Cost of Elections:
- Rare for an individual to run successfully by merely collecting signatures and placing his or her name on ballot
- Must be able to spend money to really run
- Election costs continually increase due to the amount of time and effort needed for a successful campaign
- Result in a need for greater fund raising
- Need ample funding because candidates must build a campaign organization as ell as create campaign exposure
- Other costs include legal and accounting fees and interest on loans taken out
- Create Exposure:
- Travel to meet with voters and interest groups and create materials such as signs, fliers, letters, and media advertisements
- Little evidence that tv ads actually work
- Increasing exposure allows name familiarity, which translates to a better chance of being elected
- Work to receive publicity by making newsworthy appearances in their community
- No apparent correlation between the amount of money spent and election
- In presidential the big spender does not always win
- Congressional elections: amount of money spent can increase chances of election
- Employ a variety of fund raising tactics to finance their campaigns
- Direct mail: Works if targeted at people with views similar to the candidates
- Hold dinners, speeches, or rallies
- Seek financial aid from interest groups and Political Action Committees
- Interest group: organization of individuals with similar policy goals who enter the political process to influence legislation that affects the organization's interest
- Two types:
- Institutional Interest Groups: Organization represented in Washington by another individual or organization
- Membership interest group: Organization that represents a specific group of people
- Fund campaigns, provide testimony for campaigns, and recruit members to volunteer for candidates (electioneering)
- Have become Political Action Committees
- Purpose is to raise and distribute funds to advocate the political goals of its members
- Public has a negative view of PACs and interest groups
- Many feel that they are buying votes
- PACs say that they are gaining access to the system to achieve a voice in public policy
- Enacted campaign finance reform due to criticism directed toward interest groups
- Passed in 1971, 1974, and 1976
- Limited PACs to only donating $5,000 to candidates
- Soft money: Given to parties for general use (McCain-Feingold Act)
- Buckley v. Valeo: Set precedent regarding PACs
- According the the first amendment PACs have the right to spend money indirectly to support a candidate
- Federal Election Commission: Independant agency of the executive branch.
- Made of 6 members
- requires time disclosure of campaign finance date, paces limits on campaign contributions and campaign expenditures, and provides public funding
- Mandates that contribution f more than $5,000 must be reported within 48 hours of its receipt
- gives public funds to presidential campaigns
- Candidate may not spend more than the subsidy and may not accept campaign funds from any other source
- A minor party candidate: To be eligible the party must be listed on the ballot and poll at least 5% on the voes on the last election
TERMS TO KNOW:
Campaign Finance Reform: The political effort to change the involvement of money in politics, primarily in political campaigns.
Electioneering:Direct interest group involvement in the electoral process. Political Action Committees (PACs) participate in electioneering by helping to fund campaigns, providing testimony, and recruiting members to volunteer for candidates.
Federal Election Commission:A six-member bipartisan agency created by the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1974. The FEC administers campaign finance laws, enforces compliance with their requirements, and provides public funding for several parts of the presidential election process.
Fund raising Tactics: Strategies that political contenders use to raise money for their campaigns. Direct mail, rallies, and seeking financial aid from interst groups are examples of fundraising tactics
Institutional Interest Group: An organization represented in Washington by another individual or organization. For example, the Ford Motor Company, the National League of Cities, and the U.S. Conference of Mayors have representation in Washington lobbying for benefit of their organizations.
Interest Group:An organization of individuals with similar policy goals who enter the political process to influence legislation that affects the organization’s interests.
Membership Interest Group: An organization that represents a specific group of people. For example, the American Association for Retired Persons (AARP) lobbies for individuals over age 65.
Political Action Committees:
When a corporation, union, or some other interest group becomes directly involved in the electoral process by funding campaigns, providing testimony for campaigns, and recruiting members to volunteer for particular candidates, called electioneering, they become a Political Action Committee (PAC). The main purpose of a PAC is to raise and distribute funds to advocate the political goals of its members.
Publicity: Free news coverage that political candidates try to gain by making newsworthy appearances in their community in order to create exposure for their campaigns.
Soft Money: Political contributions earmarked for party-building expenses at the grass-roots level (buttons, pamphlets, yard signs, etc.). Soft money is sometimes used to advance a particular political campaign in such a manner as to skirt the legal limits on how much money individuals or organizations are allowed to contribute to political campaigns. Unlike money that goes to the campaign of a particular candidate, such party donations are not subject to contribution limits.