Campaign Finance Reform: A Summary and Analysis of Legislative Proposals In the 98th and 99th Congresses

This report summarizes and analyzes on a conceptual basis the 108 bills and major amendments offered in the 98th and 99th Congresses which proposed changes in the campaign finance laws governing Federal elections.

Report No. 87-1 GOV CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM: A SUMMARY AND ANALYSIS OF LEGISLATIVE PROPOSALS IN THE 98TH AND 99TH CONGRESSES Joseph E . Cantor Analyst i n American N a t i o n a l Government Government D i v i s i o n W E R N MENT DOCUMENTS CouECTtoN WBRTHERN KENTUCKY UNIVERSITY LIBRARY January 5 , 1987 T h e Congressional Research S e n ice works exclusivel~for the Congress, conducting research. analvzing legislation, and p r o ~ i d i n ginformation at the request of committees, Members, and their staffs. T h e Service makes such research available, without partisan bias, in rnanv forms including studies. reports, compilations. digests, and background briefings. Upon request, CRS assists committees in analyzing legislative proposals and issues. and in assessing the possible effects of these proposals and their alternatives. T h e Service's senior specialists and subject analysts are also available for personal consultations in their respective fields of expertise. ABSTRACT T h i s r e p o r t s u m m a r i z e s and a n a l y z e s on a c o n c e p t u a l b a s i s t h e 108 b i l l s and m a j o r amendments o f f e r e d i n t h e 9 8 t h and 9 9 t h C o n g r e s s e s w h i c h p r o p o s e d changes i n t h e campaign f i n a n c e laws g o v e r n i n g F e d e r a l e l e c t i o n s . C R S -V CONTENTS ................................. SUMMARY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ABSTRACT . Restricting the Role of PACs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Decrease the PAC Contribution Limit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . An Aggregate PAC Receipts Limit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . An Aggregate Limit on PAC Contributions . . . . . . . . . . . . ... Disallowing Use of Tax Credits for Contributions to PACs Encouraging Earmarking of Contributions to PACs . . . . . . . . Channeling PAC Donations through a Trust Fund . . . . . . . . . More Public Disclosure Regarding PAC Activity . . . . . . . . . Prohibit PACs by Government Contractors . . . . . . . . . . . . Prohibit PAC Contributions to Parties . . . . . . . . . . . . . B . Curbing candidates' Personal Spending . . . . . . . . . . . . . . C . Boost the Role of Individual Citizens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Raising Individual Contribution Limits . . . . . . . . . . . . . Increasing the Value of Tax Incentives . . . . . . . . . . . . . Establish a 100 Percent Tax Credit for Small Individual Contributions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . D . Boosting the Role of Political Parties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Raising or Removing Limits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Granting Special Tax Incentives for Contributions to Parties . . I1 . LEVEL OF CAMPAIGN EXPENDITURES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A . Public Funding Linked to Spending Limits . . . . . . . . . . . . . Full Public subsidies with Spending Limits . . . . . . . . . . . A iii ix 1 4 5 8 12 13 14 15 15 16 17 17 20 22 24 24 26 29 31 33 35 38 CONTENTS.. Continued .............. M a t c h i n g Funds w i t h S p e n d i n g L i m i t s 100 P e r c e n t Tax C r e d i t s f o r C o n t r i b u t i o n s t o C a n d i d a t e s Who A b i d e by L i m i t s P u b l i c S u b s i d i e s f o r Media E x p e n d i t u r e s w i t h L i m i t s Lower P o s t a l R a t e s f o r C a n d i d a t e s Who Agree t o S p e n d i n g L i m i t s C o n d i t i o n a l P u b l i c S u b s i d i e s t o O p p o n e n t s of C a n d i d a t e s Who Exceed L i m i t s ..................... ...... . ......................... B . F r e e Media Time f o r F e d e r a l C a n d i d a t e s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . C . A C o n s t i t u t i o n a l Amendment t o L i m i t Campaign E x p e n d i t u r e s . . . . . Impose D I11 S p e n d i n g L i m i t s W i t h o u t R e g a r d t o t h e Supreme C o u r t ' s R u l i n g . CLOSING PERCEIVED LOOPHOLES I N THE SYSTEM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A . Independent Expenditures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Compensate T a r g e t s of Independent E x p e n d i t u r e s . . . . . . . . . F r e e B r o a d c a s t R e s p o n s e Time . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Reduced P o s t a l R a t e s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ......... I n c r e a s e d L i m i t s on P a r t y C o n t r i b u t i o n s T i g h t e n Legal D e f i n i t i o n s and Requirements . . . . . . . . . . . I n c o r p o r a t e Independent E x p e n d i t u r e s by C a n d i d a t e s . . . . . . . L i m i t I n d e p e n d e n t E x p e n d i t u r e s W i t h o u t R e g a r d t o Supreme C o u r t ' s Ruling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . S o f t Money . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . D . P e r s o n a l Use o f E x c e s s Campaign F u n d s by Members o f C o n g r e s s . . . E . Use of Union Dues Money f o r P o l i t i c a l P u r p o s e s . . . . . . . . . . U n i o n Dues C o l l e c t e d a s a C o n d i t i o n of Employment . . . . . . . C V .A STUDY COMMISSION . THE 47 48 48 49 51 52 54 56 56 57 57 58 59 60 62 63 64 65 .......................... 67 ................ Presidential Elections . . . . . . . . . PRESIDENTIAL PUBLIC FUNDING SYSTEM . R e p e a l P u b l i c F u n d i n g of B . Express Support f o r Retention A 44 45 46 . D i s c l o s u r e o f Union T r e a s u r y Money Used f o r P o l i t i c a l P u r p o s e s IV 40 of P u b l i c F u n d i n g ......... 69 69 70 CONTENTS.. Cont inued . Increase Expenditure Limits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . D . Increase Subsidy for Nominating Conventions . . . . . . . . . . . E . Abolish the State-by-State Spending Limits in Primaries . . . . . C VI . NEGATIVE CAMPAIGNING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . VII . ...................... A . Index Contribution Limits for Inflation . . . . . . . . . . . . . B . Repeal Tax Credit for Political Contributions . . . . . . . . . . C . Prohibit Contributions from U.S. Ambassadors . . . . . . . . . . . D . Value of In-Kind Contributions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . E . Bank Loans . