Utilizing surveys, reports, and interviews, looks at the states to see how campaign finance reforms have worked out in fact, after organizations have had a chance to adapt to them.
For more than twenty-five years, campaign finance reform has been based on assumptions that no longer match the realities of modern campaigning. Despite this, many of the supposedly new proposals on the national agenda continue to be based on the old set of assumptions and to produce stalemate.
However, even while Congress has deadlocked, more than half of the states have revised their laws on campaign finance. Some of these are now being promoted actively as models to be emulated. Michael J. Malbin and Thomas L. Gais look at the states to see how campaign finance reforms have actually worked outwhat has happened after candidates, political parties, and interest groups have had a chance to adapt to them.
This book is based on a fifty-state survey of campaign finance laws and their administering agencies, analyses of reports from the states that release candidate-level data, and extensive open-ended interviews with political leaders in half a dozen jurisdictions with among the most ambitious regulatory frameworks. It concludes with recommendations based on realistic assumptions set in a package that is designed to remain workable over the long haul.
About the Author
Michael J. Malbin is Professor of Political Science at the University at Albany, SUNY, and Director of Legislative and Political Studies at the Rockefeller Institute of Government. As this book was being finished, he was also a Guest Scholar at The Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C.
Thomas L. Gais is Director of the Federalism Research Group at the Rockefeller Institute of Government.
Table of Contents
Richard P. Nathan, Director,
The Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government
2. Laws and Agencies
The Scope (and Limit) of Reform: A Brief Federal Detour
State Laws: The Early Wave
Changes in State Laws Since 1980
Administering the Laws: Agency Resources
3. Turning Laws Into Tasks: The Assumptions Underlying Disclosure
Agency's Work Is Never Done
After the AgencyThen What?
4. Public Funding: Themes and Variations
Public Funding Themes
Which Candidates Participate?
Public Support for Funding Trends Downward
Political Support for Funding: The Need for Consensus
5. Slipping and Sliding: How Interest Groups Have Adapted to Regulation
Tactical Responses: Getting Around the Law
The Effects of Increased Complexity
6. The Limits of Party Limits
7. What Helps Competition?
Public Financing: Good, At Most, for a Start
What Really Helps Challengers: It's the Money, No Matter From Where
The Party's the Key
Turnign the Tables
8. If the Standard Cures Fail, What Can One Do?
Accountability, Disclosure, and Limits
Encouraging Competition, Debate, and Participation