Contribution Limits

Legislative Review: 2013 State Legislative Trends – Campaign Contribution Limits Increase in Nine States

As this Legislative Review explains, a Center for Competitive Politics’ survey of 2013 state legislative activity shows that nine states – Alabama, Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, and Wyoming – raised or eliminated various campaign contribution limits last year. Five states increased their limits by 100% or more, two more increased their […]

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Election Law Handbook for Legislators and State Policymakers

This Election Law Handbook provides an informative guide to a variety of topics in campaign finance and election law likely to arise in any state legislative session. A useful tool for anyone interested in topical election law issues, in addition to original content, this Handbook suggests recommended reading for more in-depth analysis of the subjects discussed […]

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Issue Analysis No. 7: Do Limits on Corporate and Union Giving to Candidates Lead to “Good” Government?

Since the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Citi­zens United v. FEC, which freed corporations and labor unions to finance independent expen­ditures in support of federal candidates, the is­sue of corporate and union spending in elections has become a frequent and impassioned topic of political discussion. Most states treat limits on corporate and union giving to […]

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UPDATED: Issue Analysis No. 6: Do Lower Contribution Limits Produce “Good” Government?

Advocates for strict campaign finance laws and low contribution limits often suggest that such limits will do much to improve government. For this reason, proposals and groups urging the adoption of low contri­bution limits are often characterized as pro­ducing “good government.” One of the more respected evaluations of how well a state government is operated […]

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Campaign Spending and Electoral Competition: Towards More Policy Relevant Research

Despite long-standing scholarly literature on the electoral effects of campaign spending, academic research provides little practical policy guidance. In part, this is because existing studies have focused narrowly on some vexing statistical issues, while ignoring many others. However, this is also because political scientists have not devoted enough effort to conducting evaluation studies of how […]

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UPDATED: Issue Analysis No. 5: Do Lower Contribution Limits Decrease Public Corruption?

Note: This report is an updated version of an Issue Analysis originally published by the Center for Competitive Politics in January 2009. This version has been edited to reflect contribution limits from the 2011-2012 election cycle and corruption data, from 2001-2010. Advocates of campaign finance regulation often claim that contributions to political candidates must be limited […]

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Free Speech, Fair Elections, and Campaign Finance Laws: Can They Co-Exist?

A prominent politician once observed that, “You can either have free speech or fair elections, but you can’t have both.” In this article, CCP Academic Advisor and Professor of Law at Brooklyn Law School Joel M. Gora argues that saying has it all backwards. In fact, you cannot have one without the other. The election of 2012 […]

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Do State Campaign Finance Reforms Reduce Public Corruption?

CCP Academic Advisor and Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri, Jeff Milyo, and Adriana Cordis, Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of South Carolina Upstate, released a working paper in conjunction with the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, which systematically examined the effects of campaign finance laws on actual corruption rates […]

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Public Perception and the “Appearance of Corruption” in Campaign Finance

The Center for Competitive Politics in cooperation with University of Missouri Professor Jeff Milyo included several questions in the 2010 Cooperative Congressional Election Study, a national representative survey of 55,400 individuals.  The CCES data includes a set of common content questions given to all participants and separate team content questions developed by the University of Missouri and administered to a nationally representative subset of 1,000 persons.  A battery of eight campaign-finance-related questions was included in the Missouri team content; these are listed in full in the appendix.

We examine this data to learn what the average American thought about taxpayer-funded elections, contribution limits, the appearance of corruption, and disclosure. Since not just corruption, but the “appearance of corruption,” i.e. the public’s perception of the severity of corrupt practices in government bodies, has been given weight by the Supreme Court, we felt it was crucial to look at reliable data of a cross section of Americans and try to gain insight into their views, as well as to see how different wordings can skew the results in surveys on these topics.

 

 

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Activist Investing in Post-Citizens United America

In the wake of last year’s U.S. Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. FEC, the scope of political speech protected under the First Amendment has substantially expanded. Whereas corporations and unions were previously prohibited from directly advocating for and against political candidates by spending funds from their general treasury, the Supreme Court has now […]

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