plutocrats united campaign money the supreme court and the distortion of american elections

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Plutocrats United

Author : Richard L. Hasen
ISBN : 9780300216745
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 25. 81 MB
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Campaign financing is one of today’s most divisive political issues. The left asserts that the electoral process is rife with corruption. The right protests that the real aim of campaign limits is to suppress political activity and protect incumbents. Meanwhile, money flows freely on both sides. In Plutocrats United, Richard Hasen argues that both left and right avoid the key issue of the new Citizens United era: balancing political inequality with free speech. The Supreme Court has long held that corruption and its appearance are the only reasons to constitutionally restrict campaign funds. Progressives often agree but have a much broader view of corruption. Hasen argues for a new focus and way forward: if the government is to ensure robust political debate, the Supreme Court should allow limits on money in politics to prevent those with great economic power from distorting the political process.

Rethinking American Electoral Democracy

Author : Matthew J. Streb
ISBN : 9781317519829
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 61. 96 MB
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While frustration with various aspects of American democracy abound in the United States, there is little agreement over—or even understanding of—what kinds of changes would make the system more effective and increase political participation. Matthew J. Streb sheds much-needed light on all the major concerns of the electoral process in the thoroughly revised third edition of this timely book on improving American electoral democracy. This critical examination of the rules and institutional arrangements that shape the American electoral process analyzes the major debates that embroil scholars and reformers on subjects ranging from the number of elections we hold and the use of nonpartisan elections, to the presidential nominating process and campaign finance laws. Ultimately, Streb argues for a less burdensome democracy, a democracy in which citizens can participate more easily in transparent, competitive elections. This book is designed to get students of elections and American political institutions to think critically about what it means to be democratic, and how democratic the United States really is. Part of the Controversies in Electoral Democracy and Representation series, edited by Matthew J. Streb.

Campaign Finance And Political Polarization

Author : Raymond J. La Raja
ISBN : 9780472052998
Genre : History
File Size : 89. 95 MB
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Efforts to reform the U.S. campaign finance system typically focus on the corrupting influence of large contributions. Yet, as Raymond J. La Raja and Brian F. Schaffner argue, reforms aimed at cutting the flow of money into politics have unintentionally favored candidates with extreme ideological agendas and, consequently, fostered political polarization. Drawing on data from 50 states and the U.S. Congress over 20 years, La Raja and Schaffner reveal that current rules allow wealthy ideological groups and donors to dominate the financing of political campaigns. In order to attract funding, candidates take uncompromising positions on key issues and, if elected, take their partisan views into the legislature. As a remedy, the authors propose that additional campaign money be channeled through party organizations—rather than directly to candidates—because these organizations tend to be less ideological than the activists who now provide the lion’s share of money to political candidates. Shifting campaign finance to parties would ease polarization by reducing the influence of “purist” donors with their rigid policy stances. La Raja and Schaffner conclude the book with policy recommendations for campaign finance in the United States. They are among the few non-libertarians who argue that less regulation, particularly for political parties, may in fact improve the democratic process.

Buying The Vote

Author : Robert E. Mutch
ISBN : 9780199340002
Genre : History
File Size : 42. 68 MB
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"Campaign finance reform has always been motivated by a definition of democracy that does not count corporations as citizens and holds that self-government works best by reducing political inequality. In the early years of the twentieth century, Congress recognized the strength of these principles by prohibiting corporations from making campaign contributions, passing a disclosure law, and setting limits on campaign expenditures. These reforms were not controversial at the time, but conservative opposition to them appeared in the 1970s. That opposition was well represented in the Supreme Court, which has rolled back reform by granting First Amendment rights to corporations and declaring the goal of reducing political inequality to be unconstitutional. Buying the Vote analyzes the rise and decline of campaign finance reform by tracking changes in the way presidential campaigns have been funded since the late nineteenth century, and changes in the debate over how to reform fundraising practices. A close examination of major Supreme Court decisions shows how the Court has fashioned a new and profoundly inegalitarian redefinition of American democracy"--

Campaign Finance

Author : Robert E. Mutch
ISBN : 9780190274702
Genre : History
File Size : 89. 51 MB
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In 2015, well over half of the money contributed to the presidential race came from roughly 350 families. The 100 biggest donors gave as much as 2 million small donors combined. Can we still say we live in a democracy if a few hundred rich families provide a disproportionate shares of campaign funds? Congress and the courts are divided on that question, with conservatives saying yes and liberals saying no. The debate is about the most fundamental of political questions: how we define democracy and how we want our democracy to work. The debate may ultimately be about political theory, but in practice it is conducted in terms of laws, regulations, and court decisions about super PACs, 527s, 501(c)(4)s, dark money, small donors, public funding, corporate contributions, the Federal Election Commission, and the IRS. Campaign Finance: What Everyone Needs to Know® explains those laws, regulations, and Supreme Court decisions, from Buckley v. Valeo to Citizens United, asking how they fit into the larger discussion about how we want our democracy to work.

