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III DEPARTMENT OF POLITICAL SCIENCE INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS Posc 150 CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM CONTENTS A Remarks on why party system in America is structured as it is B Campaigns money and parties PARTIES IN THE GOVERNMENT A Reprinted B In spite of weaknesses parties organize Congress and are thus important 1 Congressional organization i Committees and subcommittees ii Staff iii Agenda iv Rules committee in the House EXPLANATIONS FOR FORM AND WEAKNESSES A Reprinted B Nomination process 1 Increasing importance of primaries over conventions and caucuses in the nomination process C Constitutional system especially federalism and independently elected legislative members creates numerous power centers 1 Separate constituencies D Campaign strategies 1 Candidatecentered campaigns candidates eg senators and representatives have their own sources of support and power and do not rely on the central party organization i Examples 1 Democratic presidential candidates George McGovern Jimmy Carter Michael Dukakis Bill Clinton 2 1992 Republican presidential primaries and Patrick Buchanan E General distrust of parties and party bosses l In 2000 former Senator Bill Bradley s and Senator John McCain ran against he establishment and politics as usual 2 Jesse Ventura 3 Popularity of term limits re ects distrust of parties and party politics F Recent trends in party development 1 Television gives candidates independent quotaccessquot to voters 1 Party leaders are circumvented Pose 150 Class 16 Campaign Finance Reform Page 2 ii And it increases costs of running for of ce 2 Campaign nance reform during the 1970s strengthened interest groups i Perhaps surprisingly campaign nance reforms have in my view further weakened parties IV CAMPAIGN FINANCES A The Watergate reforms 1 Scandals in the Nixon administration i Illegal contributions ii Dirty tricks 2 The 1970s reforms i General for general nance laws see httpwwwfecgov nance lawhtml ii ODisclosure 1 As an example you can track big givers by going here httpwwwtraycomfecinfo 2 Disclosure was the centerpiece of Bush s campaign reform proposal a You can research his contributors at the same site iii OLimits on spending iv OCaps on contributions 1 1000 for individual per election and primary per year V OPublic nancing of presidential campaigns 1 Only presidential elections nanced vi Political action committees PACs Organizations that solicit contributions from members and others and distributes to candidates 2 An aside You can nd links to political advocacy or interest groups in the course web page by going to For Your Information and then Interest Groups 3 For a report on PACs go to the Federal Election Committee site httpwwwfecgov nance reportshtml vii Federal Election Commission FEC 1 Overview httpwwwfecgovpagesfecfecahtm V LOOPHOLES A 916 1 Soft money Parties pa1ticularly local parties can raise and spend as much money on party building activities as they want 1 These activities were meant to include activities such as voter registration and getoutthevote drives ii They were not to be conducted on behalf of candidates for federal of ce iii But in fact much of the money is recycled into presidential and Pose 150 Class 16 Campaign Finance Reform Page 3 congressional campaigns iv Money contributed for this purpose is not regulated and does not have to be reported B 956 Independent expenditures The Supreme Court has said that parties can spend money on generic ads so long as they are independent of candidates 1 Generic ads do not explicitly advocate a vote for one party or another but that is their intended message 2 Groups that operate separately from the presidential and congressional campaigns are not limited in spending 3 These committees provide opportunities for individuals to give more than maximums C i Buckley v Valeo 1 Supreme Court s money talks decision allows candidates to spend unlimited amounts of their personal wealth on their campaigns D i Personal political action committees PACs 1 Individuals can set up their own PACs which can contribute to candidates 2 These individuals particularly members of Congress become just so many more power centers VI NEXT TIME A Film Washington s Other Scanda B The Congress C Reading 1 Required Campaign Finance Special Report Money Troubles by Dan Froomkin Washington Post September 4 1998 in the Cyber Reserve Room or httpwww 39 39 4 com wpSrv I quotquot I 39 39 I iu carnp nh tm i This short article has several parts Look at each as background for the lm Washington s Other Scandal 2 Recommended Campaign Finance Reform A Source book at httpwwwbrookedugscfcf hphtm 3 Recommended Campaign Finance Reform a link that advertise itself as A balanced yet comprehensive guide to the politics of campaign nance reform 39nttn 39 finance 39 J com les 4 Recommended The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 BCRA in the Cyber Reserve Room or at www hrnnk edn GSCI J 39 39 quot htmquot DEPARTMENT OF POLITICAL SCIENCE INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS Posc 150 CAMPAIGNS AND ELECI IONS 1 CONTENTS A Recent History B Public opinion C Campaigns and elections I II A BRIEF HISTORY LESSON A 76Thirty year history of Democrat and Republican attempts to understand the public 1 Elections of Reagan and Bush 1988 convinced Democrats that something was wrong 2 Reaction to Ronald Reagan i OReagan s victories interpreted as 1 evidence that the country was becoming or had become conservative 2 Democrats were actually too liberal or soft on social issues ii The need to raise money 3 ODemocratic Leadership Council DLC i Bill Clinton chair ii Joseph Lieberman recent chair iii i Moved Democrats to the Center iv See for example New Democrats Online at htt wwwndolor 4 1992 Clinton wins the presidency i Tax increase and health care asco put Democrats on the defensive 5 ONewt Gingrich and the Contract With America i 1994 Republicans take control of both branches of Congress ii Contract promises peaceful revolution 1 See Readings below 6 Democratic rebound i Elections of 1996 and 1998 convinced Republican to tone down the rhetoric ii Impeachment 7 Compassionate conservatism and George W Bush 111 PUBLIC OPINION A Reprinted from Wednesday s notes Refer to them for the figures B So what is the state of public opinion Posc 150 Class 12 Campaigns and Elections Page 2 C Difference between doorstep opinions and considered views 1 Many have a small factual basis from which to work D Pragmatism over ideology Americans are not generally ideological