american government and organization ps1301 friday, 26 march

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  • Slide 1
  • American Government and Organization PS1301 Friday, 26 March
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  • Announcements Next midterm will be scheduled for Wednesday, April 7 th (not Friday April 9 th )
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  • The Campaign Finance Regulation System Campaign finance operates through two parallel systems: Money going directly to candidates is subject to limits on the size of contributions and full disclosure of sources. Presidential candidates who accept public funds also must observe spending limits. But money raised and spent outside of the candidates campaigns (soft money, issue advocacy) is lightly regulated and not subject to limits.
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  • Disclosure Federal Election CommissionFederal Election Commission Search Federal Election Commission
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  • Top Hard Money PAC contributors Democrats International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers $2,536,525 International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers $2,536,525 American Federation of St/Cnty/Mun Employees $2,457,974 American Federation of St/Cnty/Mun Employees $2,457,974 Teamsters Union $2,369,595 Teamsters Union $2,369,595 Association of Trial Lawyers of America $2,301,000 Association of Trial Lawyers of America $2,301,000Republicans National Association of Realtors $2,026,698 National Association of Realtors $2,026,698 National Auto Dealers Association $1,687,700 National Auto Dealers Association $1,687,700 National Beer Wholesalers Association $1,478,500 National Beer Wholesalers Association $1,478,500 National Rifle Association $1,333,074 National Rifle Association $1,333,074
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  • Top Soft Money Contributors Am. Fed. St/Cnty/Mun Employees $5,949,000 AT&T $4,398,920 Service Employees Int. Union $4,288,096 Bank of America $3,147,824 Philip Morris $2,383,453 Microsoft $2,316,926 Enron $1,657,555
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  • Hard Money Raised Over Time
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  • Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 Also know as McCain-Feingold (who sponsored the legislation). First, the law prohibits raising and spending of soft money for federal candidates. Second, the law redefines what constitutes a campaign advertisement, subject to the disclosure requirements and contribution limits and contribution source restrictions of federal law. Third, it raised the limits on "hard money." The limits on how much an individual can give to a federal candidate rose to $2,000 an election, from $1,000, with subsequent increases allowed for inflation. Upheld by the Supreme Court in 2003.
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  • Regulation on Political Ads Advocacy vs. issue ads Does it include magic words such as vote for elect or vote against? Most issue ads avoid the words but are still advocacy ads "Last year, John McCain voted against solar and renewable energy. That means more use of coal-burning plants that pollute our air. Ohio Republicans care about clean air. So does Governor Bush. He led one of the first states in America to clamp down on old coal- burning electric power plants. Bushs clean air laws will reduce air pollution more than a quarter million tons a year. Thats like taking 5 million cars off the road. Governor Bush, leading, for each day dawns brighter." The BCRA provides a better definition: Any broadcast advertisement that depicts a candidate within 30 days of a primary election or 60 days of a general election, and is targeted to the voting constituency of that candidate, constitutes an electioneering communication, subject to federal campaign laws.
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  • Negative Advertising Attack opponents character and platform When outcome is uncertain, competitive election Challengers more likely to use negative ads than incumbents (backlash against incumbents) Designed to not only to change preferences but also behavior by discouraging turnout (for supporters of opponent)
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  • GOP attack ads John Kerry, International Man of Mystery International Man of MysteryInternational Man of Mystery Kerry vs. Kerry vs. Kerry The First 100 days The First 100 days
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  • Kerry Attack Ads Bush Misleading America and we are not going to take it Keep our word
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  • Issue Ads Make America Work for Us Make America Work for Us
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  • Where does the money go? Money is used to buy access, so it goes to individuals who stand a good chance of getting elected. If the election is seen as a toss-up, then it goes to both parties. Usually, it goes to incumbents.
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  • How money influences behavior Money flows to members who are either strongly in favor or strongly against. PACs through money to members who are against legislation to buy inactivity. Why dont you think of something else to do with your time. Money just changes how people spend their time.
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  • Bribery? Money buys time not votes. PACs give money because they want access. Contributing money is seen as an important advantage in getting policymakers to pay attention to their problems rather than someone elses. Talking to politicians is fine, but with a little money they hear you better.
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  • Criticisms of PAC money Operate primarily to protect incumbents Nationalizes campaign financing and weakens the link between the representative and his or her district. Accountability. Money comes from outside the district. Overrepresentation of business interests (rapid increase in bus. related PACs) Fragmentation of American politics by encouraging groups that focus on narrow interests. Weakens the role of the individual in politics ($1000 opposed to $5000) Undermines political parties
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  • The Flow of Campaign Money Critical to the recent reform was the fact that the unregulated campaign finance system (soft money) outpaced the regulated system. Spending in House and Senate campaigns also has continued to grow since FECA took effect, rising by an average of about 7 percent from one election year to the next. Much variation, however, exists among congressional candidates. Some raise and spend a great deal, others do not.
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  • How Money is Spent


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