The Voting Wars

Author : Richard L. Hasen
ISBN : 9780300184211
Genre : Contested elections
File Size : 27. 15 MB
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In 2000, just a few hundred votes out of millions cast in the state of Florida separated Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush from his Democratic opponent, Al Gore. The outcome of the election rested on Florida's 25 electoral votes, and legal wrangling continued for 36 days. Then, abruptly, one of the most controversial Supreme Court decisions in U.S. history, Bush v. Gore, cut short the battle. Since the Florida debacle we have witnessed a partisan war over election rules. Election litigation has skyrocketed, and election time brings out inevitable accusations by political partisans of voter fraud and voter suppression. These allegations have shaken public confidence, as campaigns deploy "armies of lawyers" and the partisan press revs up when elections are expected to be close and the stakes are high.

Capitalism V Democracy

Author : Timothy K. Kuhner
ISBN : 9780804791588
Genre : Law
File Size : 37. 69 MB
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As of the latest national elections, it costs approximately $1 billion to become president, $10 million to become a Senator, and $1 million to become a Member of the House. High-priced campaigns, an elite class of donors and spenders, superPACs, and increasing corporate political power have become the new normal in American politics. In Capitalism v. Democracy, Timothy Kuhner explains how these conditions have corrupted American democracy, turning it into a system of rule that favors the wealthy and marginalizes ordinary citizens. Kuhner maintains that these conditions have corrupted capitalism as well, routing economic competition through political channels and allowing politically powerful companies to evade market forces. The Supreme Court has brought about both forms of corruption by striking down campaign finance reforms that limited the role of money in politics. Exposing the extreme economic worldview that pollutes constitutional interpretation, Kuhner shows how the Court became the architect of American plutocracy. Capitalism v. Democracy offers the key to understanding why corporations are now citizens, money is political speech, limits on corporate spending are a form of censorship, democracy is a free market, and political equality and democratic integrity are unconstitutional constraints on money in politics. Supreme Court opinions have dictated these conditions in the name of the Constitution, as though the Constitution itself required the privatization of democracy. Kuhner explores the reasons behind these opinions, reveals that they form a blueprint for free market democracy, and demonstrates that this design corrupts both politics and markets. He argues that nothing short of a constitutional amendment can set the necessary boundaries between capitalism and democracy.

Behind The Ballot Box

Author : Douglas J. Amy
ISBN : 0275965864
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 27. 21 MB
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Amy provides readers with all the relevant information needed to analyze and to choose from various voting system options. He brings together information and analysis about the full range of voting systems. The book is "one-stop-shopping" for those interested in learning more about voting systems and how to choose among them.

Small Change

Author : Raymond J. La Raja
ISBN : 0472050281
Genre : History
File Size : 76. 69 MB
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Reformers lament that, with every effort to regulate the sources of campaign funding, candidates creatively circumvent the new legislation. But in fact, political fundraisers don't need to look for loopholes because, as Raymond J. La Raja proves, legislators intentionally design regulations to gain advantage over their partisan rivals. La Raja traces the history of the U.S. campaign finance system from the late nineteenth century through the passage of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA) of 2002. Then, using the 2004 presidential election as a case study, he compares the ways in which Democrats and Republicans adapted their national fund-raising and campaigning strategies to satisfy BCRA regulations. Drawing upon this wealth of historical and recent evidence, he concludes with recommendations for reforming campaign finance in ways that promote fair competition among candidates and guarantee their accountability to voters. "Small Change" offers an engaging account of campaign finance reforms' contradictory history; it is a must-read for anyone concerned about influence of money on democratic elections.

When Money Talks

Author : Derek Cressman
ISBN : 9781626565784
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 48. 48 MB
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Special-interest money is destroying our democratic process. But now that the Citizens United decision has thrown out campaign spending limits as abridgments of free speech, Americans want to know what they can do about it. Derek Cressman gives us the tools, both intellectual and tactical, to fight back. There's nothing inherently unconstitutional in limiting the amount of speech, Cressman insists. We do it all the time—for example, cities control when and where demonstrations can take place or how long people can speak at council meetings. Moreover, he argues that while you choose to patronize Fox News, MSNBC, the New York Times, or the Wall Street Journal, political advertising is forced upon you. It's not really free speech at all—it's paid speech. It's not at all what the Founders had in mind when they wrote the First Amendment. Cressman examines how courts have foiled attempts to limit campaign spending, details what a constitutional amendment limiting paid speech should say, and reveals an overlooked political tool concerned citizens can use to help gain the amendment's passage. Seven times before in our history we have approved constitutional amendments to overturn wrongheaded rulings by the Supreme Court—there's no reason we can't do it again.

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