tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN January 27, 2016 12:00am-2:01am EST
brigham young university. he is a research scholar at the center for study of elections and democracy at the ui you.'s research and tryst include congressional campaigns and elections, legislative discipline, legislative discipline, interest groups, international human rights treaties and more. his research utilizes game theory model and his work has been published in a number of prominent journals including the american journal of political science, and the political research quarterly and others. with that, that, i will serve as the interviewer, i am not a professional journalist so i will not do quite as well as the other interviewers, wendy was going to be with us but cannot attend today. let's start off jeff and jay which is the question that we have for the panel. what you think has been the impact of buckley on how campaigns are run in the campaigns leading up to the election? >> this is discussed in the previous panel, the main thing that oakley did that i see how it affects elections is it restrained the contributions
that could be maimed, there is constraints made on contributions to candidates and parties but it allowed expenditures to be unlimited. so what we have is a system that we still have today where there's a lot of money that wants to make its voice heard, that wants to it express their view and they often need money to express that view, but then there are limits to the way that money can be expressed through candidates. so candidates, they are are interested in having one of the. it's like taking someone who is thursday and telling them you can have as much water as you want but you can only have it a teaspoon at a time. so the candidates of spending a lot of time raising money because they want to have that money to run for the election, the we have a lot of people who want to give the money but it is restrained and what's they can give it
because of the potential corrupt influence. so we have a system where where there is a lot of money in the system but it is hard and candidates end up spending a long time and we think of it as a permanent campaign because of the contribution limits. >> so i agree with several of the things that were mentioned in the first panel about one way to answer this how is buckley affected things is to think about what would've happened buckley had not happen. so i agree with what was said in response to that, that probably we have more candidates for office and there would have been more potential for opportunism and manipulating regulations to try to disadvantage the party not empower because buckley put a constraint on the nature of regulations, we don't see that so much, that constitutional
constraints you could blame for what you call incoherence of the current system but the current system is not dictated by the court. the current system is what congress can change. so those political actors would deserve more, probably wasting over time is some unwillingness on the part of reform groups to live within the constitutional constraints of buckley and that is what led to some of this starts in fits of reform. the other thing thing that i think buckley has changed or what would be different if there had not been buckley is probably political parties would be much stronger and in control of their candidates, more influential over their candidates.
so that would be a big difference as well. >> i was going to ask you about what he think the impact would've been on parties. could you give us a reason why you think parties would be stronger under that scenario? >> the parties are source of resources, branding, so if candidates are less free to raise their own resources, make their own brand, then they have to rely on the parties more, therefore you will see more party discipline and see more powerful parties in the u.s. like you see in european country. there would not be a tech cruise, he cannot exist. for good or ill he cannot exist. so that's probably a big difference. that charismatic candidates have the ability to raise their own resources and to build a brand for themselves outside of the party. >> you mention it seems like a never ending campaign was your words, has there been heavy done
any any research or has anyone done research, i wonder if others have looked at what has been the impact of the federal election campaign act and the whole system that we are left with on the length of campaigns, has there been any difference there? >> this might answer your first question as well. one of the things that the federal election campaign and the part that buckley maintained was a more robust disclosure regime. so there had not been a lot of study about what campaigns were like before that acts because we do not have a lot of information on what was being done. so we don't really know, we do know there are some trends towards candidates and their campaigns, before buckley, and a
little bit away from parties, this was a major source of concerned about how costs are already spiraling out of control. that is one of the reasons in the original campaign act that they put in contribution limits and expenditure limits so they can hold the cost out and not spend as much time. democrats at that time were worried because republicans at that time were better at raising money than they were. so what they wanted was probably part of a political advantage is what they're looking for. it is hard to say what would be different in terms of how her campaigns before buckley and how after because we've had so little. we do know that things have gotten more expensive today with the media and we see candidates spend more time raising money because their candidates spend more time raising money.
so it's a roundabout way of saying we don't know exactly what it's like but we can see people are spending more time campaigning now than what they did 40 years ago. >> it is hard to say one of the reasons both jay and i are going to be hesitant to make a definitive proclamation is because we are coming at this from the social science perspective and i don't mean that as a criticism. we are trying to speak to what we know, what are we actually know what the studies tell us. when you're looking at the federal campaign finance environment before now there buckley, lots of things change. it is hard is hard to identify what that causal impact of buckley is. where same people seeing more time campaigning, were seen some close presidential elections.
may be that is the cause of buckley, maybe that would've happened without buckley and maybe that is the cause of increasing campaigning. often when we talk about money in politics we come at it from a fantasy world if only we could wave a magic wand everything would be rainbows and puppies and be different and better. people are spending a lot of time and effort raising money and campaigning because they want to win. you could take away money in politics and people will still want to win. they will spend a lot of time and effort to whatever they can. if that's courting unions or special interest groups in other ways that they're going to do that. you're not going to change that desire to win, the desire to expend a lot of effort on winning. so we have seen more competition in other elections and with that
we see an increase in the length of campaigns and that's probably going to be true with their without buckley. >> your comments made me think of what you commonly hear when we hear about new regulations or limits, some people made the pointer claim that money or efforts will still flow to try to influence elections even indirectly. probably most famously in 2004 there is these 527 groups and they had issue ads which was -- have there been studies showing after contribution limits were in effect, what his hydraulic effect where money went to other
avenues to try to influence the elections? >> certainly what you find following your hydraulic effect is that there is a lot of money as i said before that wants to be in the system. there is almost unlimited demand. when he constrained the supply in one place where you generally find is that it will show up in another place. when you might have the issue of advocacy and then we tried to shut down issued advocacy instead of expressed advocacy we are not going to allow certain organizations to make certain statements at certain times. as part of the reform. another way trying to figure out now that the we are not allowed to do the following think but at
the same time soft monies coming on. once you try to clamp down on one area you find people that are interested, these operatives ever that were mentioned in the previous panel that want to make our voices heard or representatives that want to make their voices heard they tried to find another way to make their voices heard that might be a 527 organization, and might be an issue advocacy organization, so certainly what the general setting is wants to use down an area in one place another avenue opens up where people try to exploit another area for which that money can flow. so now the reformers are worried about the money flowing through 5o1c4, five, and six organizations.
that's where they're saying we need to clampdown on these organizations of the medicaid go through. sometimes i call the dark money. if you look across time one of my colleagues does a book every year on financing the latest presidential election. his financing is that the money keeps flowing through different organizations, it might be if issue advocacy organization, it, might be 5o1c3 organization that keeps it moving. >> so just to amplify that, if you think of the evolution of cut pain finance law, good government groups and reform groups that have been playing whack a mole with money interests and so you have a federal election campaign act and then behavior changes, and nominal contribution limits for
many years. as those became more binding you saw the rise of issue advocacy and soft-money contributions to parties. you come back and whack that matt moves into the 527's and ultimately into super pacs and now we are going to whack that. there is always a a boundary to the regulated campaign speech. so this hydraulic theory is just that you can push that boundary back but the moneyed interests and the people who want to be involved in politics are going to operate just outside that. you're not changing the fundamental demand of supply of interested money. >> seem to recall reading the study to talk about ways people can try to influence elections. the value of oprah's endorsement of barack obama in 2008, am i remembering this right, was their study on that? do any of you recall some of the details about that study. >> it was big, i remember remember that, oprah is big, and it was big.
