In this paper, I examine whether there was a flood of corporate money into federal campaigns after the Citizens United and SpeechNow.org decisions, whether corporate and other contributors sought out and found ways to spend money that did not require them to reveal their campaign finance activity to the public, and whether the recent changes to the campaign finance regulatory regime have fundamentally shifted the balance of power, and therefore the relative ability of various participants to speak in federal elections.
There is now more corporate money in federal elections. However, the increase in corporate spending started in 2008 and continued into 2010, and the actual impact of this increase remains unclear. There was indeed a significant decrease in donor disclosure in 2010, but this too is a trend that began in 2008, so it is not a direct result of Citizens United and SpeechNow.org. And the balance of spending by various campaign finance participants has changed in recent election cycles. In 2010, for example, non-party outside spending eclipsed party spending, as more non-party (mostly corporate) money entered the system. I discuss how these findings relate to the current campaign finance regulatory landscape and to the political environment.
Saturday, September 3, 2011
Campaign Finance Developments
As we discuss in the election update of our book, the rules and practices of campaign finance in recent years. In a paper for the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, Diana Dwyre provides valuable analysis: