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The Fallacy of Campaign Finance Reform

The Fallacy of Campaign Finance Reform Author John Samples
ISBN-10 9780226734637
Release 2008-09-15
Pages 328
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At first glance, campaign finance reform looks like a good idea. McCain-Feingold, for instance, regulates campaigns by prohibiting national political parties from accepting soft money contributions from corporations, labor unions, and wealthy individuals. But are such measures, or any of the numerous and similarly restrictive proposals that have circulated through Washington in recent years, really good for our democracy? John Samples says no, and here he takes a penetrating look into the premises and consequences of the long crusade against big money in politics. How many Americans, he asks, know that there is little to no evidence that campaign contributions really influence members of Congress? Or that so-called negative political advertising actually improves the democratic process by increasing voter turnout and knowledge? Or that limits on campaign contributions make it harder to run for office, thereby protecting incumbent representatives from losing their seats of power? Posing tough questions such as these, Samples uncovers numerous fallacies beneath proposals for campaign finance reform. He argues that our most common concerns about money in politics are misplaced because the ideals implicit in our notion of corruption are incoherent or indefensible. The chance to regulate money in politics allows representatives to serve their own interests at a cost to their constituents. And, ironically, this long crusade against the corruption caused by campaign contributions allows public officials to reduce their vulnerability by suppressing electoral competition. Defying long-held ssumptions and conventional political wisdom, The Fallacy of Campaign Finance Reform is a provocative and decidedly nonpartisan work that will be essential for anyone concerned about the future of American government.



Buying the Vote

Buying the Vote Author Robert E. Mutch
ISBN-10 9780199340002
Release 2014
Pages 363
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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

Campaign Finance Author Robert E. Mutch
ISBN-10 9780190274719
Release 2016-07-01
Pages 192
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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.



Plutocrats United

Plutocrats United Author Richard L. Hasen
ISBN-10 9780300212457
Release 2016-01-12
Pages 256
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From a leading expert on election law, a compelling answer to the dilemmas of campaign finance reform



Unfree Speech

Unfree Speech Author Bradley A. Smith
ISBN-10 1400824710
Release 2009-02-09
Pages 320
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At a time when campaign finance reform is widely viewed as synonymous with cleaning up Washington and promoting political equality, Bradley Smith, a nationally recognized expert on campaign finance reform, argues that all restriction on campaign giving should be eliminated. In Unfree Speech, he presents a bold, convincing argument for the repeal of laws that regulate political spending and contributions, contending that they violate the right to free speech and ultimately diminish citizens' power. Smith demonstrates that these laws, which often force ordinary people making modest contributions of cash or labor to register with the Federal Election Commission or various state agencies, fail to accomplish their stated objectives. In fact, they have worked to entrench incumbents in office, deaden campaign discourse, burden grassroots political activity with needless regulation, and distance Americans from an increasingly professional, detached political class. Rather than attempting to plug "loopholes" in campaign finance law or instituting taxpayer-financed campaigns, Smith proposes a return to core First Amendment values of free speech and an unfettered right to engage in political activity. Smith finds that campaign contributions have little corrupting effect on the legislature and shows that an unrestrained system of contributions and spending actually enhances equality. More money, not less, is needed in the political system, Smith concludes. Unfree Speech draws upon constitutional law and historical research to explain why campaign finance regulation is doomed and to illustrate the potentially drastic costs of efforts to make it succeed. Whatever one thinks about the impact of money on electoral politics, no one should take a final stand without reading Smith's controversial and important arguments.



Freedom of Expression in the Supreme Court

Freedom of Expression in the Supreme Court Author Terry Eastland
ISBN-10 084769710X
Release 2000-01-01
Pages 397
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In Freedom of Expression in the Supreme Court, Terry Eastland brings together the Court's leading First Amendment cases, some 60 in all, starting with Schenck v. United States (1919) and ending with Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union (1998). Complete with a comprehensive introduction, pertinent indices and a useful bibliography, Freedom of Expression in the Supreme Court offers the general and specialized reader alike a thorough treatment of the Court's understanding on the First Amendment's speech, press, assembly, and petition clauses.



Capitalism v Democracy

Capitalism v  Democracy Author Timothy K. Kuhner
ISBN-10 9780804791588
Release 2014-06-25
Pages 376
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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.



Corruption in America

Corruption in America Author Zephyr Teachout
ISBN-10 9780674745087
Release 2014-09-15
Pages 384
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When Louis XVI gave Ben Franklin a diamond-encrusted snuffbox, the gift troubled Americans: it threatened to corrupt him by clouding his judgment. By contrast, in 2010 the Supreme Court gave corporations the right to spend unlimited money to influence elections. Zephyr Teachout shows that Citizens United was both bad law and bad history.



Citizens Divided

Citizens Divided Author Robert Post
ISBN-10 9780674729001
Release 2014-06-23
Pages 254
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First Amendment defenders greeted the Court's Citizens United ruling with enthusiasm, while electoral reformers recoiled in disbelief. Robert Post offers a constitutional theory that seeks to reconcile these sharply divided camps, and he explains how the case might have been decided in a way that would preserve free speech and electoral integrity.



The Struggle to Limit Government

The Struggle to Limit Government Author John Curtis Samples
ISBN-10 9781935308287
Release 2010
Pages 340
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Chronicles a 30-year effort to limit government, which began strong with Ronald Reagan's two terms in office and continued through the early Clinton years, only to deteriorate with the Republican-controlled Congress of the late 90s, George W. Bush's presidency and finally, what the author argues was the death knell of the effort, the election of Barack Obama.