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . MISCELLANEOUS PROPOSALS F . Party Receipts Limit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . APPENDIX A: House Bills and Amendments Senate Bills and Amendments APPENDIX B: ...... ..................... ..................... CAMPAIGN FINANCE LEGISLATION IN THE 98th CONGRESS CAMPAIGN FINANCE LEGISLATION IN THE 99th CONGRESS House Bills and Amendments Senate Bills and Amendments ...... ..................... ..................... The author expresses appreciation to Patricia Johns Grant. Government Division. for her able assistance in the preparation of this report . C R S - ix SUMMARY The c a m p a i g n f i n a n c e s y s t e m g o v e r n i n g F e d e r a l e l e c t i o n s h a s b e e n t h e s u b j e c t of g r o w i n g c r i t i c i s m i n r e c e n t y e a r s , f o c u s e d on t h e amount of money s p e n t on c a m p a i g n s a n d t h e s o u r c e s o f campaign f u n d s . Campaign s p e n d i n g i s limited i n Presidential e l e c t i o n s , a s part of t h e public financing system a v a i l a b l e t o P r e s i d e n t i a l c a n d i d a t e s . Congressional campaigns a r e n o t s u b j e c t t o s p e n d i n g l i m i t s , i n v i e w o f t h e Supreme C o u r t ' s r u l i n g i n B u c k l e y v . V a l e o [ 4 2 4 U.S. 1 1 9 7 6 ) ] t h a t s p e n d i n g may n o t b e l i m i t e d u n l e s s i n c o n j u n c t i o n w i t h a p u b l i c f i n a n c e s y s t e m . The s o u r c e s o f f u n d s a r e l i m i t e d i n a l l F e d e r a l campaigns, whether from i n d i v i d u a l c i t i z e n s , p o l i t i c a l p a r t i e s , o r p o l i t i c a l a c t i o n c o m m i t t e e s (PACs). I n t h e 9 8 t h a n d 9 9 t h C o n g r e s s e s , 1 0 8 b i l l s a n d m a j o r amendments p r o p o s e d c h a n g e s i n t h e N a t i o n ' s campaign f i n a n c e l a w s , w i t h a n e m p h a s i s on l i m i t i n g c a m p a i g n e x p e n d i t u r e s a n d a l t e r i n g t h e r e l a t i v e r o l e s p l a y e d by t h e v a r i o u s f u n d i n g s o u r c e s . Many l e g i s l a t i v e i n i t i a t i v e s i n c l u d e d s e v e r a l d i f f e r e n t p r o p o s a l s , a d d r e s s i n g v a r i o u s p e r c e i v e d problems i n t h e c u r r e n t system. Twenty-two b i l l s a n d amendments imposed l i m i t s on c o n g r e s s i o n a l c a m p a i g n s p e n d i n g i n t h e c o n t e x t of a p u b l i c f u n d i n g s y s t e m ( t h r o u g h e i t h e r f u l l g r a n t s , m a t c h i n g f u n d s , media s u b s i d i e s , p o s t a l s u b s i d i e s , o r 100 p e r c e n t t a x c r e d i t s t o c o n t r i b u t o r s t o c a n d i d a t e s ) . The p u b l i c f u n d i n g p r o p o s a l s a d d r e s s e d i s s u e s c o n c e r n i n g b o t h t h e c o s t and t h e f u n d i n g s o u r c e s o f c o n g r e s s i o n a l campaigns. E l e v e n o t h e r b i l l s a n d amendments a t t e m p t e d t o 1i m i t s p e n d i n g , p r i m a r i l y t h r o u g h e i t h e r a c o n s t i t u t i o n a l amendment o r t h r o u g h f r e e m e d i a time f o r candidates. The s o u r c e o f f u n d i n g i s a d d r e s s e d i n a l a r g e number of t h e 108 p r o p o s e d m e a s u r e s , w i t h a s p e c i a l f o c u s on PACs--the a g e n t s o f i n t e r e s t g r o u p s - - a n d t h e perceived disproportionate r o l e they a r e playing i n funding congressional e l e c t i o n s . Apart from t h e p u b l i c f u n d i n g p r o p o s a l s , t h e most c o m o n a p p r o a c h t o c u r b i n g t h e r o l e of PACs was t o i m p o s e a n a g g r e g a t e PAC r e c e i p t s l i m i t on c a n d i d a t e s ( i n c l u d e d i n 22 p r o p o s a l s ) a n d t o r e d u c e t h e c u r r e n t $ 5 , 0 0 0 PAC c o n t r i b u t i o n l i m i t t o some l o w e r amount ( i n 12 p r o p o s a l s ) . The r o l e o f f u n d i n g s o u r c e s i s a p p r o a c h e d from a d i f f e r e n t p e r s p e c t i v e i n p r o p o s a l s which s e e k n o t t o l i m i t PACs d i r e c t l y b u t t o d o s o more i n d i r e c t l y by a l l o w i n g o t h e r s o u r c e s t o p l a y a g r e a t e r r o l e : 13 p r o p o s a l s would r a i s e i n d i v i d u a l c o n t r i b u t i o n l i m i t s , w h i l e 9 p r o p o s a l s would r a i s e ( o r remove) t h e l i m i t s o n p a r t y c o n t r i b u t i o n s and e x p e n d i t u r e s . A t h i r d m a j o r f o c u s among t h e 1 0 8 b i l l s and amendments was t h e e l i m i n a t i o n o r c o u n t e r a c t i n g o f p e r c e i v e d l o o p h o l e s i n t h e c u r r e n t s y s t e m , t h o s e means b y w h i c h i n d i v i d u a l s a n d g r o u p s s p e n d more money t h a n would o t h e r w i s e b e a l l o w e d u n d e r t h e l a w ( f o r v a r i o u s r e a s o n s ) . Along t h e s e l i n e s , 2 6 m e a s u r e s p r o p o s e d C R S -X some f o r m of c o m p e n s a t i o n t o c a n d i d a t e s o p p o s e d by i n d e p e n d e n t e x p e n d i t u r e s ( i n most c a s e s , e i t h e r a d d i t i o n a l p u b l i c f u n d s i n p u b l i c f i n a n c e p r o p o s a l s o r f r e e broadcast response time). Other perceived loopholes addressed include " b u n d l i n g " o f c o n t r i b u t i o n s t o c i r c u m v e n t l i m i t s ( i n 13 p r o p o s a l s ) , s o f t money ( i n 4 p r o p o s a l s ) , p e r s o n a l u s e o f e x c e s s campaign f u n d s by c a n d i d a t e s ( i n 6 p r o p o s a l s ) , a n d u s e o f u n i o n d u e s money f o r p o l i t i c a l a c t i v i t y ( i n 6 proposals) . T h e s e p r o p o s a l s and o t h e r s a r e d i s c u s s e d i n t h i s r e p o r t , i n c o m p a r i s o n w i t h o t h e r s of a s i m i l a r n a t u r e , a c c o r d i n g t o t h e c o n c e p t s e n g e n d e r e d i n e a c h . They r e p r e s e n t most of t h e i d e a s c u r r e n t l y b e i n g e x p r e s s e d i n C o n g r e s s , i n t h e m e d i a , i n a c a d e m i c p u b l i c a t i o n s , and among p o l i t i c a l o b s e r v e r s , r e g a r d i n g ways t o c h a n g e t h e l a w s g o v e r n i n g F e d e r a l campaign f i n a n c e . CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM: A SUMMARY AND ANALYSIS OF LEGISLATIVE PROPOSALS IN THE 98TH AND 99TH CONGRESSES INTRODUCTION The c a m p a i g n f i n a n c e s y s t e m g o v e r n i n g F e d e r a l e l e c t i o n s h a s b e e n t h e s u b j e c t of d i s c u s s i o n and c o n t r o v e r s y i n r e c e n t y e a r s , w i t h i s s u e s f o c u s e d o n t h e amount o f money s p e n t and t h e s o u r c e s of t h o s e f u n d s ( b o t h e x i s t i n g a n d alternative). I n t h e 9 8 t h a n d 9 9 t h C o n g r e s s e s , 1 0 8 b i l l s a n d amendments were p r o p o s e d ( a n d some w e r e c o n s i d e r e d a n d p a s s e d ) t o c h a n g e t h e F e d e r a l c