The Economic Realities of Political Reform: Elections and the US Senate

Overview

A central political issue in American politics during the 1990s is the need for political campaign reform. A variety of proposals have been advanced to reform the system of congressional elections, most notably in relation to campaign financing. The authors examine U.S. Senate elections to determine the role money plays in the contests; their analysis indicates that the system of campaign finance resembles a market, with legislators serving as the recipients of financial largesse based on their institutional ...
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Overview

A central political issue in American politics during the 1990s is the need for political campaign reform. A variety of proposals have been advanced to reform the system of congressional elections, most notably in relation to campaign financing. The authors examine U.S. Senate elections to determine the role money plays in the contests; their analysis indicates that the system of campaign finance resembles a market, with legislators serving as the recipients of financial largesse based on their institutional positions and political vulnerability. This rent-seeking relationship between economic interests and legislators has transformed the dynamic of Senate elections. Assessing the potential impact of several electoral reform proposals, Professors Regens and Gaddie argue that debates over the nature and consequences of proposed changes in election finance are often waged without an underlying point of theoretical reference. In addition, little consideration is placed upon impacts relative to each other or collectively on the political system. Spending limits and public funding proposals, they contend, will not have the effects expected by reform advocates. Term limit and public funding proposals would disrupt the rent-seeking relationship between legislators and economic interests, and these proposals would also face political and constitutional barriers to implementation.
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"The book has an excellent statistical analysis that demonstrates the impact of money on winning..." Choice
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Product Details

Table of Contents

List of tables and figures
Acknowledgments
Abbreviations
Introduction 1
1 The Senate in transition and campaign finance 10
2 Early money and profit taking in Senate campaigns 26
3 Targeting rent provision by major interests 56
4 Sitting in the cheap seats? 72
5 Implications for campaign-finance reform 86
6 Reform and the rent-seeking legislature 99
Notes 106
Bibliography 112
Index 117
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