in the usual sense of the word 2 They oppose big govemment in the abstract but favor many many big ticket and expensive specific programs i They also support regulations aimed at preventing commonly perceived threats E Pragmatically intemationalis They are reluctant to get involved militarily aborad and dislike foreign aid IV SOME BASICS OF ELECTIONS AND DEMOCRACY A 3 ATEleCthHS are the mainspring of democracy by accountability 1 Instruments for holding representatives accountable 2 Educational and motivational functions 3 Transmission of demands Elections American style OEligibility and registration 1 These laws generally discourage participation by raising the costs of involvement 2 ONumber of separate choices i Sheer number of of ces to be filled can be overwhelming ii Choice may lead to confusion 3 OSelection of candidates the nomination process i Generally speaking to get on the ballot a person must have a party endorsement or nomination ii Conventions and caucuses versus primaries 4 OPrimary elections i Contests to choose candidates for general elections ii Discussed further under political parties 5 OGeneral elections i Presidential and quotoff yearquot elections ii State and local elections iii Referenda 6 OTiming election day is NOT a holiday nor does it fall on a weekend i Recall a major effect of the constitution the creation of independent power centers 1 Members of the White House House and Senate are elected separately 2 Geographical representation V EXPLANATIONS OF POLITICAL BEHAVIOR General concerns 1 OThe turnout conundrum participation in presidential and off year elections has declined during the last 100 years despite improvements in Posc 150 Class 12 Campaigns and Elections Page 3 communications and transportation and rising level of education i Turnout in historical perspective 1 Tumout has generally decline during the last 50 years 2 Less than half of the eligible electorate votes in congressional elections 3 Only little more than half vote in presidential contests 4 Primaries and local elections attract even fewer voters ii Turnout in comparative perspective 1 Americans trail citizens in most other democracies B Explanations revisited OPersonal factors Hamilton school i Social class bias 1 Lower class individuals participate less regularly than upper status people 2 Bene ts go to those who participate ii Many other personal or individual characteristics have been connected to voting 1 Demographic factors age and cohort race iii OPartisanship 1 More partisan more likely to vote a Don t pass over this fact the ethos in America is to be nonpartisan Yet data suggest that partisanship encourages voting b See the attached crosstabulation iv The bottom line people don t take advantage of the opportunities 2 OStructural factors the Jefferson school general proposition political institutions and practices keep the cost of participation too high for many citizens i What are these institutions and practices that discourage voting 1 Registration laws see above 2 Structure of elections see above 3 Campaign practices 4 Mass media and quality information 5 Decline of political party grass roots organizations 6 Growing size and complexity of government ii The bottom line institutions discourage participation and so voters should not be judged harshly VI MODERN CAMPAIGN TACTICS AND STRATEGIES A i Proposition campaign strategies adversely affect participation 1 Candidates often or sometimes adopt policy positions in order to get elected not run for office in order to get elected not to advance public policies i Example Clinton health care plan in 1992 Posc 150 Class 12 Campaigns and Elections Page 4 ii Valence issues often play this role 1 OValence issue an issue that has attracts virtually unanimous support to one side because of its emotional content and impact 2 These issues include the death penalty prohibitions against ag burning school prayers getting tough against criminals and drug users and so forth B OThe impact of advanced technology 1 Television polling computers direct mail i In fact these like most campaigns in America are electronic campaigns ii Images and repetitive slogans more than substance C OThe strategy of ambiguity 1 Candidates are urged to obscure their positions by saying as little as possible moving to the middle of the road or wrapping themselves in valence issues D Avoidance of issue content 1 Look for intelligent substantive discussion of issues in campaign commercials ie spot ads E OThe new breed of political consultants l A new kind of advisor a person who is good at campaign techniques polling public relations media computers voter targeting etc but who may not usually does not have much policy knowledge or experience and frequently no experience governing i Image over substance ii A major point some one who is good at getting elected is not necessarily good at governing iii Political skills are not necessarily transferable F OSelfselected candidates 1 Decline of party in uence in candidate selection i Weakened party positions has enormous implications for governing accountability and democracy 2 Examples John McCain Steve Forbes Joe Biden Pat Buchanan Jimmy Carter G OCandidate centered campaigns 1 Campaigns are more or less selfsufficient organizations that depend only indirectly on national parties i They are contests between two men not two parties or ideologies ii Consequently once elected a person s loyalty is to hisher organization not the party iii This situation thwarts or hinders party leadership and I will argue ultimately undermines accountability VII THE IMPACT ON DEMOCRACY Posc 150 Class 12 Campaigns and Elections Page 5 A 9i W39hat are the A 1 The bottom line campaign practices depress participation and hence hurt accountability B Speci c consequences Soaring costs of running for of ce OTrivialization of issues OPersonality over substance ONegative advertisements OThe debasing of political discourse i mportant questionswrime and dru abuse for exampleisimply can t be discussed rationally calmly intelligently I think debates about the death penalty demonstrate this point 959 VIII NEXT TIME Film Taking On The Kennedys B eadi Required Drew The Corruption of American Politics Chapters 9 h 11 oug 2 Required Turnout Decline in the U S and other Advanced Industrial Democracies Mam39n P Wattenberg in the Cyber Reserve Room 3 Suggested Effectiveness of Negative Political Advertising in the Cyber Reserve Room 4 Suggested quotVoters in the Crosshairs by Marshall Ganz in the Cyber Reserve Room Democrat Independmt MS805 3 m 038i9 m Figure 1 Turnout In 1996 By Partisanship