“The Money Trail” Without money most of the candidates running for the 2000 presidential election would have by now disappeared from the race. So where does the money come from? By the end of this paper this question will be answered, along with many others that many Americans think about. The focus will basically be on the Federal campaign finance Law, soft money and how it effects the presidential race, and lastly Governor Bush and Vice-President Gore’s views on campaign finance reform. The only way to survive a presidential or congressional election race is with money. All of the 2000 presidential candidates got as far as they did with lots and lots of money. But, since most funds are donated, each candidate has to follow certain guidelines provided by the Federal Election Commission.
This commission created the Federal Election Campaign Act, which has many different restrictions on contributing money. FEC requires candidate committees, party committees, and PACs to file periodic reports disclosing the money they raise and spend (FEC 1).
Also candidate committees and party committees must identify individuals who give more than two hundred dollars a year (FEC 1).
Every four years it takes place. Us Americans do it. People fought hard for us to have this right. What is it? It's the right to vote. This year happens to be the year of the 2000 presidential election. With what could be the closest election in the history of the United States there are many issues that surround the election. Us Americans are going to vote for whomever we think is going to do the ...
This committee also restricts who can give money, such as corporations, labor organizations, federal government contractors, and foreign nationals. One other limitation is that no one may make a contribution in another person’s name and no one may make a contribution in cash of more than one hundred dollars (FEC 1).
The Federal Election Campaign Act also states contribution limits. The chart below shows the limits and which participants they affect (FEC 1).
Mills 2 The chart below shows the limits and which participants they affect (FEC 1).
Not only does the Federal Election Campaign Act limit parties; it also gives guidelines to the candidates. Eligible candidates in the presidential primaries may receive public funds to match the private contributions they raise (FEC 4).
Now that is a great plus for a candidate but here comes the rub.
An individual may give up to one thousand dollars to a primary candidate, but only the first two hundred and fifty of that contribution will be federally matched (FEC 4).
So even though candidates can receive public funding, it is only for a small amount of money. Also even before they can receive public funding, Mills 3 each candidate must demonstrate broad-based support by raising more than five thousand dollars in matchable contributions in each of twenty different states (FEC 4).
These rules are only a small part of the guidelines that candidates and political parties have to follow in order to use money in their campaigns. Myth or truth; Is soft money a key component in campaigns? This statement is very true. But soft money, by definition and law, is not supposed to be part of our federal campaign finance system (Common Cause 1).
If it is not supposed to be used then why do political parties still use it? Without soft money political parties would not be able to fund many campaign activities which help their candidate. Political parties spend soft money on such things as television campaign ads, “get-out-the-vote” efforts, or dinner for a big investor. Soft money is raised by federal candidates and federal officeholders and the spending of soft money, although nominally done by parties, is controlled by or coordinated with federal candidates (Common Cause 2).
... This amount of soft money given to a candidate or party can be at price. Often candidate and parties receive this soft money from large corporations ... and unbiased. Public financing is the last facet of campaign finance that should (although it is difficult) be reformed ... under federal law. The problem here does not lie in the hard money situations, but rather the soft money. Since hard money is ...
Also unlike “hard money,” with its firm limits on contributions, soft money is largely unregulated (Washington Post 1).
The myth of soft money is that it is contributed and spent for what is euphemistically called “party building” purposes that are unrelated to influencing federal elections (Common Cause 1).
But that is not really the case. Most of the soft money donations are given in such great amounts (between fifty thousand and one million dollars) that donors may want something in return. If the donors are big businesses they may want laws to be changed in their favor or if it is a private donor they may want a “voice” in the government. Soft money has really only been around since 1978, but during the 1988 presidential race the problem exploded.
First when the Dukakis campaign, then the Bush campaign began aggressive soft money fundraising (Common Cause 1).
Before parties Mills 4 raised only small amounts. Then during the 1996 presidential campaign, the money increased drastically. The two major parties raised more than two hundred and sixty two million in soft money – three times more than in 1992 (Washington Post 1).
