Contributions & Limits

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 […]

Filed Under: Contribution Limits, Contribution Limits, Contributions & Limits, Expenditure, External Relations Sub-Pages, Faulty Assumptions, First Amendment, Political Parties, Research, campaign finance, campaign finance reform, campaign spending, First Amendment, Jeff Milyo, money in politics, political science research, Contribution Limits, Expenditure, Faulty Assumptions, First Amendment, Political Committees & 527s, Contributions & Limits, Expenditure, Faulty Assumptions, First Amendment, Political Committees & 527s

Richer Parties, Better Politics? Party-Centered Campaign Finance Laws and American Democracy

Campaign finance laws effect how money is channeled through organizations to influence elections. In contrast to most other democracies, American campaign finance laws have been designed to be “candidate-centered” with relatively weak political parties. Additionally, recent trends have seen independent forms of speech such as political action committees (PACs) and Super PACs become much more […]

Filed Under: Contributions & Limits, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Political Committees & 527s, Political Parties, Research, campaign contributions, campaign finance, campaign finance reform, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, money in politics, Political Parties, Raymond La Raja, super PACs, Contribution Limits, Independent Speech, Political Committees & 527s, Contributions & Limits, Independent Speech, Political Committees & 527s, Political Parties

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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Campaigns, Mobilization, and Turnout in Mayoral Elections

In this paper, authors Thomas M. Holbrook and Aaron C. Weinschenk assess methods of increasing voter turnout by examining mayoral elections across the United States. Generally, research on local turnout has focused on institutions, with little attention devoted to examining the impact of campaigns. Using an original data set containing information from 144 large U.S. […]

Filed Under: Contributions & Limits, Expenditure, Faulty Assumptions, Research, Competition, Mayoral Elections, Voter Turnout, Contribution Limits, Expenditure, Faulty Assumptions, Contributions & Limits, Expenditure, Faulty Assumptions

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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The Right to “Do Politics” and Not Just to Speak: Thinking About the Constitutional Protections for Political Action

In this Duke Journal of Constitutional Law and Public Policy article by former White House Counsel to Barack Obama, Robert F. Bauer, the author examines the Supreme Court’s distinction between political contributions and campaign expenditures and its impact on campaign finance jurisprudence. In Buckley v. Valeo, the Court upheld the Federal Election Campaign Act’s limits […]

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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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The (Non-)Effects of Campaign Finance Spending Bans on Macro Political Outcomes: Evidence From the States

In this study by University of Massachusetts, Amherst professors Raymond J. La Raja and Brian F. Schaffner, the authors seek to understand the effect of campaign finance laws on electoral and policy outcomes. Spurred by the 2010 Supreme Court decision, Citizens United v. FEC, which eliminated bans on corporate and union political spending, the study […]

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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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