PLS 200-05

Money in Politics (Ch.3)

bribes, extortion, kickbacks, etc?

  • bribe: payment in return for favors (preferential treatment/votes) — always illegal
  • kickback: percentage of a contract paid to an official in return for awarding the contract — always illegal
  • extortion: demand for $ in return for favors — always illegal
  • insider trading: use of privileged info for profit
  • patronage: position or job offer given in exchange for service
  • Congressional elections: 1-1.5 years in length ($400 million)
  • Presidential elections: 2+ years ($1 billion)
  • Sources/limits

  • you & I
  • political parties
  • PACs
  • corporations
  • Majority of individual contributions: $20-150 range

    Federal Campaign Reform Bill 1971

  • $1000 limit on indiv. contrib. per candidate
  • $5000 limit on corp. contrib. per candidate
  • recent:

  • $2000 indiv. limits
  • Soft Money

  • $$ for party
  • can be used for GOTV, etc
  • Hard Money

  • $$ for candidate
  • candidate may not spend $$ for personal uses
  • How to check & prevent campaign violations?

  • establish criteria for use
  • oversight (who give & how much?)
  • restrict pvt money (tax increase?)
  • no opt out for public funding
  • campaign ethics laws
  • cannot accept more than $100 in gifts from lobbyists
  • whistleblower protections
  • McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform Act

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