chapter  4
23 Pages

Direct Democracy

The amount of money entering the system has alarmed campaign reformers who feel that money buys elections for candidates and buys influence for organizations such as labor or corporations. Money is needed to win elections, but it does not guarantee victory. Moreover, eliminating campaign finance restrictions might actually help challengers by making elections fairer and will significantly shorten campaign seasons. Senator James L. Buckley creates the controversial distinction between express advocacy and issue advocacy ads that became an important part of future debates regarding campaign finance reform. This chapter discusses the problems with the current presidential election funding system. The public financing system for presidential campaigns is broken and any fix requires an enormous increase in money from an already strapped election fund. Two arguments in particular drive the efforts of reformers: combating corruption and promoting political equality. Campaign finance restrictions do nothing more than create faux political equality.