this leads into a bigger point which is, there two different conventional wisdom's and the general public, many pundits, even politicians have this notion that money places outside role in politics. that is the lens with which we view the world and interpret things. those of us who study it, try to to come at it from a scientific approach, there's a different conventional wisdom within academia among people who study money in politics, we disagree on a number of points. while we tend to find his money does not play as big a role as people think. >> that's an easy thing to stay because people think it plays such an big role. studies of the treatment effective campaign spending,
holding minimizes the chain, how many votes does it change tend to come up with small numbers. part of the way to understand that is a world in which there is a lot of communication about politics, the marginal effect of more spending isn't that big or impactful. campaign spending is not that big but the effect of celebrity endorsements are being a celebrity is equivalent to big piles of money, we are seeing and it is effective so this is maybe a corollary, you make the other sources of influence all the more important. maybe if more people could participate by giving more money, maybe celebrities would not play such an important role or we we care what brad pitt thinks about politics, that's
crazier than anything trump says probably. maybe not. >> one of the things clearly that came out of the buckley decision is the court endorsed the concept of contribution limits. i like like to move some attention to that for a minute. sir anything in the literature about the impact on contribution limits on the candidates who run? are we getting a different class of candidates? are we we getting more self-funded candidates? are we getting pure candidates altogether? i heard in and it told that george will gave at our anniversary gala last month and he said i think there is a senator from maryland and his reign for the buckley decision to come out. he was going to decide whether or not to run for president based on whether or not contribution limits were upheld or not.
when here they were he decided he was not going to run. he he remembered jean mccarthy's run and finance very late game. he ended up spending the equivalent of $82 per vote in new hampshire which even today is a tremendous some. while jean mccarthy did not win, he did did force president johnson out of the race. so has there been any literature or studies on the impact of the type and number of candidates? >> the study that i've seen that compare - like the place you look for this type of fact is because we don't have any data before buckley is when we had the mccain -- that's when you raise the individual limits for
contributions went from $1000 to $2000 and and in the index that for inflation. so since that time it's been going up. the literature i have seen in the studies i have seen in the data i've looked at does not show any real difference in the number of candidates that are running or the types of candidates that are running, simply changes the sources of the money. so i look at congressional elections for the presidential elections, you can see presidential elections don't emphasize political action committees, the packs as much. but we see in congressional elections people, candidates moving from funding their campaigns rather from pack to individual donations. now it is less costly to raise money
through individual donations. where is house candidates, before mccain they raise a lot of money. that is one of the changes we can see. goats once again for the hydraulics theory that when you make it harder to raise money in one area, if it's easier the money flows in that direction. so now it's easier to raise money for individuals that was before. >> this question of what is so limits accomplished is interesting because the typical way to answer is to start talking about competition or the number of candidates or how much money is being raised and those are all legitimate things to talk about. i i want to take in a different direction though if we go back to the point of buckley is the statement that regulation of campaign-finance to permit corruption. that's 11
obvious place we should be looking to regulate finance campaigns. if you do try to look at that one way to do it that i have done is to use the states as laboratories, the states have different campaign-finance regimes, they have changed over time to get nice variation in rules. you can control for other factors and answer the question, what is the treatment cause-and-effect of major types of campaign-finance regulations? we have great measures of corruption but if you use the off-the-shelf measure of public corruption you don't really find any effect there. maybe that's because corruption by its nature is hidden and so maybe were looking for something we will not see very easily. anything you can could easily look at the idea of the
appearance of corruption. one way to interpret what the appearance of corruption means is how much trust and confidence to people having government. scientists use that to measure the integrity of institutions. what you find is the treatment effect, the causal effect of state finance regulations, campaign contribution limits, public funding, no impact on trust and confidence in government. those those kind of evaluation studies are really done. parlay that may be because people do not like the constraints that the court put on campaign-finance reform and they want to look other places and look at competitive measures. on this point, authorware looking at intermediate goals. when it comes to money and
politics people have the theory of money in politics, stress just bad. we just need to drain the swamp. were not quite sure how or why it's making the system cropped we just need to let it drain. that intermediate goal was good enough rather than looking at before and after reforms insane has politics change for the better when we adopt reforms? do we see better public policies? those are inherently normative things but we could say, do we see less special interest influence over particular kinds of policies? do we see greater voter turnout? whatever your bottom line measure is let's do evaluation studies of that. they are really done but when you do look at those kinds of things way tend to see his
campaign-finance rules whether it's contribution limits or public financing to not affect those bottom-line mergers very much. that is my pitch for evaluation studies. >> let's ask a follow-up about trust in government. you correlated various contribution regimes, i think most people's impression i feel look over time public trust in government has gone down pretty steadily. is that correct? so the trust in government has gone down in states pretty much the same whether -- for small has a gun down. second, is the rated decreases the same matter what kind of campaign-finance regime you have in that state. >> trust in government is declining an industry that campaigns bending is increasing and increasing faster than the rate of inflation. that baseline correlation you see those things going together,
what we do is better the correlation, were doing science here. were trying to get cause-and-effect and that's why it's important to look across dates because there's variation in rules and try to isolate those causal effects. when you do that the lesson from the simple correlation is not borne out when you look more carefully. it is not as simplistic as looking at very sick correlations but trying to identify these causal relationships because that is what would be informative. that's what we want to know and that's what's informative about if, in missouri is a wild west of money in politics, anyone can give any amount. >> ten a candidate or party, right? >> correct.
so it's a wild west and so you would like to know if you oppose contribution limits, how would the exchange. you want want to answer to that causal question. that's what folks like jay, and myself try to do those kind of evaluation studies. >> let me ask, one of the things you often hear about when a lot of money is spent on a race by independent groups that somehow this would round up people's voices, it will turn people off from politics and things like that. are there studies that show correlations or conversations i guess is what the phd's in the room would do, what is the impact? does more spending money to turned off motors or more turnout? more informed her lesson for voters? what's the research show on
that? >> we find in general is that it's hard isolate that. the places that candidates are spending money along with outside groups such as super pacs or interest groups, whatever the current avenues are, the places they spend money are also the places where it's a competitive election. so a competitive election -- this is one of the things we are trying to, were trying to figure out suppose we had a competitive election away put in election money from outside groups and compare it to a situation where we had a competitive election where you do not have a lot of outside money coming in. that's hard to find, those type of situations. that's what you like to compare.
