Campaign Finance - Elections 101

Campaign Finance - Elections 101

Campaign Finance Day 8 Money in Elections In 2008 candidates for office, political parties, and independent groups spent $5,300,000,000

Over $1,000,000,000 was spent by the two Presidential candidates (Barack Obama & John McCain) alone

In 2010 the average elected member in the House of Representatives spent $1,400,000 and the average elected Senator spent $9,800,000 In every election more and more

money seems to be spent. BUT WHY? www.opensecrets.org Essential Questions What is campaign finance?

Who donates to campaigns? What do candidates use the money for?

How have campaign finance laws changed over time? Do political contributions give undue influence to donors?

Do limits on campaign contributions violate free speech? Campaign Finance Defined Campaign Finance: All funds raised in order to

promote candidates, political parties, or policies in elections, referendums, initiatives, party activities, and party organizations Basically its the process by which candidates and political parties raise money to help promote an issue or get a candidate elected.

Where does the money come from? Individual Contributions: Donations to candidates or political parties from individual citizens.

As the table below demonstrates, the majority of individual contributions come from a select few individuals who give a large amount. www.opensecrets.org Where does the money come from? Political Action Committees (PACs): A type of organization that pools

campaign contributions from members and donates those funds to campaign for or against candidates, ballot initiatives, or legislation. Super PAC: a type of independent political action committee which may raise unlimited sums of money from corporations, unions, and individuals but is NOT permitted to contribute to or coordinate directly with parties or candidates.

527 and 501c4 Groups: a type of U.S. tax exempt organization created to influence the election or defeat of candidates to office. Before the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United V. The FEC (Federal Elections Commission) these groups could not expressly advocate for the election or defeat of a specific candidate, but could only promote an issue. However, after the Supreme Court decision in 2010 these groups can

directly advertise on behalf of or against a candidate, but cannot coordinate directly with parties or candidates. What do candidates use the money for? Campaigns cost a lot of money to run. Everything from hiring people to coordinate and canvass to renting large spaces for rallies, paying to fuel the jet, and T.V. and print advertisements. The costs associated are broken down into 7 categories

1. Media- 29% 2. Fundraising- 21% 3.

Salaries- 16% 4. Administrative- 12% 5.

Unclassifiable- 8% 6. Strategy & Research- 7% 7. Campaign Expenses- 7%

www.opensecrets.or How have campaign finance regulations changed? View Campaign Finance Reform and the Citizens United Supreme Court

Decision by Hip Hughes: Video Link In your notes, either agree or disagree with the following statements. 1. Donors who give a lot of money to candidates are given easier access to policymakers which is an unfair advantage.

2. Money buys influence, and therefore there should be restrictions regarding how much money individuals can give directly to candidates. 3. Corporations should not be allowed to be involved in campaign

financing of any kind. 4. Money should not be considered speech. Even though it may be used to purchase advertising, which is a form of speech, we should restrict the rights of groups and individuals to purchase media slots advocating for the election or defeat of a candidate.

5. We should have public (government controlled) funding of all federal Read: Structured Academic Controversy Background and Context of Debate (5 min) Then, choose a side: Yes we should limit/regulate how candidates

raise or spend campaign contributions in order to prevent corruption. OR No we should not limit/regulate how candidates raise or spend campaign contributions because it limits the rights of the people involved. You have 5 minutes

Read your chosen sides handout and complete the graphic organizer to prepare your arguments for the structured academic controversy (10 minutes) You have 10 minutes Get together with your group (yes or no) and as a group decide on your 3 best arguments

and evidence to support each argument (5 minutes) You have 5 minutes Select 1 person from your group to be your partner in the structured academic controversy (30 seconds)

You have 30 seconds Select a group from the other side to debate against, and sit across from one another (1 min) You have 1 minute The YES group will have 2 minutes to

present their 3 arguments and evidence You have 2 minutes The NO group now has 1 minute to respond to the YES groups arguments. (Hint: Do not go into your arguments just yet, you will have time shortly to do that)

You have 1 minute The No group will have 2 minutes to present their 3 arguments and evidence You have 2 minutes The YES group now has 1 minute to respond to the NO groups arguments. (Hint: Do not

go into your arguments just yet, you will have time shortly to do that) You have 1 minute You now have 3 minutes to work together as a group of 4 to determine a compromise between both groups ideas and write them on a sheet of notebook paper to share with the class

You have 3 minutes Homework Return back to the electoral college strategy essay that was completed for homework last class (Day 7). From that strategy pick the 5

states that you will target intensely. Then, complete the Campaign Finance Strategy assignment by next class. Resources Information provided by George C. Edwards, Robert L. Lineberry, & Martin P. Wattenberg. Government in America: People, Politics, and Policy. New York: Longman, 2014.

http://www.opensecrets.org http://debatepedia.idebate.org/en/index.php/Debate:_Campaign_Finance _Reform Images Provided by http://www.opensecrets.org Video Provided by Hughes, Keith. Citizens United Explained. 12 April 2013. Video.

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