a m p a i g n f i n a n c e l a w s i n some way. T h i s r e p o r t p r o v i d e s a c o n c e p t u a l d i s c u s s i o n and a n a l y s i s o f t h e s e l e g i s l a t i v e p r o p o s a l s a n d what a c t i o n ( i f a n y ) was t a k e n o n t h e m , w i t h a l l p r o p o s a l s e n g e n d e r i n g a p a r t i c u l a r concept summarized, a n a l y z e d and compared within each section o r sub-section. The a p p e n d i x l i s t s a l l o f t h e s e p r o p o s a l s i n c h r o n o l o g i c a l o r d e r , w i t h a b r i e f g e n e r a l c o n c e p t u a l summary o f e a c h . This report generally does not include proposals dealing with a d m i n i s t r a t i v e o r enforcement m a t t e r s p e r t a i n i n g t o t h e Federal E l e c t i o n Comnission ( i n c l u d i n g a p p r o p r i a t i o n s , d i s c l o s u r e f u n c t i o n s , e t c . ) , but i s e s s e n t i a l l y c o n f i n e d t o t h o s e p r o p o s a l s which r e g u l a t e ( o r d e r e g u l a t e ) t h e f l o w o f money i n e l e c t i o n s . These p r o p o s a l s are a t t h e h e a r t of t h e o n g o i n g d e b a t e . T h i s r e p o r t o f f e r s a d i s c u s s i o n of c u r r e n t proposals t o change t h e campaign f i n a n c e s y s t e m , most of which a r e r e f l e c t e d i n l e g i s l a t i o n o f r e c e n t Congresses. I t t h u s s e r v e s a s a companion volume t o two o t h e r CRS r e p o r t s : R e p o r t No. 86-143 GOV (Campaign F i n a n c i n g i n F e d e r a l E l e c t i o n s : A Guide t o t h e Law a n d i t s O p e r a t i o n [ b y ] J o s e p h E . C a n t o r , Aug. 8 , 1 9 8 6 ) a n d I s s u e B r i e f I887020 ( C a m p a i g n F i n a n c i n g [ b y ] J o s e p h E. C a n t o r a n d Thomas M . D u r b i n , continuously updated). The G u i d e o f f e r s a n o v e r v i e w o f t h e c u r r e n t s y s t e m , i n c l u d i n g a summary of t h e l a w ' s p r o v i s i o n s a n d d a t a o n i t s o p e r a t i o n ; t h e i s s u e b r i e f provides an overview of t h e major i s s u e s involved i n t h e ongoing d e b a t e o v e r campaign f i n a n c i n g . I . SOURCES OF FUNDS T h e r e a r e f i v e major s o u r c e s of campaign f u n d s i n F e d e r a l e l e c t i o n s individual citizens (contributing directly t o candidates), political act ion c o m n i t t e e s , o r PACs ( t h e a g e n t s o f i n t e r e s t g r o u p s ) , p o l i t i c a l p a r t i e s , c a n d i d a t e s ( g i v i n g t o t h e i r own c a m p a i g n s f r o m p e r s o n a l a n d i m m e d i a t e f a m i l y f u n d s ) , a n d , i n t h e c a s e o f P r e s i d e n t i a l e l e c t i o n s o n l y , t h e U.S. Treasury. The r e l a t i v e r o l e s p l a y e d by e a c h o f t h e s e s o u r c e s h a s f u e l e d much o f t h e d e b a t e i n r e c e n t y e a r s o v e r t h e f i n a n c i n g of e l e c t i o n campaigns. T h i s d e b a t e h a s c e n t e r e d p r i m a r i l y around t h e f o u r funding s o u r c e s i n c o n g r e s s i o n a l e l e c t i o n s , a s t h e prevalence of p u b l i c funds i n P r e s i d e n t i a l e l e c t i o n s i s p e r c e i v e d by many t o h a v e a m e l i o r a t e d ( t o a l a r g e e x t e n t ) many o f t h e p o t e n t i a l problems a r i s i n g from p r i v a t e f u n d i n g s o u r c e s . These problems, which are i n h e r e n t i n any democracy, i n v o l v e t h e p o t e n t i a l f o r and t h e p e r c e p t i o n o f undue i n f l u e n c e o r c o r r u p t i o n r e s u l t i n g f r o m a n y p o s s i b l e o v e r r e l i a n c e by c a n d i d a t e s on p a r t i c u l a r s o u r c e s o f a s s i s t a n c e i n s e c u r i n g e l e c t i o n a n d t h e g o a l o f c u r b i n g d i s p r o p o r t i o n a t e power p o t e n t i a l l y r e s u l t i n g f r o m wealth. The l e g i s l a t i v e p r o p o s a l s i n t h i s g e n e r a l a r e a h a v e b e e n c h a r a c t e r i z e d by a n e f f o r t t o r e d i s t r i b u t e t h e r e l a t i v e i m p o r t a n c e of e a c h t y p e o f f u n d i n g source--boosting some, c u r b i n g o t h e r s . This process i s intended t o leave c a n d i d a t e s more r e l i a n t on some a n d l e s s r e l i a n t on o t h e r s . C u r r e n t l a w i m p o s e s l i m i t s on c o n t r i b u t i o n s f r o m t h r e e o f t h e f o u r f u n d i n g sources--individuals, PACs, a n d p a r t i e s , w i t h o n l y c a n d i d a t e c o n t r i b u t i o n s t o t h e i r campaigns n o t s u b j e c t t o limits ( i n c o n g r e s s i o n a l e l e c t i o n s , a t l e a s t ) . The e x i s t i n g l i m i t s i n some a r e a s and t h e a b s e n c e of l i m i t s i n o t h e r s h a v e h a d a n u n m i s t a k a b l e i m p a c t on t h e f l o w o f money i n F e d e r a l e l e c t i o n s s i n c e t h e l a w was i m p l e m e n t e d i n t h e mid-1970s. The v a r i o u s l i m i t s may h a v e made s e n s e t o p o l i c y m a k e r s when t h e y w e r e e n a c t e d , b u t t o many c r i t i c s , t h e y make l e s s s e n s e g i v e n e x p e r i e n c e w i t h them and t o d a y ' s r e a l i t i e s o f p o l i t i c a l c a m p a i g n i n g ; t h e y make l e s s s e n s e , i n p a r t , b e c a u s e t h e y a r e , f o r t h e most p a r t , n o t i n d e x e d f o r inflation. Hence, t o a g r e a t e x t e n t , l e g i s l a t i v e p r o p o s a l s f o c u s on a d j u s t i n g e x i s t i n g l i m i t s ( e i t h e r up o r down) o r a d d i n g new o n e s . Also, t h e law, through 1 9 8 6 a t l e a s t , h a s o f f e r e d e n c o u r a g e m e n t t o c e r t a i n t y p e s of c o n t r i b u t i n g by means of t a x i n c e n t i v e s . P r o p o s a l s from t h e 9 8 t h and 9 9 t h C o n g r e s s e s r e f l e c t i n t e r e s t i n a u g m e n t i n g o r a l t e r i n g t h e s e t a x i n c e n t i v e s t o o f f e r more o r l e s s encouragement f o r v a r i o u s t y p e s of p o l i t i c a l g i v i n g . A. R e s t r i c t i n g t h e R o l e of PACs P e r h a p s n o a s p e c t of t h e d e b a t e o v e r campaign f i n a n c i n g h a s b e e n more c e n t r a l t h a n t h e r o l e of p o l i t i c a l a c t i o n c o m n i t t e e s . As the agents of special i n t e r e s t s , t h e y have s e r v e d t o c r y s t a l i z e t h e i s s u e s i n h e r e n t i n t h e r o l e p l a y e d by i n t e r e s t g r o u p s i n t h e making o f p u b l i c p o l i c y a n d , more s p e c i f i c a l l y , i n t h e e l e c t o r a l process. I n g e n e r a l , some v i e w t h e i r r o l e w i t h a l a r m , e x p r e s s i n g c o n c e r n t h a t t o o g r e a t a r o l e by s p e c i a l i n t e r e s t s may c o m