when you have these competitive elections it's a different environment. the voters are more informed because there is more voices, more advertising, more things going on. so was mentioned in the previous panel, and ohio during the presidential primaries were during the president of the general election, they are overwhelmed with advertisements so that there turned off by it. therefore enough i don't want to hearing more. that's hard to control for for these outside groups. what you do find in general when u.s. people about money and politics is that they have a very simple idea about that they just like money and politics. that the more money they see, the lesson chanted they are with our election system. >> to build off that, that's absolutely right if you ask people straight up, do you like super pacs, everyone knows the
right answer. no, i don't like super pacs. you want to see more campaign advertising? no i don't want to see more campaign advertising. to feel back? yes it makes me feel bad. if you ask a public opinion surveys, we know a kind, we know kind of answers you will get. what is interesting though is rather than going off those kind of knee-jerk, socially acceptable responses, yes people questions about trust in government, knowledge of candidates, and places that have experience more or less spending, so that is what is being very. that is the treatment. when. when you do that there are studies being done they tend to find that campaign spending is more boom than baying. so you get greater knowledge, more participation so that there
is a good thing associated with campaign spending. we could quibble to the expense that appropriately controlled for younger competitiveness of races and certainly those braces need to be updated unless look at super pacs spending differently. that is the way you would try to get out what are the effects of money in politics, not just ask people what the cool answers to campaign spending. >> ..
so that is one of those intermediate goals that people focus on rather than the bottom line of jewelry get better policies. >> what about the turnout question? is there any evidence that higher spending and campaigns leads to greater turnout? does it distressed or not? some of the claims being made by the additional independent spending, too negative and turning people off. some are not voting as a
result. what is the evidence? >> there is mixed evidence on the tone of advertising. and so i don't know that we have anything close to a consensus on that. when it comes to overall advertising, again, it depends upon how you try to get out the question. one way would be a look at places with more or less advertising. higher or lower turnout. because the advertising is associated with competition it will be hard to undo that basic correlation that more spending is associated with higher turnout. if you look at jurisdictions with different campaign-finance regulations and change the question whether spending is creating turnout the other regulations have some impact on turnout, then again i
would say some mixed evidence, public financing, you get some studies going each way,way, but you don't get huge effects of different campaign-finance laws. >> that's right. >> the place that people have tried to work on this, the reason you get mixed evidence is because different campaigns have been more effective at mobilizing and others. there been a number of studies trying to figure out the most effective ways to turnout people to vote and it turns out often the most effective ways of the most expensive ways where you some people from house to house and asked them to vote and that is really expensive.
if you want to mobilize people to vote that is what the academic studies have found is more effective than doing television advertising. >> one of the other provisions is this new -- well, then new concept of disclosure of contributions to candidates and political parties. i guess one of the questions is, what sort of effects if any have been seen from this disclosure regime? and then more particularly, what a fact is there, if any, unwillingness to give contributions? certainly one of disclosure regime was invented in the 1970s if you wanted to see the contributions he had to go to a filing cabinet and either the state government capital or in the drawers of the federal electionfederal election commission. and today all you have to do is go on the internet, type
in something, go to our website and you can find out anyone's donations to any things. is this having impacts, is it helping because people like to take credit for donations? or might it be suppressing donations, are people trying to stay under the public threshold for disclosure? what sort of information is there? >> i'm going to do the usual thing and say how difficult it is to study that because you want to compare people donating below the limit to the people donating above the limit, but people donating below the limit a difficult to find because they are not disclosed. some colleagues and i were able to study some undisclosed donors through presidential campaigns and were able to compare them to the disclose donors.
what you find is we did not get to ask them, or you donating below $200 because you did not want to be seen, but we were able to find out various demographic and attitudinal things to ask him questions about the kind of people and if they were more polarized, more extreme because that is one of the things people worry. what we found in our surveys is that the people just below the limit will look a lot like the people just above the limit. ideologically and demographically similar. so there has to be something else besides those two things to say that there is a difference between those who are disclosed versus those who are undisclosed. >> day primo university of rochester has done interesting work on disclosure. more on the side of the benefits of disclosure. the focused has been more the cost, but often there is presumed large benefits of disclosure and what primo and others have seen as the
kind of information that is disclosed not often made use of by ordinary citizens and often not made use of in advertisements. and so if you were thinking ofare thinking of places you might have looked to adjust the law little bit, why do you need to know the employer of someone who gives money? why do you need their home the home address, why should that be available forever on the internet? often times disclosure laws are motivated more by caldwell, who want to drain the swamp and do what we can let's have disclosure and disclaimers. and where you probably see more negative effects would
be below the federal level. they all have lawyers. try to get involved in politics. there is a find for that. you didn't file the addendum to the quarterly report. but you do see cases where these kinds of registration and disclosure rules can be used to go after a 70 participants in politics i tend to agree with floyd abrams. when it comes to disclosure
should put on your big boy pants and stand up for what you believe in. that is all well and good, but when it can be used as a cudgel to go after well-meaning people who are just not all that savvy, that is a bad thing. >> that raises another question in my mind. studies ofmind. studies of whether people are able to comply with these laws, tests their ability to decipher the manuals are instructions? >> funny should ask that. >> i did kind of a fun study which was sick ordinary people in missouri and give them a simple scenario -- >> how ordinary where these ordinary people? >> it's missouri.
texted you grab them off the street? >> we had some grad students as well. >> a few ordinary grad students. >> turnout model. >> if you're going to throw the softball he should throw them walk away. criticism. if you give people a simple scenario, citizens group who wants to put up yard signs, had a meeting, had some coffee and doughnuts, maybe they decide to buy a couple t-shirts at present people with here is the rule book, rulebook, the instructions for who has to file, register and take as much time as you want but i'm going to pay you based upon right answers to try to incentivize people.
i had seen many students and uncomfortable situations, nothing like this. people were so frustrated and flummoxed. these things are written for ordinary people. they are not written by ordinary, for ordinary. and so there's a lot of legalese. often even before handing people instructions just ask them whether those kinds of activities will regulated if they were going to run afoul of the law and they have no idea that a group of people pulling together whether it's a hundred dollars in one jurisdiction are 200 and another, that that can be something dangerous. sometimes to qualify as grassroots lobbying you have to be urging people to contact their legislators.
or put in some cases just talking about political issues to other people if you spend enough money doing it or spend enough time doing it you are now a grassroots lobbyists, you have to register, file reports. there are restrictions on what you can do. these are -- these are just examples that i think these laws are often written with professional campaigns and advocacy groups in mind,mind command we forget that they are also binding at the street level, the lower level and that is probably one place where maybe people from all sides could come up with some consensual reforms to allow moravec grassroots participation. >> to give an idea i mean, did you create these tests? how many people got all the answers right? >> nobody got everything
right. they did very poorly, no idea what was going on, got frustrated and angry. we did a little after the fact interview, people could write comments and there were choice words. but you know, common was this was worse than doing your taxes. you needtaxes. you need a lawyer to do this. so when ordinary people are confronted with those kinds of roles they are quite surprised that these rules that often we envision being imposed on the nra are some big organization also have to be complied at the individual level, too. >> a lot -- in terms of running campaigns what you often here from certain groups like emily's list or club for growth which specializes in early endorsements, they claim that early money is better if you want to exert influence of the campaign process. versus money that comes in later. are these groups right?
