A recent posting here reviewed possible paths for campaign finance regulation: a determined attack on loopholes, a biding for time until scandal possibly arrives and allows for legislative reform and expanded opportunity for regulation, or an openness to rethinking the issue?
Which of these is chosen will be influenced by which aspect of campaign finance is thought to be really pressing: how much money is spent (volume); how it is spent (influence), and how much is publicly known about it (transparency). Of course, in any critique of campaign finance, from the left or right, there is a little bit of everything thrown in, but one of these three considerations is usually emphasized over the others.
This is the position I submitted to the New York Times’ “Room for Debate” Forum, on the question of the state of campaign finance regulation and possible directions for its future:
Forty years after the passage of the federal campaign finance laws, we have considerable experience with how they work, but the debate about them has become tired and repetitive. No one is happy with the situation as it now stands: not those who worry about corruption, not those troubled by the First Amendment cost of extensive regulation, and not those who yearn to bolster public confidence in the integrity of their government. There is everywhere evidence that reconsideration and rebuilding are in order.
- A Functioning Agency and the Sources of Dysfunction
- Of Facts and Theories in Campaign Finance Argument: The Convention Financing Matter Before the FEC
- Movement at the Federal Election Commission
- The Question of Partisan Motivation: “Experts” Or “Hacks”—Or Something in Between
- Justice Stevens and his “Oops”
- “Nudge” Theory and the Gerken Disclosure Proposal
- Lying in Political Campaigns and the Judicial Response
- More on the “Criminalization of Politics”: Constituent Service and the McDonnell Case
- The Mayday PAC and Progressive Politics, Part II
- The Mayday PAC and Progressive Politics