p r o m i s e t h e making of p u b l i c p o l i c y t h a t s e r v e s t h e n a t i o n a l i n t e r e s t ; o t h e r s i n s i s t t h a t t h e " n a t i o n a l i n t e r e s t " i s ( b y d e f i n i t i o n ) what e m e r g e s f r o m t h e i n t e r a c t i o n of t h e v a r i o u s f a c t i o n s i n h e r e n t i n o u r p l u r a l i s t i c s y s t e m and t h a t o u r s y s t e m h a s s u f f i c i e n t s a f e g u a r d s a g a i n s t a n y o n e f a c t i o n becoming i n o r d i n a t e l y powerful. R e g a r d l e s s of o n e ' s p h i l o s o p h i c a l v i e w s o n t h e r o l e o f i n t e r e s t g r o u p s , t h e r e i s l i t t l e q u e s t i o n t h a t PACs h a v e grown i n i m p o r t a n c e a s a f u n d i n g s o u r c e i n c o n g r e s s i o n a l campaigns. Between 1974 and 1986, t h e number o f PACs r e g i s t e r e d w i t h t h e F e d e r a l E l e c t i o n Commission i n c r e a s e d from 608 t o 4 , 0 9 2 . Whereas PACs c o n t r i b u t e d $12.5 m i l l i o n t o c o n g r e s s i o n a l c a n d i d a t e s i n 1 9 7 4 , t h e y c o n t r i b u t e d $105.3 m i l l i o n i n 1984 ($50.0 m i l l i o n i n c o n s t a n t 1974 d o l l a r s , based on CPI). F u r t h e r m o r e , PAC c o n t r i b u t i o n s a c c o u n t e d f o r 15.7 p e r c e n t of House and S e n a t e g e n e r a l e l e c t i o n c a n d i d a t e s ' r e c e i p t s i n 1 9 7 4 , r i s i n g t o 29.3 p e r c e n t i n 1984. Data s u c h a s t h e s e have p r o v i d e d i m p e t u s f o r t h e c a l l s f o r c h a n g e s i n t h e l a w s a f f e c t i n g PACs. D e c r e a s e t h e PAC C o n t r i b u t i o n L i m i t The F e d e r a l E l e c t i o n Campaign Act Amendments of 1974 e s t a b l i s h e d l i m i t a t i o n s on c o n t r i b u t i o n s t o F e d e r a l c a n d i d a t e s and made a c r i t i s a l d i s t i n c t i o n between c o n t r i b u t i o n s by i n d i v i d u a l c i t i z e n s g i v i n g d i r e c t l y t o c a n d i d a t e s and t h o s e by " p o l i t i c a l committees"--groups t h e i r resources f o r p o l i t i c a l giving. of i n d i v i d u a l s p o o l i n g Whereas i n d i v i d u a l s w e r e l i m i t e d t o c o n t r i b u t i o n s o f $ 1 , 0 0 0 p e r c a n d i d a t e , p e r e l e c t i o n ( p r i m a r y , g e n e r a l , and r u n o f f c o u n t i n g a s s e p a r a t e e l e c t i o n s ) , t h e p o l i t i c a l c o m m i t t e e was g r a n t e d a h i g h e r limit--$5,000 per candidate, per e l e c t i o n . The c r i t e r i a f o r q u a l i f y i n g f o r t h e h i g h e r c o n t r i b u t i o n l i m i t were: t o be i n e x i s t e n c e f o r a t l e a s t s i x m o n t h s , t o h a v e more t h a n f i f t y c o n t r i b u t o r s , and t o make c o n t r i b u t i o n s t o f i v e o r more F e d e r a l c a n d i d a t e s . The 1976 FECA Amendments d e f i n e d t h i s t y p e o f c o m n i t t e e a s a " m u l t i c a n d i d a t e committee", d i s t i n g u i s h i n g not o n l y between i n d i v i d u a l s and g r o u p s ( o r c o m m i t t e e s ) b u t between c e r t a i n k i n d s o f p o l i t i c a l c o m n i t t e e s and a l l o t h e r " p e r s o n s " ( d e f i n e d i n law a s i n c l u d i n g b o t h individuals and comnittees). In theory, this type of comnittee was one which was concerned with many elections, not merely as an agent of any one candidate. The law thus provided an incentive for individuals not only to pool their resources but to take the steps necessary to qualify as a "multicandidate comnittee" in order to maximize their potential for influencing elections. What are commonly known as political action committees--a colloquial term, legally referred to as "political committees"--were given a signal to meet these simple criteria to qualify for the $5,000 limit. Indeed, the overwhelming majority of political committees registered with the Federal Election Commission and not associated with either a political party or a specific candidate (i.e., a principal campaign committee) are multicandidate comnittees. This has a bearing on discussion of proposals to curb PACs, as many of them involve the reduction of the multicandidate committee limit on contributions from $5,000 to some lower amount. Such a provision was included in the House-passed Obey-Railsback Amendment to S. 832 in 1979, setting a combined primary and general election limit of $6,000, but not more than $5,000 per election (an extra $3,000 was allowed in case of a runoff). Twelve legislative proposals in the 98th and 99th Congresses included a decrease in the PAC (multicandidate cormnittee) contribution limit, most notably including the Senate-passed Boren Amendment to S. 655 (99th congress) which set the limit at $3,000 per election. The other proposals were: * * * H.R. 640 (Minish, 98th Congress)--$1,000 * * * * H.R. 4861 (Watkins, 98th congress)--$1,000 H.R. 1799 (McNulty, 98th congress)--$1,000 H.R. 4157 (Howard, 98th Congress )--$1,000 H.R. 2923 (Watkins, 99th congress)--$1,000 S. 1806 (Boren, 99th congress)--$3,000 H.R. 3799 (Synar et al., 99th Congress)--$3,000 * H.R. 4072 (LaFalce, 99th congress)--$3,000 * H.R. 4464 (Howard, 99th Congress )--$1,500 * H.R. 4514 (Weaver, 99th Congress)--$2,000 .A-H . R . 5382 (~evine/Miller,99th congress)--$2,500 The rationale for the decreased PAC contribution limit is to lessen both the incentive for citizens and organizations to form PACs and the value of the PAC contribution to candidates, particularly vis-a-vis contributions from individuals (some of these proposals also raise that limit). Furthermore, a lower limit would theoretically lessen the opportunity for or appearance of quid pro quo relationships between PAC contributors and legislator recipients. Opponents of a lower PAC limit note that a $5,000 contribution can scarcely be viewed as corrupting, in the context of the large amounts spent on campaigns today, and that this limit has already been devalued by more than half through inflation since i t was established in 1974. Many have voiced concern that the more restrictive the limit on what PACs may contribute (obviously a $1,000 limit is more restrictive than a $3,000 one), the more PACs may channel their resources into independent expenditures as a means of assisting favored candidates, free of restrictions on spending; the latter option raises issues which may be more troublesome than those of PAC contributions (see discussion later in this report). (Some question whether a lower limit might not also cause a proliferation of PACs by one organization, but all PACs established by an organization and its subsidiaries are held to the same limit as for any single PAC.) One important point should be mentioned regarding these proposals, specifically