are you better off waiting until later so that you know the real candidates who might actually emerge? has there been any study of this? >> it is what you can use the early money for. you can use it early or late. and that seems obvious but what you want to do with early money is build an organization, be able to bill that, people on the ground who will go in turnout people to vote, able to have an organization ready to go when your opponent attacks you so you are agile enough and have enough resources to respond in a timely manner and in a stronga strong manner. early money is useful that way. one of the things we find in the social sciences that is difficult is the disentangle , money and popularity that the reason that some candidates are able to raise early money is
because they are good candidates have popular positions. for instance barack obama raised a lot of money early more than people thought was possible and is partly because he was such a good candidate. and then we also find that when you look across the presidential election cycle, when candidates do better in an election, they become more popular by winning in a primary the money starts to flow in. so it is hard to disentangle how much money is driving popularity and how much popularity is driving money. >> anything you want to add? one more question and then we will open it up. if you were here if you could grab the microphone and get ready, the other
thing is we have seen a fair amount of deregulation lately by the supreme court on campaign finance. has there been any studies yet of the impact of this deregulation on campaigns at this point? is it still too early to say? as we often heard this afternoon, we don't have a control group for this. >> are you referring to independent expenditures? >> primarily. the advent of super pacs, thepacs, the united decision, the wisconsin right to life decision among others. >> so, you know, one of the things about research is it is retrospective. the kind of want answers now about things that are going on now. we arewe are not going to know them now. that is just conjecture. but you know, when it comes
to independent expenditures one thing you can do is look down at the state level, there are variations across the states, independent expenditure regimes before citizens united, and you don't find any systematic relationship between allowing independent expenditures and trust in government or incidence of political corruption. that is one thing i can't answer. aware of more systematic. >> the studies that we have been able to do, when you ask, we have not been able to do studies in terms of systematically in terms of how it affects competition. but you have her stories that newt gingrich is able to standardize longer because sheldon abrahamson it millions of dollars to the super pack and everyone basically agrees that was possible. what you find is that when you ask people what they think of whenever the
independent coronation that they don't like it. and that is true for super pacs, and it might even cause some of our studies might even affect donating behavior that some people are actually, when we asked donors, potential donors, are you motivated to donate? there are some people that are more motivated that want to say i want to have a balance. maybe we can get the small donations together and then there are people who are turned off by that kind of money in the system and sale would rather not even participate. >> i will add to that, in general people have a negative attitude about money and politics and especially so, but they also have this outside notion of the role of money in politics. if you ask people the last election cycle about what percent of political spending came, the right
answer is about 10%. if if10 percent. if you are generous and how you define outside spending, maybe that is what people really thinking about, maybe you can get it to 20%. if if20 percent. if you ask people how much of political campaign spending the last cycle the median response is 67 percent. only 2 percent of people say 25 percent or less. people think they are everything. and of ofeverything. and of course they don't like it. they think it is dominating everything. when it comes to public opinion about money and politics, the things to keep in mind is people are extremely cynical and quite misinformed, not just uninformed misinformed. and one of my favorite
polls, and i have repeated this, as people some simple true false question about money and politics and corporations give directly to candidates. our which party raised and spent more. he put together some of those kinds of questions and ask people answer them, say five questions, you will find maybe 10 percent can get three or more right. youyou think about that. five questions true false. untrained journals pushing levers at random would be expected to get three or more right. the general public, only 10%. people are not just uninformed, they are actually misinformed about the nature of money and politics, the basic statistics, the basic kind of laws we have. no wonder they are so cynical.cynical. they think things are much more wide-open than they are. >> we are going to turn it
over to your question. if you have a question raise your hand. that will get the microphone to you. >> i have a question about -- just a question of evidence. in missouri and the eighth circuit actually made the government present evidence as to whether corruption or the appearance of corruption , it was not just pro forma. what is your evidence that corruption exists? through this ballot initiative. and when it went up to the supreme court they just kind of tossed that and said the government really doesn't need to present evidence in the form of academic studies or any
other thing to show that the appearance of corruption or actual corruption is a legitimate function. it seems to to me it cannot be disproven. the matter what you offer at least in supreme court circuit no matter what you offer as evidence that raising the limit or not having limits or empirical studies from state or any of this stuff can persuade the court that contribution limits will be affected by corruption. there are things to be disproven. and therefore contribution limits just cannot be, as a legal matter they cannot be disproven and therefore it would make them unconstitutional. >> i am not quite sure i followed.
was your.that no evidence will affect the court few of the legitimacy? >> no evidence did affected. they presented evidence. the shrink missouri packed presented evidence to say through academic study -- >> they didn't present my evidence. abcaseven look, we are academics doing studies and have the luxury of being interested in truth. our goal is not to overturn contribution limits but understand how the world works. what you do with that is your business. >> there are a couple things going on. i think that standards changed. and so if you look, as i, as i understand we should have the previous panel discuss this more that when you look at buckley they are looking for corruption or the appearance of and are really looking for, they made it
more specific, quid pro quo constitutes corruption. corruption. and when you look at the later decisions, and austin and mcconnell that they expanded the definition of what constitutes corruption which is,, if i donate am i more likely to get access to a legislator? will i be able to be heard? and they found,found, this is one of the reasons they went against soft money, they upheld the limits approving soft-money, it is easy to find that. the political parties would put out almost a menu. donate this much money, this is the kind of access you will get, the kind of -- the picture you will get. they have an actual menu of here is what you get for hundred thousand, 200,000. in the court found i think that persuasive is corruption but then after we
get back to citizens united, that ideaunited, that idea of what constitutes corruption is pulled back to the buckley standard, the quid pro quo standard and it is harder to find studies that demonstrate that. it is easier to find studies that if you donate more money you can get access to aa legislator. you can find that even in control treatment studies. and so you can see that in the publications. it is difficult to find in the academic literature the quid pro quo. when someone gets more money changes their vote. that is difficult to find. so i think the court at one point said they don't need to see this very much, but they are no longer at that point. the supreme court said we need a higher standard of evidence.
>> we heard a lot today about political polarization, ideological partisan and so on. have there been any studies of that? studies shown that campaign-finance or buckley are campaign-finance regulations may have created the polarization, made it worse or anything like that. >> for a larger has an impressive work on this. has looked at the effects of contributions on polarization and legislature. they find that especially contributions working through the party have more moderating influence. and i'm going to steal your words.words. you explained it to me earlier. parties want to win. they are not too concerned
about being ideologically pure. they can rain in the ideologues as they seem more polarization because it is in the interested parties. >> next question. question in the back. >> so, you talked about earlier more money means people are more informed. is there any difference about more informed versus accurately informed? there are lots on both sides. people are aware as an issue but not necessarily actually accurately informed. >> in terms of sort of good, systematic studies, not so much.
obviously that is where the rabbit goes in the hat of who will be the empire to say what is the accurate information call was the inaccurate information. he could go down to the level of do you know the name of the vice president, the two houses of congress. and you may find correlation there, but you are asking more substantively about the quality of information. i don't know of aa good, systematic study on that to be honest. >> the studies that are done tend to be more on the range of clinical psychology but under what circumstances you get information that is correct. the studies generally find that you go and gather information that agrees and discount information that disagrees. you reinforce your existing biases. >> i think we have time for one more question. >> right here.
