Copy and answer questions 1-10, 11-15, and 21-25 on page 204 to review Chapter 7. Due on Thursday.
Chapter 7: The Electoral Process
Section 3: Money and Elections
1. List the election related expenses that are paid by the campaign funds.
Radio and television time, professional campaign managers and consultants, newspaper advertisements, pamphlets, buttons, posters and bumper stickers, office rent, polls, data processing, mass mailings, Web sites, travel—these and a host of other items make up the huge sums spent in campaigns.
Television ads are far and away the largest item in most campaign budgets today, even at the local level.
2. Explain the different methods through which campaign funds are acquired.
Small contributors—those who give $5 or $10 or so, and only occasionally.
Wealthy individuals and families—the “fat cats,” who can make large donations and find it in their best interest to make them.
Candidates—both incumbents and challengers, their families, and, importantly, people who hold and want to keep appointive public offices.
Various nonparty groups—especially political action committees (PACs). Political action committees are the political arms of special-interest and other organizations with a stake in electoral politics.
Temporary organizations—groups formed for the immediate purposes of a campaign, including fund-raising.
Then, too, parties and their candidates often hold fund-raisers of various sorts. The most common are $100-, $500-, and $1,000-a-plate luncheons, dinners, picnics, receptions, and similar gatherings.
Direct mail requests, telethons, and Internet solicitations are also among the oft-used tools of those who raise campaign money.
Public funds—subsidies from the federal and some State treasuries—are now another prime source of campaign money. A subsidy is a grant of money, usually from a government.
3. Why do people make campaign donations?
Most want something in return. They want access to government, and hope to get it by helping their “friends” win elections.
Some big donors want appointments to public office, and others want to keep the ones they have.
Others want certain laws passed, changed, or repealed, or certain administrative actions taken.
4. What is the job of the Federal Election Commission? What are the four areas it must watch in regards to campaign finance?
It administers all federal law dealing with campaign finance.
They (1) require the timely disclosure of campaign finance data, (2) place limits on campaign contributions, (3) place limits on campaign expenditures, and (4) provide public funding for several parts of the presidential election process.
5. What are the current disclosure requirements for federal campaigns?
No individual or group can make a contribution in the name of another.
Cash gifts of more than $100 are prohibited. So are contributions from any foreign source.
All contributions to a candidate for federal office must be made through a single campaign committee. Only that committee can spend that candidate’s campaign money.
Any contribution or loan of more than $200 must be identified by source and by date.
Any spending over $200 must also be identified by the name of the person or firm to whom payment was made, by date, and by purpose.
Any contribution of more than $5,000 must be reported to the FEC no later than 48 hours after it is received. So, too, must any sum of $1,000 or more that is received in the last 20 days of a campaign.
6. What are current limits placed on campaign contributions?
Today, no person can give more than $2,100 to any federal candidate in a primary election, and no more than $2,100 to any federal candidate’s general election campaign.
No person can give more than $5,000 in any year to a political action committee, or $26,700 to a national party committee.
The total of any person’s contributions to federal candidates and committees now must be limited to no more than $101,400 in an election cycle.
7. What are PACs? What are their campaign contribution limits?
PAC = Political Action Committee. PACs are the political arms of special-interest groups—business, labor, professional, cause, and other organizations that try to influence government policies.
No PAC can give more than $5,000 to any one federal candidate in an election, or $10,000 per election cycle (primary and general election).
However, there is no overall limit on PAC giving to candidates. Each PAC can give up to $5,000 per election to each of as many candidates as it chooses. A PAC may also contribute up to $15,000 a year to a political party.
8. How do soft money and hard money differ?
Hard money is raised and spent to elect candidates for Congress and the White House.
Soft money is given to party organizations for such “party-building activities” as candidate recruitment, voter registration and get-out-the-vote drives, and similar efforts.
9. How do political groups get around the provisions of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (the BCRA) of 2002?
BCRA does not say that other political groups cannot raise and spend those dollars. Almost immediately, a number of independent groups—groups with no formal ties to any party—emerged to do just that.
It is basically a way to skirt the ban on soft money. Some $200 million poured through that loophole in 2004.