involving their application to multicandidate committees. While the latter term encompasses what we know of as PACs, it also includes many political committees established by the parties. Hence, proposals that lower the limit on multicandidate committees would restrict most party committees, as w e l l a s most PACs, i n v o l v e d i n F e d e r a l e l e c t i o n s . The p r o p o s a l s d i s c u s s e d i n t h i s s e c t i o n g e n e r a l l y make no d i s t i n c t i o n b e t w e e n p a r t y c o m m i t t e e s a n d PACs. C r i t i c s o f t h e s e p r o p o s a l s a r g u e t h e d i s t i n c t i o n must be a d d r e s s e d l e s t l e g i s l a t i o n u n i n t e n t i o n a l l y r e s t r i c t t h e r o l e of p a r t i e s , w h i c h h a v e , i n t h e v i e w o f many, a l r e a d y b e e n r e s t r i c t e d t o o g r e a t l y and w h i c h may n e e d t o p l a y a n e v e n g r e a t e r r o l e i n campaign f i n a n c i n g . An A g g r e g a t e PAC R e c e i p t s L i m i t C u r r e n t l a w p l a c e s no r e s t r i c t i o n on t h e e x t e n t t o w h i c h a c a n d i d a t e may r e l y on PACs i n g e n e r a l a s a s o u r c e of campaign f u n d s . T h i s p r o p o s a l would i m p o s e e i t h e r a d o l l a r amount o r a p e r c e n t a g e of o v e r a l l r e c e i p t s beyond w h i c h a c a n d i d a t e f o r C o n g r e s s may n o t a c c e p t d o n a t i o n s from PACs i n a n y e l e c t i o n ( g e n e r a l l y m e a n i n g p r i m a r y and g e n e r a l / s p e c i a l e l e c t i o n s c o m b i n e d , w i t h r u n o f f s u s u a l l y handled separately). I n t h e o r y , i t r e c o g n i z e s t h a t i n t e r e s t g r o u p s may h a v e a l e g i t i m a t e r o l e i n e l e c t i o n s b u t t h a t t h e y must n o t b e a l l o w e d t o p l a y too g r e a t a r o l e vis-a-vis other participants. I t i s a t t h e h e a r t o f most p r o m i n e n t l e g i s l a t i v e p r o p o s a l s aimed a t r e d u c i n g t h e i n f l u e n c e o f PACs. The H o u s e - p a s s e d O b e y - R a i l s b a c k Amendment o f t h e 9 6 t h C o n g r e s s s e t a l i m i t o f $ 7 0 , 0 0 0 o n t h e amount o f PAC money a House c a n d i d a t e c o u l d a c c e p t f o r a p r i m a r y a n d g e n e r a l e l e c t i o n combined, w i t h a n $85,000 c e i l i n g i f a r u n o f f e l e c t i o n o c c u r s , a s w e l l ; a n u n d e t e r m i n e d l i m i t was set f o r S e n a t e c a n d i d a t e s ( t h i s m e a s u r e was n o t e n a c t e d ) . Twenty-two l e g i s l a t i v e p r o p o s a l s i n t h e 9 8 t h a n d 9 9 t h C o n g r e s s e s i n c l u d e d a g g r e g a t e PAC r e c e i p t s l i m i t s on House a n d / o r Senate candidates. Most n o t a b l e among t h e s e was t h e S e n a t e - p a s s e d Boren Amendment t o S. 655 ( 9 9 t h c o n g r e s s ) , w h i c h s e t a l i m i t o n House c a n d i d a t e s o f $ 1 0 0 , 0 0 0 p l u s a n a d d i t i o n a l $25,000 i n c a s e of a r u n o f f a n d $ 2 5 , 0 0 0 i f t h e c a n d i d a t e had p r i m a r y and g e n e r a l e l e c t i o n o p p o n e n t s , a n d on S e n a t e c a n d i d a t e s of: t h e g r e a t e r of $175,000 ($200,000 i f opposed i n p r i m a r y and g e n e r a l e l e c t i o n s ) o r $ 3 5 , 0 0 0 t i m e s t h e number o f d i s t r i c t s i n t h e S t a t e , up t o $750,000, p l u s , i n t h e e v e n t o f a r u n o f f , t h e g r e a t e r of $ 2 5 , 0 0 0 o r $ 1 2 , 5 0 0 t i m e s t h e number o f d i s t r i c t s i n t h e S t a t e . Of t h e 2 1 o t h e r l e g i s l a t i v e p r o p o s a l s c o n t a i n i n g a g g r e g a t e PAC r e c e i p t s l i m i t s , s e v e n t e e n s e t d o l l a r l i m i t s and f o u r set p e r c e n t a g e l i m i t s . S i x of t h e 17 w i t h d o l l a r l i n i t s a p p l i e d t o House c a n d i d a t e s o n l y , i n c l u d i n g : 2 H.R. 7005 (Brown, 9 8 t h C o n g r e s s ) - - $ 9 0 , 0 0 0 * H.R. 2490 ( ~ b e y / ~ e a c h / ~ l i c k m a9n8,t h C o n g r e s s ) - - $ 9 0 , 0 0 0 * H.R. 4 4 2 8 ( O b e Y / ~ e a c h / s y n a r , 9 8 t h C o n g r e s s ) - - $ 9 0 , 0 0 0 , be a d j u s t e d a n n u a l l y f o r i n f l a t i o n * H.R. to 2844 ( S t . G e r m a i n , 9 9 t h c o n g r e s s ) - - $ 9 0 , 0 0 0 * H . R . 4072 ( L a F a l c e , 9 9 t h C o n g r e s s ) - - $ 1 0 0 , 0 0 0 , p l u s a n a d d i t i o n a l $ 2 5 , 0 0 0 i n t h e e v e n t of a r u n o f f a n d $ 2 5 , 0 0 0 i f o p p o s e d i n b o t h p r i m a r y and g e n e r a l e l e c t i o n * H.R. 5382 ( L e v i n e / ~ i l l e r , 9 9 t h C o n g r e s s ) - - $ 1 0 0 , 0 0 0 , plus an a d d i t i o n a l $25,000 i n t h e e v e n t of a r u n o f f and $25,000 i f o p p o s e d i n b o t h p r i m a r y and g e n e r a l e l e c t i o n The r e m a i n i n g 1 1 p r o p o s a l s w i t h d o l l a r l i m i t s a p p l y t o b o t h House a n d S e n a t e candidates, including: * H.R. 2959 ( H a m i l t o n , 9 8 t h C o n g r e s s ) - - H o u s e : $ 9 0 , 0 0 0 ; S e n a t e : t h e g r e a t e r o f $ 2 0 0 , 0 0 0 o r $ 4 0 , 0 0 0 t i m e s number of d i s t r i c t s i n S t a t e , up t o $600,000 * H.R. 3262 ( S y n a r / ~ n t h o n y , 9 8 t h Congress)--House: $75,000, p l u s a n a d d i t i o n a l $25,000 i n e v e n t of r u n o f f and $25,000 i f o p p o s e d i n p r i m a r y and g e n e r a l ; S e n a t e : t h e g r e a t e r o f $ 7 5 , 0 0 0 o r $ 2 5 , 0 0 0 t i m e s number of d i s t r i c t s i n S t a t e , u p t o $ 5 0 0 , 0 0 0 , p l u s , i f r u n o f f , t h e g r e a t e r of $ 2 5 , 0 0 0 o r $ 1 2 , 5 0 0 t i m e s number o f d i s t r i c t s i n S t a t e * * S. 1433 (Boren, 9 8 t h C o n g r e s s ) - - i d e n t i c a l t o H.R. 3262 H.R. 3610 ( L a n t o s , 9 8 t h C o n g r e s s ) - - H o u s e : $75,000, p l u s an a d d i t i o n a l $25,000 i n e v e n t o f r u n o f f ; Senate: t h e g r e a t e r o f $ 7 5 , 0 0 0 o r $ 3 7 , 5 0 0 times number o f d i s t r i c t s i n S t a t e , u p t o $500,000, p l u s , i f r u n o f f , t h e g r e a t e r of $ 3 7 , 5 0 0 o r $ 1 2 , 5 0 0 t i m e s number of d i s t r i c t s i n S t a t e * H.R. 4861 (Watkins, 9 8 t h Congress)--House $50,000 and S e n a t e : * S. 297 ( B o r e n , 9 9 t h C o n g r e s s ) - - H o u s e : $ 7 5 , 0 0 0 , p l u s a n a d d i t i o n a l $ 2 5 , 0 0 0 i n e v e n t of r u n o f f and $ 2 5 , 0 0 0 i f o p p o s e d i n p r i m a r y a n d g e n e r a l ; S e n a t e : t h e g r e a t e r of $ 7 5 , 0 0 0 ( $ 1 0 0 , 0 0 0 i f o p p o s e d i n p r i m a r y and g e n e r a l ) o r $ 2 5 , 0 0 0 t i m e s number o f d i s t r i c t s i n S t a t e , up t o $ 5 0 0 , 0 0 0 , p l u s , i n e v e n t o f r u n o f f , t h e