>> i have heard it mentioned that one of the effects of more independent money and politics is that politicians and have to spend more time seeking individual campaign contributions. has there been any research on the effect of that on their effectiveness as congress people? in other words, do they have to rely more on staffers for being informed on issues because they don't have enough time to read substantive documents? >> there have been studies that have argued -- i am blanking on the name of the author looking at state legislatures where there is a claim that if there is
more campaign spending that more time is spent on raising money versus other things. one issue that study was it was a simple cross-section and you are just not able to really control well for other factors. but that is a frequent claim and you know, it is possible but i just want to caution that it also comes out of that rainbows and puppies view that if only they weren't spending time raising money than they would be you know like mr. smith goes to washington and be fewer. it is the same people, and they still want to win and will direct effort at winning. it is not changing their hearts. people are allocating effort to maximize utility. it sounds very economic see. and if that is going to be achieved
by raising money to run ads to win reelection that is what they will do. if you make it harder for them to run ads, one fundamental result in economics is that you don't get less effort, you get more effort redirected through other means. maybe means. maybe it will be good place. maybe they will write the perfect bill or engage in more pandering and more trying to send favors to special interest groups in order to get those organizations behind them. it isthem. it is not obvious you get something better. you make it something different. >> and to think about going back to the big picture. >> politicians do nothing give there time. if they spend a lot of time raising money than we are all safer. [laughter] >> going back to the bigger picture, what you have is, one of the effects of having this outside money coming in is thatis that it makes members of congress and state legislators more
nervous and maybe that's a good thing. we have different classes of people that candidates and parties are treated one way and individuals and interest groups are treated in another when they are unconstrained. but it makes the candidates and parties nervous. in order to deal with the prospect, itprospect, it might not be in this particular election, the possibility of a worry about it, maybe this makes them more important to contributors. maybe it makes them more beholden to voters. maybe theymaybe they have to make sure they can give voters on their side, but it does make them spend more time worrying about the situation and what they can do to make election more likely. with that we will conclude
this panel. i want to remind people of the room and people viewing on c-span that you can give more information from our organizations at the center for competitive politics, campaign freedom.org. for the cato institute it is cato.org. we willcato .org. we will take it to minute break and reconvene for last panel. an interviewer david savage of the la times. thank you. [applause] >> the court is a confidenta confident group of people, particularly so in the early 1970s.
there were justices who thought they have the smarts and wisdom to remake the law whether the country would go longer not. in june 1972 they struck down all the capitol punishment laws on a five to four vote. some of vote. some of the justices not capitol punishment was dead and would never come back. that was wrong. six month later they struck down all the abortion laws in roe v wade, january of 73 them and quite a few of the justices thought that decision would be accepted and that there was a movement in the direction of women's rights and it would no longer be a fight over abortion. that seems seems to me to have been wrong. and in january of 1976 you know, congress had just passed a big federal election law in the wake of watergate, probably the time when there was the highest highest.in the country for the idea of regulating money and politics because of the watergate scandal. and in the buckley decision
the court sort of as we have been talking about today came up with this compromise they struck down half and upheld half. to take a while hypothetical, if i had to million dollars i could give this year $2,700 only to elect senator smathers or to oppose them, but i can spend 2 million of my own money to encourage his election or defeat. and that distinction between contributions and spending has been with us ever since, and as you know, the last ten years the courts put a little more of their finger on the free-speech freespending side in citizens united.united. my impression is a lot of the country does not much agree with the court on some of these, but we are here to talk about the legacy of buckley, what isbuckley,
what is living, was dead, and how it is affecting things today. i just learned from talking to jan barron that he went to the argument in 1976. i am interested in your view , what it was like then. why don't you go 1st? >> well, yes. i have been around that long i once was characterized by aa government official has having been in town long enough that i am protected by the federal antiquities act. so i was at the buckley argument. it was unusual. it was at a time a time when the court was still providing plenary review almost 200 cases per year which for those of you who may not be aware, these days the court only hears about 70, 65 or 70 cases. it was aa much more active court in terms of oral argument and plenary review,
and in this case and buckley, just as they did many years later in the mcconnell case they reserved for hours of argument. you had for waves of lawyers coming up to argue specific issues, two hours in the morning and then we broke for lunch and in two hours in the afternoon. and the argument was led by an assortment of private attorneys, the department of justice was of such ill repute after john mitchell's tenure at the department of justice that the department concluded that they really could not participate as a party representing the government or the executive branch which would have been gerald ford at that time is present next had resigned and instead the department of justice filed an amicus brief in buckley, and on the amicus brief title page
appeared at leaving the attorney general along with the solicitor general's office which would have been robert bork, ray randolph and frank easterbrook. all, youall, you know, recognizable names in the federal judiciary to this day. and then that was in october of 75 which was an interesting time not only because of the post- watergate environment that the scandal was associated with campaign finance, a lot of disagreement as to whether it really was the source of the scandal, but that is the way was characterized. congress undertook this over all of the campaign finance laws which was extensive and the 1976 presidential campaign was started in january 1 of
1976, the 1st disbursements of federal money under the public financing system for presidential campaigns which we're going to start that election for the 1st time. so when the court decision came down in january i think there was a lot of surprise not only because of the environment, the excessive way in which congress had passed a law but also the court of appeals and the district of columbia which heard the case often, had upheld every provision of the law except one which would have required certain disclosure by groups like common cause that were simply involved in public advocacy and then the decision comes down and there were an awful lot of provisions that were struck down. spending that was struck down, the limit on how much
a candidate for the house could spend on his or her own campaign in this law was $90,000. $90,000 is what congress concluded was all that had to be spent for primary election and then another $90,000 for the general election if you wanted to run for the house of representatives, and there was a comparable formula for senate campaigns. and the court also struck down the way in which the federal election commission was composed because the law at that time provided that the pres. got to nominate two commissioners. the majority leader in the senate got to nominate to, the speaker of the house got to nominate two, and that all six of them had to be confirmed by a majority vote of both the senate and the house of representatives. and amazingly the court of appeals found that to be perfectly normal.
