Political Spending and its Apparent Consequences

July 28, 2014
posted by Bob Bauer
The New York Times this morning reports on political spending in this election cycle, but it also wishes to explain to readers the meaning of all these dollars. So the article this morning about the money going into Senate and House races links the cash to “consequences [that] are already becoming apparent”: candidate loss of control over their messaging and a sharply negative tone. The grounds for these conclusions are not drawn from the the numbers.  They are added on.
Category: Outside Groups

The flooding of the IRS with criticisms of the proposed rulemaking has shown that, on this issue at least, Washington is experiencing unity across party and ideological lines. The basic complaint, of course, is that the draft rule is too broad, chilling or preventing or just burdening legitimate political speech or activity.  It is a remarkable proceeding.  Activities that have been the targets of soft money reform for years—issue advertising and various other voter education activities—are now being vigorously defended against government regulation. In  the short run, the result may be a rulemaking indefinitely delayed or, in content, much changed.

But, apart from the question of whether or how this draft might be revised to address these critiques, the hostile reception to the proposals may influence the course of the campaign finance debate in other ways.   Here are two: