This study by Raymond J. La Raja examines whether public disclosure of campaign contributions affects individuals’ willingness to donate to candidates. Across the country, state campaign finance laws require disclosure of contributors’ private information at relatively low thresholds, ranging from $1 in seven states to $300 in New Jersey. Drawing on social influence theory, La […]
Some scholars have argued that information about the financial involvement of interest groups in ballot issue campaigns provides voters with valuable cues about how to vote on potentially complex and confusing issues. In this study, CCP Academic Advisor David Primo argues that the proper way to assess the informational benefits of disclosure is to assess whether […]
In this article, CCP Chairman Bradley A. Smith examines several practical and constitutional issues with campaign finance disclosure. In particular, Smith scrutinizes those policies being advocated by proponents of greater regulation of political speech in response to the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. A primary political reaction to Citizens United […]
Filed Under: Disclosure, Disclosure, Disclosure, External Relations Sub-Pages, Independent Speech, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Research, Stand By Your Ad, Bradley A. Smith, Buckley v. Valeo, campaign finance disclosure, campaign finance reform, Capital University Law School, Center for Competitive Politics, Citizens United v. FEC, Dark Money, FECA, First Amendment, independent speech, money in politics, NAACP v. Alabama, West Virginia University, Disclosure, Independent Speech, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Disclosure, Independent Speech, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Stand By Your Ad
In this essay, Cleta Mitchell, partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Foley & Lardner LLP and a member of the firm’s Political Law Practice, examines campaign finance disclosure both as a policy and as a response to the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Citizens United v. FEC, which freed corporations, labor unions, and trade […]
Filed Under: Disclosure, Disclosure, Disclosure, Disclosure State, External Relations Sub-Pages, First Amendment, Independent Speech, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Research, campaign finance disclosure, campaign finance reform, Center for Competitive Politics, Citizens United v. FEC, Cleta Mitchell, Donor Disclosure, Foly & Lardner, money in politics, Disclosure, First Amendment, Independent Speech, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Disclosure, First Amendment, Independent Speech, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Minnesota
In this paper, CCP Academic Advisor Jeff Milyo tests the hypothesis that restrictive campaign finance laws improve citizens’ perceptions of government. The political and legal battle over campaign finance reform hinges on differing views about the importance of such regulations for preserving and enhancing the integrity of democracy. Milyo uses a novel data-set on individual-level […]
Filed Under: Contribution Limits, Contribution Limits, Contributions & Limits, Disclosure, Disclosure, Disclosure, Enforcement, External Relations Sub-Pages, Faulty Assumptions, Research, Tax Financed Campaigns Research, Tax-Financing, Taxpayer Financed Campaigns, campaign finance reform, clean elections, Contribution limits, Contribution Limits, Disclosure, Faulty Assumptions, Contributions & Limits, Disclosure, Faulty Assumptions, Taxpayer Financed Campaigns
Two years and two election cycles into the Super PAC era, the media firestorm against free speech and association has been palpable. A Google search of the term “Super PAC” reveals dozens of articles warning about the evils of such entities and their supposed negative impact on democracy. In this Issue Review, Jason M. Farrell […]
Filed Under: Blog, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Disclosure, Independent Speech, Research, Super PACs, Super PACs, SpeechNow.org v. FEC, The New York Times, USA Today, Disclosure, Independent Speech, Disclosure, Independent Speech, Poll
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.
Filed Under: Contribution Limits, Contribution Limits, Contributions & Limits, Disclosure, Disclosure, Research, Tax Financed Campaigns Research, Tax-Financing, Taxpayer Financed Campaigns, Disclosure, Faulty Assumptions, Disclosure, Faulty Assumptions, Taxpayer Financed Campaigns
Full Disclosure: How Campaign Finance Disclosure Laws Fail to Inform Voters and Stifle Public Debate
Disclosure is intended to be a low-cost means of combating corruption by providing citizens with information about the funding sources and expenditures of groups that advocate for or against issues on the ballot. In practice, however, disclosure does little to inform voters while imposing onerous burdens on those wishing to participate in the democratic debate. […]
Filed Under: Disclosure, Disclosure, Disclosure, Disclosure State, External Relations Sub-Pages, Research, campaign finance reform, David Primo, Disclosure, Florida, institute for justice, Disclosure, Disclosure, Florida
In this article, Omri Ben-Shahar and Carl E. Schneider examine a variety of disclosure mandates to assess the overall utility of disclosure. As disclosure requirements can be found in a variety of areas, from campaign finance, insurance, and telecommunications to sales of goods and services, leases, and contracts, the authors were able to scrutinize the utility of this mandate from a multitude of views. Throughout this article, Ben-Shahar and Schneider document the failure of mandated disclosure to both inform people and improve their decisions. Because the incentives behind disclosure encourage excess, the authors note that disclosure is often extensive and overly broad, perversely misinforming those it intends to help. In this vein, the authors believe that mandated disclosure fails to achieve its goals and recommends that disclosure requirements be kept short, in order to better aid those seeking information. To this point, the authors’ comprehensive study is instructive in the campaign finance arena and calls into question the mantra many repeat that more disclosure is inherently better.
In this essay, John Samples argues against the fundamental reasoning underlying campaign disclosure. According to Samples, mandating disclosure “both reflects and fosters the decline of self-government in the United States.” According to the essay, not only does forced disclosure fail to achieve its goals, but it has the opportunity to “raise the cost of political participation through political abuse and economic harms.” Samples also believes mandating disclosure deflects attention from the content of the message and instead undesirably shifts the focus to the source of the message’s funding. He acknowledges that Bruce Cain’s idea for “semi-disclosure” would be a noted improvement over the status quo in disclosure requirements, but ultimately rejects Cain’s idea because of the inability to ensure that disclosure information would not be used for political retribution.
For the original essay that this piece responds to, please read, “Shade from the Glare: The Case for Semi-Disclosure,” by Bruce Cain.