Campaign Finance of Public Elections – Editorial

Campaign Finance is a diverse field of techniques in which a politician may use to raise money for a multitude of expenses from advertisements to party dues. These techniques are categorized by the person or entity that donates to them and how much those donations are. Reviewing this in the lens of as an American citizen with support from politicians and studies allow us to dive deeper into the world of public elections. In public elections, the largest number of donations comes from a category known as congressional fundraising. Congressional Fundraising including money from a direct donation, PACs, SuperPACs, and dark money. With each of these forms of financing comes a flaw made by the type of donation they are, where the donation comes from and how much time it takes to get the donation. These donations create bias in our government by reinforcing the traditional practice of representing the political agenda of those who donated to the politician and takes away a significant amount of their time lost to fundraising which should be used for their jobs of developing, reviewing, and removing legislature. So instead of creating more flaws that we already have, I believe we should move towards a system that fills the cracks and crevices that we call our political system with public financing through the government.

In our current system of government, you are only allowed funding if you fit in a certain tax bracket to be able to receive money for your campaign as a politician. This limits politicians through a form of exclusion leading them to funding elsewhere. Mainly direct donations which are hard to avoid being “just one part of a system that includes SuperPACs and so-called dark money although to be even fairer it is still the largest part.” (12:06 – 12:14). Also with the individual, you take donations from being from a socioeconomic status that affects the views they hold and how the politician will cater to that political agenda. Senator Chris Murphy even explained saying “for a senator race I’m not calling anyone who doesn’t have the chance of giving me at least thousand dollars.” (11:29 – 11:34). then following up with explaining how these people have “fundamentally different problems than everybody” (11:42 – 11:45). Also, the amount of time they spent gaining this money is taken away from their jobs. Former Senator Majority leader Tom Daschle estimated that the amount of time of a politician spends setting up an election 2 years before head is “two-thirds of their time raising money.”(Goldmacher 1) .A system that would allow the government to give a set amount to each political across the board what start every political off at the same position with less influence from outside sources influencing the political agenda while allow them more time to do the job of a politician and have less political agendas that sway with donners.

With our current state of financing of public elections if left untended to in the future it will lead to further damage to our government through more money influenced corruption. With money being incentivized to politicians as a priority to be able to even do their job. Being counterproductive to what their work is. If politicians, we put on an even playing field initially then their choices would be less influenced by a donner and their true political opinion can be judged and lead to a more honest and competitive election. That is why government financing allows for more efficiency and effectiveness in campaign financing and in turn politics overall.


Works Cited

Harley, Zimaud. Congressional Fundraising: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO). YouTube, 3 Apr. 2016, k&list=LLfBrtTFHZBeqrnvWlgePqvw&index=. Accessed 16 March. 2017.

 “Former Senate Leader Says Senators Spent Two-Thirds of Time Asking for Money.” Editorial. National Journal, 16 Jan. 2014, Accessed 16 March. 2017.