Failed “Reform” Means More Money in Politics, Not Less

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In response to the Supreme Court’s McCutcheon decision striking down aggregate limits on donations to political candidates, liberals decry the collapse of campaign finance reforms from the post-Watergate era of the 1970’s.

But these laments never acknowledge that if these rules are meant to lessen the influence of money on politics then they have failed completely: campaigns raise and spend vastly more money than 40 years ago, much of it by shadowy “independent” PACs designed to circumvent idiotic campaign finance limitations.

Moreover, the current system protects incumbents against serious challengers by making it harder for newcomers to raise money. Before the “reforms” incumbents outraised challengers by a margin of 3-2, but today they raise and spend four times as much as their challengers. It’s no wonder that Congressional elections now see incumbents winning more than 95% of the time!

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Comments (3)

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  1. Britt Storkson  •  Apr 11, 2014 at 11:02 pm

    The problem is not campaign contributions. The problem is that they are not traceable. In other words money laundering, when it comes to campaign contributions is NOT illegal. I learned out about this the hard way.

    I was fined $1,800.00 by a corrupt judge for simply requesting information about how much and to whom a state sanctioned monopoly power utility gave to political candidates. This in spite of a state statute specifically allowing information access. The politicians do not like the public knowing who their campaign contributors are.

    Campaign finance reporting is a joke because all we have are numbers and names associated with those numbers. We do not have the legal right to “track” contributions to their true source. That means that even terrorist groups can contribute to the politicians (terrorist groups contributed to California State Senator Leland Yee’s campaign)…And it’s legal!

  2. James  •  Apr 13, 2014 at 3:06 pm

    Since voting is so important to elections, one possibility for campaign finance reform would be that only those eligible to vote in a particular election be allowed to contribute campaign funds.

  3. Brian  •  Apr 14, 2014 at 3:44 pm

    Just a thought I had, maybe we should offer our legislators the same thing every American has already – the secret ballot. Think about it, if you can’t prove how you voted then you can’t sell your vote. Why do you think there really is no voter fraud? Americans will just have to keep doing what they have been doing – living with the results of the entire vote, not just how their particular representative voted. And there would be no more wasteful “show votes” like are going on right now. No more putting up some stupid amendment and calling it the “I Love Puppies Act” just so you can say your opponent voted against it. And since you are really going to have to trust your representative then character is really, really going to matter. Candidates are going to have to present a life time of trustworthy behavior and no more sliding over “youthful discretions” from when they were 48 years old.
    Just a thought.

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