highlights one of the main reasons why such reforms have failed to rectify the issues of campaign financing that remains in contemporary elections – many so-called ‘legal loopholes’ have been found in these congressional acts which have allowed soft money and......

Words: 1367 - Pages: 6

Free Essay

Campaign Finance

...(H)Seven billion. This is not referring to the number of people in the world or how far some galaxy cluster is away from Earth. It is the amount of money spent during the 2012 Presidential Campaign. Politicians consistently use unprecedented amounts of money during campaigns to ensure victory. According to the Gale Encyclopedia of American Law, “Election campaigns for public office are expensive. Candidates need funding for support staff, advertising, traveling, and public appearances. Unless they are independently wealthy, most must finance their campaigns with contributions from individuals and from businesses and other organizations.” The issue that arises is the matter of how this money is collected. Incumbent politicians have the biggest advantage in regards to campaign financing because of the connections they have already made. Super PAC’s, interest groups, corporations, and private individuals are the biggest contributors in campaign donations. Some people see these contributions and unlimited funds as unconstitutional and call for major reform in campaign finance laws. Campaign Financing Private campaign donors can provide unlimited amounts of funding; therefore, politicians often use these private donors in order to finance their massive campaigns. The most recent attempt at reform in the 2010 Supreme Court case of Citizen’s United vs. FEC instead served to worsen the problem. In “Non Profit Groups and Partisan Politics,” Christina Lyons explains how, (Q) “that......

Words: 1149 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

The Electoral College: the Fear of Mobocracy

... The Electoral College: The Fear of Mobocracy Katherine Kinert Olympic College, Bremerton Abstract The Electoral College is a very important part of the United States Electoral System. However, very few Americans actually understand how it works. The lack of political efficacy in this country is a large reason of why some people do not think the Electoral College should be abolished. However, as Eric Black (2012) stated in an article on PBS News Hour, “Polls for many years have reliably shown that a majority of Americans would prefer a straightforward popular vote for the presidency.” Originally the Electoral College was established to prevent majority factions from having too much power causing mobocracy to occur. However, this system is outdated and the conditions that prompted the founding fathers to institute this precaution no longer exist today. Also, the fact that almost all the states use a winner-take-all system to determine which candidate gets all of the electoral votes for the state. Will abolishing the Electoral College rid the United States from mobocracy? Introduction The Electoral College is outdated and does not follow the true spirit of American Democracy. David Stewart (2013), a lawyer in Washington, D.C., states that, “Because most people knew little about public events or leaders from distant states, the convention delegates reasoned, they would not make a wise choice between presidential candidates.” Today, people have access to information......

Words: 2333 - Pages: 10

Free Essay

“Pressure Groups Define the Political Issues That Dominate Us Politics”.Discuss.

...Bianca Capatina “Pressure groups define the political issues that dominate US politics”.Discuss. Being the most pluralist political system in the world, it comes as expected that pressure groups would have a considerable amount of influence over the American system.However, their sectional views alone are not dictating the political agenda of the US politics, but rather influencing it at different levels(local/state/national), depending on their insider/outsider status and levels of funding. Firstly, because Congress is dominated by their representative function, pressure groups have a leading role in the US elections. This is because their power and influence is heightened by Political Action Committees , which are pressure groups that collect money from their members (up to $5,000/individual)and give it to candidates and political parties which support their interests. This was done by protecting elected officials from accountability in 2000, when 98% of the House incumbents were re-elected, undermining the political efficiency and leaning towards corruption.Their influence could be further observed in 2012, when the SUPERPAC Priorities USA spent $67 mil. on advertising for Obama’s re-election. Priorities USA’s belief is that Republicans’ agenda is to reward the wealthiest few at at the expense of the middle class, so it it came naturally that after he got elected Obama cut the income tax of the middle class families and also offered them tax reliefs. Secondly, the......

Words: 1248 - Pages: 5