g r e a t e r of $ 2 5 , 0 0 0 o r $ 1 2 , 5 0 0 t i m e s number o f d i s t r i c t s i n S t a t e * H.R. 2 9 2 3 ( W a t k i n s , 9 9 t h C o n g r e s s ) - - H o u s e $50,000 and S e n a t e : * S. 1 8 0 6 ( B o r e n , 9 9 t h C o n g r e s s ) - - H o u s e : $ 1 0 0 , 0 0 0 , p l u s a n a d d i t i o n a l $25,000 i n e v e n t of r u n o f f and $25,000 i f o p p o s e d i n p r i m a r y and g e n e r a l ; S e n a t e : t h e g r e a t e r of $175,000 ($200,000 i f opposed i n primary and g e n e r a l ) o r $ 3 5 , 0 0 0 t i m e s number o f d i s t r i c t s i n S t a t e , up t o $ 7 5 0 , 0 0 0 , p l u s , i n e v e n t o f r u n o f f , t h e g r e a t e r of $ 2 5 , 0 0 0 o r $ 1 2 , 5 0 0 t i m e s number o f d i s t r i c t s i n S t a t e * H.R. 1806 3799 ( S p a r e t a l . , 99th congress)--identical * H.R. 4 4 6 4 (Howard, 9 9 t h C o n g r e s s ) - - i d e n t i c a l S. 1 8 0 6 t o S. provision t o * H.R. 4 5 1 4 (Weaver, 9 9 t h C o n g r e s s ) - - H o u s e : $ 2 5 , 0 0 0 ; S e n a t e : t h e g r e a t e r o f $ 1 2 5 , 0 0 0 o r $ 2 5 , 0 0 0 t i m e s number o f d i s t r i c t s i n S t a t e , up t o $ 3 7 5 , 0 0 0 The a b o v e p r o p o s a l s e s t a b l i s h a f l a t l i m i t , w i t h some v a r i a t i o n a l l o w e d i n t h e e v e n t of t h e added expense of e i t h e r a r u n o f f e l e c t i o n o r c o m p e t i t i v e r a c e s i n both a primary and general e l e c t i o n ; a l s o , i n t h e c a s e of Senate c a n d i d a t e s , v a r i a t i o n i s g e n e r a l l y allowed according t o t h e s i z e of t h e S t a t e . One c a n see t h a t t h e d o l l a r amounts tended t o r i s e i n t h e s e p r o p o s a l s ( l i s t e d i n o r d e r o f i n t r o d u c t i o n over t h e four year period), i n p a r t r e f l e c t i n g t h e general rise i n campaign c o s t s . O n l y o n e p r o p o s a l (H.R. 4428, 9 8 t h Congress) provided f o r p e r i o d i c adjustments t o account f o r i n f l a t i o n . The f o u r o t h e r p r o p o s a l s i n t h i s a r e a u s e d a p e r c e n t a g e f i g u r e a s a c e i l i n g f o r PAC d o n a t i o n s . * T h r e e l i m i t PAC r e c e i p t s , i n c l u d i n g : S. 1 5 1 ( P r o x m i r e , 9 8 t h Congress)--PAC r e c e i p t s may n o t e x c e e d 3 0 p e r c e n t of t h e s p e n d i n g l i m i t s i n c l u d e d i n t h i s p u b l i c f i n a n c e b i l l ( l i m i t s v a r y by s i z e o f S t a t e ) * S . 3 2 3 ( P r o x m i r e , 9 9 t h Congress)--PAC r e c e i p t s may n o t e x c e e d 3 0 p e r c e n t of t h e s p e n d i n g l i m i t s i n c l u d e d i n t h i s p u b l i c f i n a n c e b i l l ( l i m i t s v a r y by s i z e o f S t a t e ) * S. 4 7 1 ( D o d d l ~ e l c h e r , 9 9 t h Congress)--PAC r e c e i p t s may n o t e x c e e d 20 p e r c e n t of t h e s p e n d i n g l i m i t s i n c l u d e d i n t h i s p u b l i c f i n a n c e b i l l ( l i m i t s v a r y by s i z e of S t a t e ) The o t h e r b i l l i n t h i s a r e a l i m i t s t h e amount of PAC d o n a t i o n s w h i c h may b e s p e n t , a s opposed t o r a i s e d : * S. 1 1 8 5 (Rudman, 9 8 t h C o n g r e s s ) - - l i m i t s amount o f PAC d o n a t i o n s w h i c h may be s p e n t by House a n d S e n a t e c a n d i d a t e s t o t h e g r e a t e r o f 2 0 p e r c e n t o f t o t a l e x p e n d i t u r e s o r 25 c e n t s times t h e voting age population By u s i n g a p e r c e n t a g e r a t h e r t h a n f l a t d o l l a r a m o u n t , o n e c a n t h e o r e t i c a l l y b e t t e r a c c o u n t f o r t h e v a r y i n g n a t u r e and c i r c u m s t a n c e s of c o n g r e s s i o n a l e l e c t i o n s a n d p l a c e t h e PAC component of c a m p a i g n f u n d i n g i n t o some d e s i r e d p e r s p e c t i v e . The p r o b l e m w i t h t h e p e r c e n t a g e a p p r o a c h l i e s i n t h e a d m i n i s t r a t i v e d i f f i c u l t y of m o n i t o r i n g on a n o n g o i n g b a s i s o n e ' s PAC r e c e i p t s versus one's overall expenditures. I n g e n e r a l , t h e PAC r e c e i p t s l i m i t e n g e n d e r s t h e s w e e p i n g a p p r o a c h of c o n t r o l l i n g c a n d i d a t e r e l i a n c e on PACs g e n e r i c a l l y , n o t d i s t i n g u i s h i n g b e t w e e n t y p e s o f PACs, a r e a s o f i n t e r e s t , e t c . It seeks t o counteract the r i s i n g l e v e l o f c a n d i d a t e r e l i a n c e on PAC money ( d i s c u s s e d e a r l i e r ) , a t r e n d w h i c h i n t h e a g g r e g a t e m a s k s t h e p a r t i c u l a r d e g r e e o f r e l i a n c e among c e r t a i n t y p e s o f candidates (e.g., w i n n e r s , i n c u m b e n t s , House ~ e m b e r s ) ;more t h a n o n e - t h i r d of House w i n n e r s i n 1 9 8 4 , f o r e x a m p l e , r e c e i v e d more t h a n h a l f t h e i r f u n d s f r o m P A C S . ~ T h i s p r o p o s a l would b e most r e s t r i c t i v e o f some t y p e s o f c a n d i d a t e s , w h i l e a l l o w i n g PACs t o p l a y a s u b s t a n t i a l r o l e i n most c a m p a i g n s ( d e p e n d i n g upon w h e r e t h e l i m i t i s s e t ) . Among t h e c r i t i c i s m s of t h e a g g r e g a t e PAC r e c e i p t s l i m i t a r e t h e q u e s t i o n s o v e r c o n s t i t u t i o n a l i t y , whether such a l i m i t might c o n s t i t u t e a "backdoor" - 1/ L a r d n e r , G e o r g e , J r . One-Third o f House Members R e l i e d M a i n l y on I n t e r e s t G r o u p D o n a t i o n s . W a s h i n g t o n P o s t , J u n . 1 2 , 1985: p. A14. CRS- 1 2 means of l i m i t i n g campaign e x p e n d i t u r e s o r w h e t h e r i t m i g h t i n f r i n g e o n F i r s t Amendment r i g h t s o f a s s o c i a t i o n ( b y PACs whose money c o u l d n o t b e a c c e p t e d - - b y c a n d i d a t e s who had r e a c h e d t h e i r l i m i t s ) . Beyond t h e s e c o n c e r n s a r e t h e p o l i c y q u e s t i o n s of w h e t h e r s u c h a l i m i t would p r o v i d e a s i g n i f i c a n t a d v a n t a g e t o l a r g e r , more a f f l u e n t PACs w h i c h m i g h t b e b e t t e r e q u i p p e d t h a n s m a l l e r PACs w i t h l e s s r e s o u r c e s t o a n t i c i p a t e and c o n t r i b u t e t o d e s i r e d c a n d i d a t e s i n a d v a n c e o f t h e l a t t e r ' s r e a c h i n g t h e i r PAC r e c e i p t s c e i l i n g s , a n d a l s o t o i n c u m b e n t s who a r e b e t t e r p o s i t i o n e d t h a n c h a l l e n g e r s t o u s e t h e l i m i t s t r a t e g i c a l l y i n u r g i n g PACs t o c o n t r i b u t e b e f o r e t h e y r e a c h t h e i r l i m i t . O t h e r s i g n i f i c a n t c r i t i c i s m s i n c l u d e t h e c o n c e r n s o