It has been a busy week in the world of campaign finance.
Historically, elections have always been funded by the “1 percent.” Even in the earliest days of our republic, wealthy individuals like Thurlow Weed and corporations such as the Bank of the United States were key funders of campaigns. Yet we survived and thrived. In 1968, the last presidential election before passage of the Federal Election Campaign Act, Eugene McCarthy got his influential anti-war campaign off the ground in days, thanks to a handful of wealthy individuals who contributed the equivalent of several million each in today’s dollars.On the other hand, candidates who have been most successful at small dollar fundraising tend to be on the fringes of mainstream politics — think of George McGovern, Pat Buchanan and Ron Paul, for example.
People say that they think campaign contributions corrupt, but what they seem to mean is that they think that contributions corrupt their political opponents. Polling shows that voters whose party lost the last election are far more likely to think government is corrupt. But President Obama’s supporters don’t think he is corrupt, and nor do Mitt Romney’s. Few people believe that their candidate is corrupted by contributions, or that his sources of funding will change his preferred policies, how he governs, or whom he appoints to office.
Other media hits for CCP are as follows:
- With the Edward’s trial wrapped up, CCP Chairman Brad Smith discusses why the trial should never have happened in the first place with the Wall Street Journal. CCP President David Keating also commented for the LA Times.
- After the finding Edward’s not guilty on one count and declaring a mistrial on the others, the Justice Department’s Public Integrity looks like it may be in trouble. CCP Vice President of Policy Allison Hayward comments for US News & World Report.
- Have boycotts gone to far? CCP President David Keating responds.
- The Brennan Center claimed that the Citizens United decision would decrease voter turnout, yet the Wisconsin recall election turnout was similar to that of the 2008 Presidential election. According to Brad Smith in the Washington Post: “…high spending did not discourage people from voting, but perhaps encouraged turnout.”