but we went back to the constitution, reread the appointment clause. it says here that only the president can nominate people, and only the senate can confirm them. so the result of that was that you had an unconstitutional agency administering public financing in the beginning of the presidential campaign. the court said to give congress 45 or 60 days to fix all of the and then continue in a more constitutionala more constitutional way. so there was a very extraordinary environment. all of these unusual exigencies. theexigencies. the court came down with a somewhat surprising decision which made all of these fundamental constitutional distinctions between contributions, expenditures, he rejected the justification of using campaign-finance laws to
create arguable equality among candidates and participants and said you cannot preserve the first amendment by saying you are going to mandate government equality. you have to basically fall on the side of liberty. nfl public financing, but only on the condition that the candidates are agreeing to all the conditions that accompany public financing. if you want the king's showing, as they say what you have to do the king's bidding. if the government is going to provide you with money to finance your campaign and you have to agree you will spend over a certain amount. you only gain money in certain ways that otherwise would not be permissible congress to impose on candidates in general and then of course it also felt disclosure as codified at the time that candidates and committees would have to register with the agency
wants it was constitutional and would have to file reports, all of which is what was the 1st reform that was passed in 1971, it was a disclosure statute. the federal election campaign act of 1971 which went into effect april 71972. which is a watershed date in the watergate saga because prior to april 7 the nixon campaign was trying to raises much money as he possibly could, even in illegal amounts from illegal sources because they would not have to disclose the money until the effective date of the 1st disclosure law, and i always wonder what would have in fact happened the campaign-finance reform and whether there would be a need for decision if such disclosure provisions had been in effect several years earlier and we became
accustomed to a meaningful disclosure system, but that is not what happened in the result was all of these other major changes. i think that is what is remarkable from that time to this day is how much of the buckley decision, frankly all of the major decisions and ingredients have remained intact for 40 years. there have been a little diversion here and there which we can discuss, but i don't think there is anything that has been completely or generally rejected by the courts since that decision. >> john. >> i was not there, but i study the history a little bit. i think there were two personalities associated with buckley that i would like to talk about the reveal something about the politics that follow the decision.
both interesting in their own right. the 1st was a man named john garner who has been passed away for some time, but he was at the time the sort of person who came out of the 60s and that sort of thing, and urban liberal. he would eventually be the founder at an organization called common cause. to me he is one of the most remarkable politicians or policy entrepreneurs of the late 20th century. here is why. as you know, the federal campaign law was a lot about watergate. it is no secret that there were parts before that are interesting, but the major part of it was passed and 74 , and it involves the watergate crisis. watergate was when you look at it about abuses of power,
disturbing things, the president keeping enemies lists, the pres.'s alleged involvement in criminal conspiracies and so on. and it was about breaking campaign-finance law that is hiring people who -- excuse me,me, getting money from illicit sources, illegal sources, corporations. there was lawbreaking. but it was breaking of existing law. you might have better ways of enforcing and so on. what you got out of that was a novel set of systematic controls over campaign finance, campaignfinance, campaign overspending, over contribution limits, disclosure and everything. john garner is the reason. around 1973 and 74 he started saying, watergate is saying, watergate is actually the biggest campaign-finance scandal in history.
and he was correct. there have been campaign-finance illegality but there was all this other stuff that didn't have anything to do with it. he turned the problems of the watergate crisis and the realities of it and do it campaign-finance. there is political scientists who will say to you one of the things that happens in public policy is people have the solutions all the time and then look for problems. well, garnerwell, garner had a solution. campaign-finance reform. here came watergate. and then subsequent to that, what goes out of his work is common cause, the campaign reform, effective political entity. one of the plaintiffs to buckley versus way help you have not heard about was a
man nameda man named ed crane who at that team worked for the libertarian party and brought a suit against buckley and complained to my got the sense that buckley had shoved his way in front to be the plaintiff. if there is any justice it with ukraine versus only help. he certainly felt strongly about campaign finance, the restrictions on free speech. carry that out. little-known thing about the washington scene is if you are against campaign-finance regulations it is difficult to raise money to fight the. there is money for lawyers to bring litigation. crane because of his particular developments and commitments did that 1st
outside but ultimately at the cato institute dedicating some of the money and then again around the 19 '90s he met up our came into contact with brad smith and for the 1st time he really have a day-to-day effective kind of answer to form community, but both community, but both of those things go back to buckley versus valeo. >> well, if the essence is survived the distinction between contributions and spending, what is your view of it today? did we get a system for years back that was good and has survived because it is a good system? or have they made a mess of the law 40 years ago and we have a mess of it, strange situation today where i could spend $10 million to support it and that is free speech, but if i want to
give him $10,000, that violates. it seems likeit seems like a strange distinction. what is your view? >> i think the distinction is peculiar because if we were starting with a blanka blank slate in 1974 knowing what the constitutional principles are you could ask the question, what were congress pass knowing what was going to be unconstitutional and it certainly would never have devise a system of the sort that exists today which is the residue of what congress did pass but after it had gone through constitutional cleansing at the supreme court. and i think that would have been true even back in buckley time. if congress had passed a law that would impose limits and still allow for unlimited
independent spending, buckley made that distinction.distinction. i don't think that when congress revised the law and 76 that they quite accepted the significance and practical significance would be going forward, perhaps in large part because they had to reconstitute everything so quickly because there was a presidential campaign and also perhaps because they may not appreciated the significance of the constitutional distinction. and one of the elements of this dynamic when we have these decisions coming down from the supreme court is that there tends to be a reaction from the pro- regulatory community that tries to either undercut the significance of the decision and/or try to devise other
reform proposals that would actually discourage the exercise of constitutional rights. after buckley in the 76 election we have nothing that resemble independent expenditures even though they were now constitutionally protected. any wealthy individual could engage in spending that hypothetical 10 million advocating the election of jerry ford or jimmy carter. nobody realized that they could do that or wanted to do that all were certain in the post- watergate environment that that was the right thing to do. but we got to the 19801980 election all of a sudden we started having political groups starting to organize,
something called the national conservative political action committee was created,created, and it only purpose was to engage in independent expenditures. there was a reaction to that because the reform committee started filing complaints and so we are not sure what you are doing is constitutional because buckley said in individual may make an independent expenditure, we're not sure political committee can do this. that had been litigated. and there were other litigation fights including the one that i was involved in for the colorado republican party which finally establish the principle of political parties had a constitutional right to engage in independent spending. that was in 96, 20 years after buckley. it was a rearguard action that independent expenditures going on for 20 years, both legally and constitutionally which created some how you say
uncertainty as to both the constitutionality, legality and the political effectiveness of engaging this type of activity. >> keeps the election lawyers engaged. >> well, it does. as long as your client is willing to pay. let me just tell you, that is sometimes difficult. officials are not known to spend their money that way. but yes, it is a distinction that as constitutional significance. the greatest outcome of the citizens united case is that it preserved and emphatically underscored the distinction that buckley made four years ago that you, congress, our
legislature, if you want to pass laws that limit how much you as a candidate can accept a contributor, you can do that as long as it is not too long. there is another court case us as legislators can go too far. but you can do that if that is what you want to. that does not give you license to pass laws that restrict how any individual or group of individuals including unions and corporations can spend money to advance their advocacy toward the american public. so now congress and others look at this and say, how are we going to change? we congress would not have devised this type of the system from the beginning. they are struggling with that. there are proposals to amend
the constitution. the 2nd solution is, well, let's try and appoint different people to the supreme court the cfa reverse. i will we see going all over town's let's try and change the law in ways that are constitutional. let's devise a new disclosures game, and they try that in congress and were unsuccessful in passing amendments to the disclosure statement. so the back of strategy is, if congress can do it let's go to the independent agencies and get them to change the law, go to the federal election commission and have new rulemaking or as we all learned, let's see if the irs wants to do something. that did not turn out so swell, but this is all part
of the campaign finance dynamic. we are struggling with limitations and how we can regulate campaigns and every time the supreme court comes down with something we have to find a new strategy to regulate in a way that underscores our approach which is we want to equalize, one of money is much as possible.possible. how we do that will depend on what is constitutional and our strategy is going to be we will continue regulating in indirect ways, if not directly. >> a lot of legal talent in the room. if it is mistaken people pointed out. while the parts of buckley and his dad'sthat is dead his contribution limits, not in the sense that still
exist, but if you think the purpose is to limit how much a person can get your campaign, or a bunch of language, but in support of a campaign than they are dead after citizens united because if you want to give more than the contribution limits at this point and institutional development super pack and so on with a little bit of trouble. a sophisticated political participant. give some money. in the themoney. in the sense of the limit is a limit, that part is dead. there is an interesting part about that, in effect between berkeley and citizens united you have introduced a bizarre bias
and of the system that what i mean by that is mostly you expect campaign-finance regulation to be, to show the interest of people who write it,it, insiders to the system, incumbents are groups affiliated and so on. however, the end of contribution limits actually introduces a bias toward outsiders, that is to say if you want to continue above the contribution limits of law that were approved you cannot. your only choice beyond that is to go outside to one of the super pack groups in fact about the contribution limits the law comes down firmly on the outside on the side of outsiders. it is aa bias. this introduces to me a different way of looking at law, if you think campaign-finance law should not favor insiders are outsiders, then what has
happened is you have actually got bad system because of the results and what followed. you could in the bias. already in practice or not. >> that would be your reform? they should have gone further and said if this is a matter of free speech and the money is speech and you are limiting speech by limiting contributions, do you think that would have been better and meter? >> i think given the fact that there are laws that if you spend this money that is contributed to you of something other than politics of political advocacy are getting people out to vote, you go to federal jail. one or two go every election now. given that i don't see the distinction.