v e r e n c o u r a g i n g more i n d e p e n d e n t e x p e n d i t u r e s and t h a t many o f t h e s e p r o p o s a l s would c i r c u m s c r i b e a c t i v i t y o f p a r t y c o m m i t t e e s a s w e l l a s PACs b e c a u s e o f t h e u s e o f t h e term tI m u l t i c a n d i d a t e c o m m i t t e e " ( a s d i s c u s s e d a b o v e ) ; many s p e c i f i c a l l y e x c l u d e a p p l i c a t i o n t o p a r t y committees, but o t h e r s , such a s t h e Senate-passed Boren Amendment o f 1 9 8 6 , make no s u c h d i s t i n c t i o n . An A g g r e g a t e L i m i t on PAC C o n t r i b u t i o n s A l t h o u g h c u r r e n t l a w i m p o s e s a l i m i t on a l l c o n t r i b u t i o n s b y a n i n d i v i d u a l a f f e c t i n g F e d e r a l e l e c t i o n s i n a c a l e n d a r y e a r , t h e r e i s no such l i m i t on c o n t r i b u t i o n s by a PAC; a PAC may c o n t r i b u t e u n l i m i t e d a m o u n t s t o F e d e r a l candidates i n t h e aggregate. One p r o p o s a l p l a c e s a l i m i t of $ 5 0 0 , 0 0 0 on c o n t r i b u t i o n s t o F e d e r a l c a n d i d a t e s which any non-party m u l t i c a n d i d a t e c o m m i t t e e c a n make i n a n e l e c t i o n c y c l e : * H.R. 5382 ( L e v i n e / ~ i l l e r , 9 9 t h C o n g r e s s ) T h i s p r o p o s a l s e e k s t o c o u n t e r a c t n o t t h e d e g r e e o f r e l i a n c e on PACs by c a n d i d a t e s b u t t h e p o t e n t i a l f o r t o o much power by a n y o n e i n t e r e s t g r o u p . r e l a t i v e l y h i g h l i m i t i s aimed a t c u r b i n g o n l y t h e l a r g e s t , most a f f l u e n t Its CRS- 1 3 o r g a n i z a t i o n s ( i n 1 9 8 4 , f o r e x a m p l e , o n l y 36 o f some 4 , 0 0 0 PACs e x c e e d e d $500,000 i n d o n a t i o n s t o F e d e r a l c a n d i d a t e s ) . U Some of t h e s e l a r g e PACs a r e p a r t i c u l a r l y a b l e t o e n g a g e i n i n d e p e n d e n t e x p e n d i t u r e s , a s some o f them a r e a l r e a d y d o i n g a t a n i n c r e a s i n g r a t e , and h e r e i n may l i e a p o t e n t i a l c i r c u m v e n t i o n and d r a w b a c k o f t h i s p r o p o s a l . D i s a l l o w i n g Use o f Tax C r e d i t s f o r C o n t r i b u t i o n s t o PACs Between 1 9 7 2 and 1 9 8 6 , t a x p a y e r s w e r e p e r m i t t e d t o t a k e t a x c r e d i t s f o r t h e v a l u e of t h e i r p o l i t i c a l c o n t r i b u t i o n s d u r i n g t h e y e a r , a p o l i c y aimed a t encouraging small contributors i n t h e p o l i t i c a l process. r e f o r m l e g i s l a t i o n o f 1986 ( P . L . a s o f J a n u a r y 1, 1987. 99-5141, A s p a r t of t h e t a x t h e s e t a x i n c e n t i v e s were e l i m i n a t e d , Hence t h i s p r o p o s a l h a s , i n e f f e c t , b e e n e n a c t e d . P r i o r t o t h e t a x reform enactment, t h r e e b i l l s proposed e l i m i n a t i n g a v a i l a b i l i t y o f t h e t a x c r e d i t f o r d o n a t i o n s t o PACs: * H.R. 3737 (McHugh/Conable, 9 8 t h C o n g r e s s ) - - d i s a l l o w e d t h e c r e d i t f o r c o n t r i b u t i o n s t o PACs a n d o t h e r r e c i p i e n t s , leaving t h e e x i s t i n g c r e d i t only f o r donations t o p a r t i e s ( a n d c r e a t i n g a new c r e d i t f o r d o n a t i o n s t o House a n d Senate candidates) * the credit * the credit H.R. 6 3 6 0 ( ~ a F a l c e ,9 8 t h c o n g r e s s ) - - d i s a l l o w e d f o r c o n t r i b u t i o n s t o PACs H.R. 1807 ( L a F a l c e , 9 9 t h C o n g r e s s ) - - d i s a l l o w e d f o r c o n t r i b u t i o n s t o PACs T h e s e p r o p o s a l s w e r e b a s e d o n t h e v i e w t h a t t h e F e d e r a l Government s h o u l d n o t s u b s i d i z e a n d t h e r e b y e n c o u r a g e c o n t r i b u t i o n s t o PACs, b e c a u s e o f t h e i n j u r i o u s e f f e c t t h e L a t t e r w e r e p e r c e i v e d t o h a v e on t h e p o l i t i c a l s y s t e m . U.S. F e d e r a l E l e c t i o n Commission. FEC F i n a l R e p o r t f o r '84 E l e c t i o n s C o n f i r m s M a j o r i t y of PAC Money Went t o I n c u m b e n t s [ p r e s s = e l e a s e ] : Dec. 1, 1985. CRS- 14 E n c o u r a g i n g E a r m a r k i n g of C o n t r i b u t i o n s t o PACs To some o b s e r v e r s , a c e n t r a l p r o b l e m p o s e d by PACs l i e s i n t h e o p p o r t u n i t y f o r a s m a l l number o f PAC m a n a g e r s t o a c c u m u l a t e power by d e c i d i n g how money r a i s e d f r o m c o n t r i b u t o r s s h o u l d be a l l o c a t e d . There i s , t h e r e f o r e , an e f f o r t by some t o e n c o u r a g e PACs t o be more d e m o c r a t i c n o t o n l y i n t h e r a i s i n g of f u n d s b u t i n t h e i r d i s p e r s a l , i n v o l v i n g more p e o p l e r a t h e r t h a n f e w e r i n t h e One t o o l a v a i l a b l e i n t h i s r e g a r d i s e a r m a r k i n g , o r t h e allocation decisions. d e s i g n a t i o n o f d e s i r e d r e c i p i e n t s of PAC d o n a t i o n s by t h e c o n t r i b u t o r s t o t h e PAC. I n such c a s e s , t h e c o n t r i b u t i o n counts against t h e l i m i t of t h e i n d i v i d u a l d o n o r , n o t t h e PAC, w h i c h s i m p l y a c t s a s a n i n t e r m e d i a r y i n transmitting t h e donation. A l t h o u g h t h i s o p t i o n i s a l l o w e d by l a w , many PACs do n o t i n f o r m t h e i r c o n t r i b u t o r s o f t h i s o p t i o n , p r e f e r r i n g t o r e t a i n f o r t h e i r managers t h e a l l o c a t i o n d e c i s i o n s . Two p r o p o s a l s a d d r e s s t h i s i s s u e by e n c o u r a g i n g more e a r m a r k i n g o f d o n a t i o n s t h r o u g h PACs: i-S. 732 ( G o r t o n , 9 8 t h C o n g r e s s ) - - r e q u i r e s PACs t o i n f o r m c o n t r i b u t o r s of t h e i r r i g h t t o d e s i g n a t e p r e f e r r e d r e c i p i e n t s a n d t o a c t a s c o n d u i t s when r e q u e s t e d b y d o n o r s ( o r r e t u r n c o n t r i b u t e d f u n d s ) ; a l l o w s c o n t r i b u t o r s t o a PAC t o d e s i g n a t e u p t o 7 5 p e r c e n t of f u n d s c o n t r i b u t e d t o specified candidates * S. 1 0 7 2 ( G o r t o n , 9 9 t h C o n g r e s s ) - - i d e n t i c a l S. 732 provision t o As i s o f t e n t h e c a s e i n t h e c a m p a i g n f i n a n c e a r e a , what a p p e a r s t o b e a remedy i n some q u a r t e r s a p p e a r s t o p o s e p r o b l e m s i n o t h e r s . Some PACs a n d p a r t y c o m m i t t e e s h a v e been s e e n i n r e c e n t y e a r s a s e v a d i n g t h e i r c o n t r i b u t i o n l i m i t s by c o l l e c t i n g d o n a t i o n s from i n d i v i d u a l s and t r