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Campaign Reform Financing Essay Research Paper Campaign

Campaign Reform Financing Essay, Research Paper Campaign Reform Financing Campaign reform financing is a very serious issue in our government today. Many debate the fact if the reform is even needed. The campaigns are bringing into much money and are asking too much of the businessmen. The “soft money” contributions are becoming out of hand, and something needs too be done.

Campaign Reform Financing Essay, Research Paper

Campaign Reform Financing

Campaign reform financing is a very serious issue in our government today. Many debate the fact if the reform is even needed. The campaigns are bringing into much money and are asking too much of the businessmen. The “soft money” contributions are becoming out of hand, and something needs too be done. Do we need a reform? Should we leave our system how it is? Should we stop “soft money” all together? How should we deal with these issues?

First we need to under stand what “soft money” is. “Soft money” is an unregulated and unlimited contribution to political parties and campaigns (Kohlberg 1). The parties and the candidates are constantly asking big corporations and business for contributions to their campaigns. Executives are becoming tired of constant appeals for “soft money” funds that may not even serve their interests (Borrus 34). “Soft money” has risen twenty- five percent in the past four years. “Soft money’ is a travesty,” gripes Robert Stuart, the former chairmen or Quaker Oats (35). Business Week took a poll from 400 top executives of the major contributors to campaigns. Of those 400 two thirds wanted to put a stop to “soft money” contributions. Some say that “soft money” is going to bankrupt our democracy (Kohlberg 1).

Now we have to take a look at what our government is doing to aid or revoke the reform. In 1907 Congress passed the Tillman Act. The Tillman Act prohibited corporations and national banks from contribution money to federal campaigns (presidential and congressional) (Janger 26). Also congress has put restrictions that only one thousand dollars can be given to a candidate, a given indivdual can give only twenty thousand dollars to a given party. In 1976 the Supreme Court heard Buckley v. Valeo. The out come was the ban of all limits on political spending. The court ruled that donations were a form of free speech. Congress tried to solve the finance problem in a three-step movement. First, they stated the fact that for “real reform” there would have to be a constitutional amendment or reform would be virtually impossible. Next, Congress conducted a half-hearted campaign to amend the constitution. The final step was the defeat. The amendment was defeated soundly they were twenty- nine votes short of two- thirds majority (Rosenkranz 16). The Amendment was directed at overturning “Buckley v. Valeo.” Most republicans favored the Doolittle bill. The Bills says the answer is disclosure of contributions and nothing more. The Republicans tried to confuse the voters with alternative “reforms.”

The way around the political bans on contributions is to join a PAC. Political Action committees (PAC’s) are political organizations through which special interest groups contribute money to campaigns. There are over four thousand PACs (Janger 27). In 1974 Congress limited the amount of money that a PAC could give. The political action committees are capped at five thousand dollars. Why do so many people want to get rid of the PACs if they can only contribute five thousand dollars? They always find out a way to get around the barriers. They often are the ones who pay for the television commercials, radio broadcasts, and most forms of advertising. Also many believe that when they help out the campaigns they are having too much say in what goes on in the government. It strikes the curiosity of the American people that whenever a debated topic comes up, a PAC will donate money or help finance in other ways and the vote will sway towards what they wanted.

Some of the leaders in Washington have become up set with the way the reform has been neglected. The campaign reform project was formed. Out of the campaign reform project the business advisory council was formed. The business advisory council focuses on informing to business leaders on need for the reform. Whether the businessmen agree or disagree to the council keeps them informed. The campaign reform project focuses on revitalizing out democratic process through educational programs, which draw attention to the need for campaign finance reform (Unknown). This is a good step to the reform and we definitely need a start. The campaign reform project is helping the problems and we could see some more progress very soon from this council.

Not everyone believes that we need to reform. Newt Gingrich said, “That there’s not enough money in politics” (Alter 33). When the television comes on and all we see is campaign ads, how do we feel? Do we feel that there’s not enough money in politics? The anti- reform view says that there is a bigger need for those television, radio, billboard, and the little signs in peoples front yard. Also many don’t believe that the reform will take place because the 106th congress has too much on their agenda to even worry about the reform. So from the way it looks for a reform to take place it would have to be longer time than most politicians want.