>> if you think big money is corrupting, to my example, example, if i am giving 2 million to support senator smathers that is more corrupting than if i was going to give him 10,000 forfor most people at some point the distinction, if you are concerned about one big money person having an undue influence or corrupting influence, it is not clear to me why supporting 2 million for the campaign is different than getting to million to it. how about you? if you were in charge when you strike down the contribution limits? >> well, in a purista purist theoretical world yes, but if i were a justice or politician and recognizing the widespread suspicion
that the public has toward politicians and their interaction with money who i am not sure how i would come out. i know justice thomas command i am wondering if they have -- we should revisit this part. there is not an intellectually consistent justification here in separating contributions from expenditures. i don't know if that would be supported judicially and certainly not popularly. which kind of brings me always to what is going on in the states? i find the states to be interesting because they grapple with these issues all the time. we have this wide assortment of approaches to
campaign-finance regulation. we have apolitical scientist from missouri, one of five states that has no limits on contributions to candidates. i am from the commonwealth of virginia. we have no limits. there are states like oregon and a couple others have a similar approach to campaign-finance time even though it is constitutional to impose, they have decided we are not going to have that. we're going to have disclosure. if you're going to make a sizable contribution to aa candidate for governor our state legislature you may do so, but it has to be pretty immediately disclosed. and that is accepted, at least for the time being. i remember candidates for governor who run 20 or 30 years ago, pat robinson was
a virginia constituent and resident. the democratic candidate pat robinson. >> a hundred thousand dollars. >> i don't know for the life of me why he thought that would be helpful. there are a lot of people who think pat robinson is a pretty good guy. >> i always thought that was a 5050 proposition. >> that is the accepted dynamic and virginia. and as a result the states don't have the bazaar, esoteric consignments is.
give that candidate the money. sometime there will be a group that will have something to say. usually that is the way campaigns evolve. the constitution as well as political dynamics of that particular constituency. other states, they change their laws after citizens united. tennessee for the longest time was a state that prohibited corporations from making any contribution to a candidate for state office. and after citizens united -- there were so restricted. you could not subsidize.
the politicians in the state house looked around and said okay. now we will have unlimited super pacs which causes a problem. now going to change the law and corporations may now contribute to candidate for thousand dollars something like that. >> there is a limit. >> that is correct. twenty-nine states and the district of columbia permit corporations from contributing some amount to campaigns. forty-three states allow unions to contribute. so this notion is uniquely
thorough. back in the states they have greater allowances. the discrepancy as to how they regulate campaign finances and a lot of it is based on practical considerations. in florida they have a limit you can give an unlimited amount to the political parties. all of these jurisdictions are trying to compensate for the need for resources to undertake meaningful campaigns and sometimes large jurisdictions. run for governor of florida. you're going to get it for your own campaign than that will be other things.
the other was the robinson contribution to an example of a proper use of disclosure that was given. finding out information about the contributions. if you know this person contributed that's how it works in the sense that campaigns don't usually use it. a couple of brothers in wichita, really even then i question whether most people know who contributors are. it was supposed to be away to get the information that they can use. >> how do you see this going
forward? it has been four years that this particular dichotomy has survived. do you think it has got many years ahead? i said the last ten years they're has been no decision from what i can tell that has been -- of the public is less enthused than the citizens united case. maybe it is because it has been misreported or misunderstood, but there is aa very strong disagreement. there is a large percentage of the public this is they don't like the citizens united decision, remember the part that says unlimited corporate spending. corporations are not actually spending a lot of people like the idea that
wall street or big corporations could have an undue influence. iinfluence. i have always thought there is always the possibility that if hillary of bernie sanders gets elected that one of her or his main planks and democrats going forward would be to put some limits on political spending. i am curious how you see this playing out. >> if there was such legislation it would have to pass the supreme court review. i would note that two years after citizens united there was a decision in the supreme court of montana is sosaid they would uphold limits on independence putting the corporations. because montana were special, different, have a justification because a hundred years ago the copper
and mining industry interests bought our political system and we don't want that coming back. so those courses we are different, and that is the distinction we are making. that case was appealed and summarily reversed. basically the supreme court said we met what we said, and there is nothing special about montana that deserves an exception. so if there is going to be legislative efforts of that sort, which i think is unlikely that always possible, the legislative effort is more indirect and reflected in the disclose act that was proposed in the last couple of congresses where proponents based upon the upholding of disclosure requirements in the citizens
united case which was eight to one. >> part of my question assuming if hillary is elected one of the things she will say most clearly is the next justices i choose will be committed to whatever overturning. >> actually, i don't think the way things are sorted out anyone she would appoint -- she does not have to ask. she knows the answer. there. there can be a question of how important it is, but the people you are going to get are going to overturn that decision. if you have the majority all you need is the state of vermont to pass a campaign-finance law that violates citizens united and the idea under it. and the question becomes how far as the majority go.