So it is obviously safe to say that without soft money candidates would not get as much publicity as they do now. As former Democratic National Committee fundraiser Johnny Chung said about the business of campaigns that “the White House it like a subway – you have to put in coins to open the gates” (Common Cause 1).
During this 2000 presidential election both major candidates feel strongly about tougher campaign finance reform. It seems quite contradicting of them both, when their political parties use soft money. Tougher campaign finance would hurt them instead of help them. But whatever they say must be the truth! Governor Bush and Vice-President Gore have extremely good proposals to strengthen campaign finance reform.
Governor Bush has six proposals (George W. Bush 1): 1. To prevent corporate boards and union bosses from diminishing the influence of individuals. 2. To prevent Americans from being forced to fund candidates they don’t support. 3.
To protect the right of individuals to express themselves. 4. To ensure full and timely disclosure on campaign contributions. 5. To end “Double-Dipping” and respect donor’s choices. 6.
Effective election campaigns have always relied on the candidates’ ability to raise money. Even in the days before television, radio and the internet, it still took money to get the word out to the people in a far-flung land. However, today’s candidates are faced with raising larger and larger amounts of money with each new election that comes along. Individuals are the primary source of campaign ...
To ensure that lawmakers serve the public interest. Now, Vice-president Gore has had more experience in this department than Governor Bush, so Gore states previous proposals that he has supported. Gore has been in the fore- front of the effort to overhaul the current campaign finance system by calling on the Republican Congress to pass the bi-partisan McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform Act (Al Gore 2000 1).
He also states, “I will also continue fighting for other reforms that can help reduce the skyrocketing costs of campaigns – such as free or Mills 5 reduced rates for television advertising” (Al Gore 2000 1).
If either candidate wins there will be a good chance that soft money could be banned from elections, especially with the proposals that the two of them support. Do you think anything will happen? Only time will tell. Money, is everything, especially in presidential campaigns. Without it candidates would be nothing. The Federal Election Campaign Act gives regulations to make sure that parties and candidates are following the rules, but that is not to say that everyone follows them.
Soft money is the weakness for some of the rules. It is a great ingredient, which is not used sparingly. Should the next president do away with it? Both Governor Bush and Vice-President Gore will try if they are elected. As Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs would say, “It’s all about the Benjamins baby.” Mills 6 Works Cited Al Gore 2000. “Campaign Finance Reform.” Date of publishing unknown. 1 page.
On-line. Internet. 31 October 2000. Available WWW: web finance reform/Al Gore 2000. “Town Hall – Finance Reform.” 19 July 1999. 1 page.
On- line. Internet. 31 October 2000. Available WWW: web finance reform. html Common Cause. “Soft Money: What Is It and Why Is It A Problem?” 2000.
2 pages. On-line. Internet. 31 October 2000. Available WWW: web Cause. “The Enormous Growth of Soft Money.” 2000.
1 page. On-line. Internet. 31 October 2000. Available WWW: web Election Committee. “The Campaign Finance Law.” Date of publishing unknown.
ter> Sam Vaknin's Psychology, Philosophy, Economics and Foreign Affairs Web Sites The State of the Net: An Interim Report about the Future of the Internet Who are the participants who constitute the Internet? Users - connected to the net and interacting with it The communications lines and the communications equipment The intermediaries (e.g. the suppliers of on-line information or access ...
6 pages. On-line. Internet. 31 October 2000. Available WWW: web W.
Bush for President Official Site. “Campaign Finance Reform.” Date of publishing unknown. 1 page. On-line.
Internet. 31 October 2000. Available WWW: web Post. “Soft Money – A Look at the Loopholes.” 1998. 2 pages. On-line.
Internet. 26 October 1999. Available WWW: http: //www / washington post. com / wp -s rv / politics /special / camp fin / intro 4. htm.