Do we need the reform? Yes, there is too much money in circulation for these campaigns. How do we know that the money that is donated is not used for parties or for their personal fun? We don’t know. The candidates don’t need hundreds of million dollars to show their face on television or on a billboard. Yes, they do need money but not that much. We should not leave our system how it is because it is only going to get worse if we don’t fix the problem now. “Soft money” should be stopped, but donations can be made, and if the campaign money is lessened the business won’t have to contribute so much money. Also the politicians won’t have to find the ways around the laws. They can give honestly. Finally we should form our own opinions and tell our senator and state representatives how we feel so that our democratic process is in use. Tell the men how the system should be run in you views, and let him decide what is best using your issues in mind. Regardless of what anyone says, campaign reform financing is an issue that will not go away. There has to be a solution to this problem soon or it will just get worse.

Work Cited

Alter, Jonathan. “The Belt ways Bank Shot” Newsweek 6 October 1997 p. 33

Borrus, Amy; Regan, Mary Beth. “The Backlash Against Soft Money” BusinessWeek 31 March 1997 p. 34-35

Janger A., Stephen. “McCain – Feingold bill” Current Issues p. 27-31

Jenkins Jr., Kent. “Beware of ‘Real Reform” U.S. News and World Reports 17 March 1997 p. 34

Kohlberg, Jerome. “Campaign Reform Finance” 15 November 1999. 21 January 1998

Rosendranz, E. Joshua. “Campaign Reform: The Hidden Killers” The Nation 5 May 1997 p. 16

Unknown. “Campaign Reform Finance” 15 November 1999. 21 January 1998

Bibliography

Ackerman, Elise; Loftus, Magret. “What Money can’t buy” U.S. News and World ` Reports 12 July 199 p. 46

Alter, Jonathan. “The Belt ways Bank Shot” Newsweek 6 October 1997 p. 33

Borrus, Amy; Regan, Mary Beth. “The Backlash Against Soft Money” BusinessWeek 31 March 1997 p. 34-35

Buckley Jr., William F. “Campaigns and Money and Reformers” National Review 22 February 1999 p. 59

Felten, Eric. “Prince of Pork” October 1999 Readers Digest p. 91-95

Glass, Stephen. “The Boys on the Bus” The New Republic 8 December 1997 p. 25-29

Harbrecht, Douglas. “Campaign Finance Reform: Can business break the Log Jam?” BusinessWeek 5 April 1999 p. 49

Hiatt, Arnold. “Campaign Finance Reform? A wealthy Democrats View” Fortune 7 September 1998 p. 102

Hirsch, J.M. “Campaign Finance Reform” 23 November 1999. 23 November 1999

Janger A., Stephen. “McCain – Feingold bill” Current Issues p. 27-31

Jenkins Jr., Kent. “Beware of ‘Real Reform” U.S. News and World Reports 17 March 1997 p. 34

Kaplan, Sheila. “Campaign 2000, by the Numbers” U.S. News and World Reports issue unknown

Kaplan, Sheila. “When the Money River Runs Dry” U.S. News and World Reports 28 June 1999 p. 24

Kohlberg, Jerome. “Campaign Reform Finance” 15 November 1999. 21 January 1998

Lehigh, Scott. “Campaign Finance Reform” 23 November 1999. 2 July 1999

Rosendranz, E. Joshua. “Campaign Reform: The Hidden Killers” The Nation 5 May 1997 p. 16

Stanwick, Kathy. “Campaign Reform Finance” 15 November 1999. 21 January 1998

Unknown. “Campaign Reform Finance” 15 November 1999. 21 January 1998

Weinberger, Caspar W. “Campaign funding Reform Now” Forbs 19 May 1997 p. 37

Winslow, Art. “Campaign Dollar Return” The Nation 9 March 1998 p. 3-4

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