i like to throw out is what we all thought until now was dead as a doornail was the equality justification for campaign-finance regulation. it died in buckley, and his death has been extended. that majority feeling that 100 years a person have been overturned in say you guys started this game. we are going to end it because we will resuscitate the quality rationale once you do that presuming it is a manageable way of writing legislation, that really is a bad turn in american politics. i don't know that that -- it is an open-ended rationale. it would be a very difficult
problem to pass campaign-finance legislation after mccain-feingold which had such perverse results from members of congress. it will be hard to get something through congress but not through the vermont legislature. that is a risk. the legislative process is a complex one. to get something through congress they're has to be an acceptance by the majority of the legislature that was being passed is not only directed toward solving the perceived problem that will be at the least neutral for their own reelection.
and on top of that will survive constitutional review is one of the things that has beegsnea that has been learned from the buckley experience in the mcconnell litigation experience, even if you pass something for what is the supreme court going to?lourt goe out? if there are things that are struck out, what does that look like? only going to have a were system? >> it is always the law of unintended consequences. >> there was an awful lot of criticism and speculation that there would be provisions in the law that would be struck down and congressman had been tested anyhow. that was an attractive piece of legislation because the
1st of all said wesevere going to defund the political parties of half a billion, much of which was used to finance advertising criticizing candidates of the other party. then going to make it a crime to mention your name just before the election. use certain sources of funding and then by the way if you happen to be faced with an opponent who is a millionaire we have a solution. they will jiggly contribution limits. beforebefore we knew it there were 15 republicans and the senator. all those guys. that makes a lot of sense. >> is one thing that should
be mentioned. we can be pretty sure that what won't be passed in congress in the future will be a serious public financing bill. the only serious public financing at the federal level in the post- watergate era was residency for another branch of government. and there have been caught when you had one thing pass in the early '90s that did not have a financing element to it, and then whispering years coming up with very pure public financing that would have given real money to challengers. those can nowhere near passing. >> asking about the view on the left, how about the political right? the president trump/cruise/review is an
office next year, do you think the republicans, and suppose they have control, a lot of things they would like to do comeau what sentiment do you think for knocking down or pulling back further on some of the campaign-finance limits in the direction of deregulating, do you see that as much of an issue? >> certainly for majority leader mcconnell. while we have seen in the last two continuing resolutions that the end of the session of congress is some adjustments inserted in the major unrelated legislation. all of which seems to be geared toward loosening up some of the limits, for
example once they are veteran public financing for conventions they added a provision that allowed the parties to raise private monies ain large amounts for certain sources. or in the last go around the senator was seeking a change to law that would allow political parties to collaborate with their candidates and spend money on behalf of of those candidates.candidates. that was not acceptable to the democratic majority of senators, but the thrust of it is going to try and make accommodations that hopefully will be acceptable to recognize this has been
created and we would not created ourselves. we want to provide more resources for campaigns and political parties in order to be able to respond to the virtual of limited resources the shifted more availability of resources outside of the campaigns and political parties. the parties can only respond by increasing limits or eliminating limits on certain source of funding. >> well,well, i would be one thing to consider.
it allowed them to raise more money for conventions, redistricting litigation and for building an overhead activity. but they maintain the ban on soft money in the sense that there are limits and the sources of such funding can only be individuals and other packs. under the old soft-money regime the money could comment any amount from an individual, any political committee, any corporation or union with some minor exceptions. so that regime has not been reinstated. i don't know of anyone who has proposed to your legislatively, but that might be something to arise in the future. in terms of supreme court litigation the battleground right now will be disclosure. that is the one thing that the supreme court has upheld
in principle, that there can be disclosure, mandated disclosure. so the issue legally in the courts is going to be how far can the government go in mandating disclosure? how burdensome can disclosure be how pervasive? how can it be enforced? and that to me in terms of the short-term is likely to be the battleground both in terms of federal disclosure statute and state law that purports to do the same. >> that is the inside story. seems to me there are couple things that would come together that might change tendencies of one of these candidates if elected. there is a critique right now among people
traditionally skeptical of liberals and federal government, the problem of crony capitalism,capitalism, the idea that business is using to have the special interest critique and another version,version, so that is out there and inevitably will be tied to donors, packs and so on. the other side of it is this movement called form conservatism. now this is a kind of washington thing, but the basic sense of it is that the traditional kind of -- the republicans traditional concern about entrepreneurial activity, business, liberalization, limited government, get ideas that they had gone too far and you have to be concerned particularly about programs, redistribution, effective welfare state and so on. they are sort of leaning left. and so i think it is possible you see something
like in the work of the weekly standard writer and his writings, a certain skepticism about it mcconnell smith view of campaign-finance, and their candidate is marco rubio. he might be open to doing things that are nontraditional and a little distant from the mcconnell smith view. let's get money out of politics. not everyone can run on the basis of free airtime. >> anyone have a question, we have time if anyone wants -- has anything they want to ask about. >> over here.
>> hi. ihi. i think that i am developing a good understanding of the first amendment arguments against the owners campaign-finance regulations. because yes, i think it is a strong case to say someone who donates $23 to bernie sanders should have the same voice as someone who has more means that donates the maximum. what i don't here a lot of times mentioned is when you have these new wild west groups of super pacs and someone donates a million dollars to an independent organization, there is a case to be made that you can't necessarily proveproof quid pro quo that this happened three thursdays ago
but it is unreasonable think that there is some kind of favoritism that can come from that. something that i don't here mentioned very often and i think that gets lost in the first amendment cases that are made against campaign-finance regulation. >> well, i think there might be at least a couple of comments. in the previous panel we heard from the political science professionals that there have been studies as to whether or not the spending of the money changes any officeholder positions as opposed to reinforcing the support that they get from a particular source. so the example i always like
to refer to his i think people who have a position on right to life will contribute to candidates before are for right to life. they may be proponents of that viewpoint that only in the contributions but independent spending. the only time i think that there would be a potential for corruption is if there was a demonstration of that particular candidate used to be pro-choice and changed is our position because of the money. now we are into the realm of quid pro quo,quo, but it is not because of the money but the candidate because they are corrupt in that sense. i think that the difficulty in accommodating all of these considerations in first amendment jurisprudence is that we do have this constitutional principle that it is not up to the government to
regulate political activities, speeches, association. in fact it is the principal reason we have a first amendment that we made a decision 200 years ago that we were not going to allow the government the power to regulate in that fashion. and once you start giving the government and allowance to regulate you have to recognize that that can be more harmful than the speech that is being protected. that is why i just don't understand why we want the government in the business of deciding who want to speak, how much they ought to speak for they give resources. and the presence of money is the necessity of being able
to engage in those types of freedoms. otherwise we could just pass it along and say you can't spend anything. don't spend any money. what we do have a law that says the los angeles times does need more than a million dollars a day to publish his newspaper. >> the way things have been going to take it. >> a follow-on. less just say you all casinos and our billionaire have a strong view about israel, the current prime minister natural you want to contribute. you want to contribute to candidates and you get the candidates and million dollars.
you could say that can raise being strongly affected by that's a million dollars. however the other problem is if you are bigger people running and seriously running for the presidential nomination as things have developed over time very strong supporters of the state of israel. and so give the money for that reason they would be aa person that will be a strong supporter.