Elections & Campaign Funding
The articles I chose focus on congressional elections and campaign funding. The Supreme Court recently lifted the cap on amount donors can contribute in a congressional election. The courts decision threw out the $74,600 limit for donations to political parties and the $48,600 limit for House or Senate candidates in a two-year campaign season. However donors still cannot contribute more than $5,200 to a single candidate per election, but without the overall caps, those who can afford it can have an enormous influence by donating to many candidates. Donors could contribute up to 3.6 million dollars by giving to all 435 House candidates and the 33 candidates for Senate seats up for election, as well as each party’s national committees. Under current election laws the parties could redistribute the money, possibly even using the entire amount to benefit one candidate. Critic believe this could lead to a consolidation of political power to a wealthy few, as well as the party’s leaders, resulting in improper influence on Capitol Hill (L.A. Times). We already know that party officials and candidates will solicit these large contributions from wealthy donors because such contributions will help increase the party’s power, as well as candidates standing among his colleagues.
Fund raising to meet the high costs of campaigning is the most important hurdle for any candidate for public office (Dye, 286). Lifting the cap on amount donors can contribute in a congressional election cycle will make fund raising much easier for candidates, but not all candidates will benefit equally. “Look at whoever is most powerful in congress right now and you magnify their power” (L.A. Times). These influential/powerful members of congress will be able to raise multi-million dollar checks from wealthy contributors which promises to shift power to the political party’s established leaders, who had recently lost ground to outside groups such as the tea party....
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