The Race to 270

The Race to 270 Author Daron R. Shaw
ISBN-10 9780226751368
Release 2008-09-15
Pages 216
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The Electoral College has played an important role in presidential politics since our nation’s founding, but surprisingly little information exists about precisely how it affects campaign strategy. Daron R. Shaw, a scholar who also worked as a strategist in both Bush-Cheney campaigns, has written the first book to go inside the past two presidential elections and reveal how the race to 270 was won—and lost. Shaw’s nonpartisan study lays out how both the Democrats and the Republicans developed strategies to win decisive electoral votes by targeting specific states and media markets. Drawing on his own experience with Republican battle plans, candidate schedules, and advertising purchases—plus key contacts in the Gore and Kerry camps—Shaw goes on to show that both sides used information on weekly shifts in candidate support to reallocate media buys and schedule appearances. Most importantly, he uses strikingly original research to prove that these carefully constructed plans significantly affected voters’ preferences and opinions—not in huge numbers, but enough to shift critical votes in key battlegrounds. Bridging the gap between those who study campaigns and those who conduct them, The Race to 270 will provide political scientists and practitioners alike with fresh insights about the new strategies that stem from one of our oldest institutions.



Democracy and the Problem of Free Speech

Democracy and the Problem of Free Speech Author Cass R. Sunstein
ISBN-10 9781439105351
Release 1995-02-01
Pages 344
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Freedom of speech is one of our greatest legal rights and Cass Sunstein is one of our greatest legal theorists. This book is a must read for anyone who wants to think seriously about the free speech issues facing this generation. -- Akhil Amar, Southmayd Professor, Yale Law School This is an important book. Beautifully clear and carefully argued, Sunstein's contribution reaches well beyond the confines of academic debate. It will be of interest to any citizen concerned about freedom of speech and the current state of American democracy. -- Joshua Cohen, Massachusetts Institute of Technology How can our constitutional protection of free speech serve to strengthen democracy? Cass Sunstein challenges conventional answers with a remarkable array of lucid arguments and legal examples. There is no better book on the subject. -- Amy Gutmann, Laurance S. Rockefeller University Professor, Princeton University



Why Iowa

Why Iowa Author David P. Redlawsk
ISBN-10 9780226706962
Release 2011
Pages 314
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If Barack Obama had not won in Iowa, most commentators believe that he would not have been able to go on to capture the Democratic nomination for president. Why Iowa? offers the definitive account of those early weeks of the campaign season: from how the Iowa caucuses work and what motivates the candidates’ campaigns, to participation and turnout, as well as the lingering effects that the campaigning had on Iowa voters. Demonstrating how “what happens in Iowa” truly reverberates throughout the country, five-time Iowa precinct caucus chair David P. Redlawsk and his coauthors take us on an inside tour of one of the most media-saturated and speculated-about campaign events in American politics. Considering whether a sequential primary system, in which early, smaller states such as Iowa and New Hampshire have such a tremendous impact is fair or beneficial to the country as a whole, the authors here demonstrate that not only is the impact warranted, but it also reveals a great deal about informational elements of the campaigns. Contrary to conventional wisdom, this sequential system does confer huge benefits on the nominating process while Iowa’s particularly well-designed caucus system—extensively explored here for the first time—brings candidates’ arguments, strengths, and weaknesses into the open and under the media’s lens.



Edge of Chaos

Edge of Chaos Author Dambisa Moyo
ISBN-10 9780465097470
Release 2018-04-24
Pages 320
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From an internationally acclaimed economist, a provocative call to jump-start economic growth by aggressively overhauling liberal democracy Around the world, people who are angry at stagnant wages and growing inequality have rebelled against established governments and turned to political extremes. Liberal democracy, history's greatest engine of growth, now struggles to overcome unprecedented economic headwinds--from aging populations to scarce resources to unsustainable debt burdens. Hobbled by short-term thinking and ideological dogma, democracies risk falling prey to nationalism and protectionism that will deliver declining living standards. In Edge of Chaos, Dambisa Moyo shows why economic growth is essential to global stability, and why liberal democracies are failing to produce it today. Rather than turning away from democracy, she argues, we must fundamentally reform it. Edge of Chaos presents a radical blueprint for change in order to galvanize growth and ensure the survival of democracy in the twenty-first century.



The Benefit and The Burden

The Benefit and The Burden Author Bruce Bartlett
ISBN-10 9781451646269
Release 2012-01-24
Pages 288
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A thoughtful and surprising argument for American tax reform, arguably the most overdue political debate facing the nation, from one of the most respected political and economic thinkers, advisers, and writers of our time. THE UNITED STATES TAX CODE HAS UNDERGONE NO SERIOUS REFORM SINCE 1986. Since then, loopholes, exemptions, credits, and deductions have distorted its clarity, increased its inequity, and frustrated our ability to govern ourselves. By tracing the history of our own tax system and assessing the way other countries have solved similar problems, Bruce Bartlett explores the surprising answers to all these issues, giving a sense of the tax code’s many benefits—and its inevitable burdens. From one of the most respected political and economic thinkers, advisers, and writers of our time, The Benefit and the Burden is a thoughtful and surprising argument for American tax reform.



Campaign Finance Reform

Campaign Finance Reform Author Melissa M. Smith
ISBN-10 9780739145678
Release 2010-06-02
Pages 164
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Campaign Finance Reform: The Political Shell Game provides an in-depth look at the history of political campaign finance reform with special emphasis on legislative, FEC, and federal court actions from the 1970s to present. In particular, the authors examine the ways that campaigns and independent groups have sought to make end-runs around existing campaign finance rules.



Blueprint

Blueprint Author Adam Schrager
ISBN-10 9781936218103
Release 2010-05-01
Pages 280
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Through the microcosm of Colorado's stunning political transformation, this is an inside look at the rapidly-changing business of campaigns and elections. The techniques pioneered in Colorado have been recognized by both parties and pundits as the future of American politics.