a n s m i t t i n g them t o c a n d i d a t e s , o f t e n c o l l e c t i n g and presumably r e c e i v i n g c r e d i t f o r l a r g e r amounts o f money t h a n t h e y a r e p e r m i t t e d t o c o n t r i b u t e t h e m s e l v e s . known a s " b u n d l i n g " , This p r a c t i c e , h a s b e e n a d d r e s s e d i n a number of p r o p o s a l s ( t o be CRS- 15 d i s c u s s e d l a t e r ) , a n d i t p o i n t s up t h e f a c t t h a t w h i l e e n c o u r a g i n g i n d i v i d u a l s t o g i v e t h r o u g h PACs may b e d e s i r a b l e , i t may a l s o e n c o u r a g e PACs t o c i r c u m v e n t t h e i r own c o n t r i b u t i o n l i m i t s w h i l e m a x i m i z i n g t h e i r i n f l u e n c e i n F e d e r a l elections. C h a n n e l i n g PAC D o n a t i o n s t h r o u g h a T r u s t Fund To some o b s e r v e r s , t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n t h e s p e c i f i c PAC c o n t r i b u t i o n and t h e c a n d i d a t e poses a p o t e n t i a l o r a t l e a s t p e r c e i v e d problem. The k n o w l e d g e by t h e c a n d i d a t e o f who c o n t r i b u t e d t o h i s o r h e r c a m p a i g n a n d t h e amount o f t h a t c o n t r i b u t i o n may r a i s e q u e s t i o n s o v e r r e a l o r p e r c e i v e d q u i d p r o quo r e l a t i o n s h i p s . One p r o p o s a l t o a d d r e s s t h i s i s t o e s t a b l i s h a s o r t o f " b l i n d t r u s t " t h r o u g h w h i c h PACs may c o n t r i b u t e t o f a v o r e d c a n d i d a t e s w i t h o u t t h o s e c a n d i d a t e s f u l l y knowing t h e e x t e n t of t h e c o n t r i b u t i o n : * H.R. 1 3 7 9 ( C o u r t e r , 9 8 t h C o n g r e s s ) - - e s t a b l i s h e s a t r u s t f u n d t o c o l l e c t PAC c o n t r i b u t i o n s t o c o n g r e s s i o n a l c a n d i d a t e s , d i s c l o s i n g t h e PAC's name, t h e names o f a l l c a n d i d a t e s i t c o n t r i b u t e s t o , a n d t h e t o t a l PAC r e c e i p t s b y e a c h c a n d i d a t e , b u t not t h e s p e c i f i c amount d o n a t e d by e a c h PAC t o e a c h c a n d i d a t e * H.R. 1379 1110 ( C o u r t e r , 9 9 t h C o n g r e s s ) - - i d e n t i c a l t o H.R. W h i l e t h i s p r o p o s a l would n o t a l l o w c a n d i d a t e s t o know t h e a m o u n t c o n t r i b u t e d by e a c h PAC, t h e y would s t i l l b e a b l e t o l e a r n t h e i d e n t i t i e s o f t h e i r benefactors. This idea r a i s e s i n t e r e s t i n g questions about both t h e advantage and disadvantage of p u b l i c d i s c l o s u r e , but a s a p r a c t i c a l m a t t e r , it might pose some r e a l d i f f i c u l t i e s i n e n f o r c e m e n t . More P u b l i c D i s c l o s u r e R e g a r d i n g PAC A c t i v i t y A t o n e p o l e i n t h e c a m p a i g n f i n a n c e d e b a t e a r e t h o s e who i n s i s t t h a t a l l t h a t i s d e s i r a b l e i n t h e l a w i s p u b l i c d i s c l o s u r e , s o t h e v o t e r s may d e c i d e what p r a c t i c e s a r e o b j e c t i o n a b l e . Even among many who s u p p o r t m a j o r p r o v i s i o n s of t h e c u r r e n t l a w , g r e a t e r p u b l i c d i s c l o s u r e i s s e e n a s d e s i r a b l e . One p r o p o s a l s e e k s j u s t t h a t , s p e c i f i c a l l y r e g a r d i n g t h e a c t i v i t y of PACs: * H.R. 3620 ( A n n u n z i o , 9 8 t h C o n g r e s s ) - - r e q u i r e s t h e C l e r k of t h e House t o a n n u a l l y p u b l i s h i n t h e C o n g r e s s i o n a l R e c o r d a l i s t of PACs, t h e i r s p o n s o r i n g o r g a n i z a t i o n s , a n d t h e i r t o t a l r e c e i p t s and e x p e n d i t u r e s A l t h o u g h i t i s n o t l i k e l y t h a t p u b l i c a t i o n i n t h e C o n g r e s s i o n a l R e c o r d would r e a c h a l a r g e number o f c i t i z e n s , i t c o u l d f a c i l i t a t e g r e a t e r a w a r e n e s s o n t h e p a r t of opinion leaders. Of p a r t i c u l a r u s e f u l n e s s would b e t h e r e q u i r e m e n t t h a t s p o n s o r i n g o r g a n i z a t i o n s b e l i s t e d , a f a c t o f t e n masked by PAC names. P r o h i b i t PACs by Government C o n t r a c t o r s T h e 1 9 7 4 FECA Amendments g a v e s p e c i f i c a u t h o r i t y t o Government c o n t r a c t o r s t o e s t a b l i s h s e p a r a t e s e g r e g a t e d f u n d s ( o r PACS) t h r o u g h w h i c h v o l u n t a r y c o n t r i b u t i o n s c o u l d be r a i s e d a n d c o n t r i b u t e d t o c a n d i d a t e s . B e c a u s e many c o r p o r a t i o n s a n d l a b o r u n i o n s work f o r t h e Government on c o n t r a c t b a s i s , t h i s p r o v i s i o n was s e e n a s p r o v i d i n g a m a j o r i m p e t u s f o r t h e p r o l i f e r a t i o n o f PACs i n t h e mid-1970s, law. by r e m o v i n g a p e r c e i v e d a m b i g u i t y i n t h e p r e v i o u s l y - e x i s t i n g One p r o p o s a l would a d d r e s s t h i s s i t u a t i o n a s f o l l o w s : * H.R. 3650 ( A n n u n z i o , 9 8 t h C o n g r e s s ) - - p r o h i b i t s c o n t r a c t o r s f r o m e s t a b l i s h i n g PACs government T h i s m e a s u r e would h a v e a s i g n i f i c a n t i m p a c t o n t h o s e PACs now i n e x i s t e n c e whose s p o n s o r i n g o r g a n i z a t i o n s a r e i n v o l v e d , a t l e a s t i n p a r t , i n Government c o n t r a c t work. I t c o u l d m a r k e d l y r e d u c e t h e number of PACs o v e r a l l , e x c e p t among t h e i n d e p e n d e n t PACs, w i t h n o s p o n s o r i n g o r g a n i z a t i o n . CRS- 17 P r o h i b i t PAC C o n t r i b u t i o n s t o P a r t i e s The S e n a t e - p a s s e d B o s c h w i t z Amendment t o S. 655 ( 9 9 t h c o n g r e s s ) i n c l u d e d a p r o v i s i o n t o p r o h i b i t PAC c o n t r i b u t i o n s t o p o l i t i c a l p a r t y c o m m i t t e e s . A l t h o u g h PACs g e n e r a l l y p r e f e r t o c o n t r i b u t e d i r e c t l y t o c a n d i d a t e s , t h e y c a n a n d d o g i v e money t o t h e p a r t i e s a s w e l l . T h i s p r o p o s a l m i g h t s e r v e t o l i m i t PACs, b u t i t i s n o t c l e a r what d a n g e r PAC c o n t r i b u t i o n s t o p a r t y c o m m i t t e e s p o s e , i f one a c c e p t s t h e n o t i o n of p a r t i e s a s t h e broad-based, mediating s t r u c t u r e s i n o u r p o l i t i c a l s y s t e m , c h a n n e l i n g and d i s t i l l i n g t h e p r e s s u r e s f r o m t h e many factions. B. C u r b i n g C a n d i d a t e s ' P e r s o n a l S p e n d i n g T h e F e d e r a l E l e c t i o n Campaign Act o f 1971 i n c l u d e d l i m i t s on t h e amount o f money a c a n d i d a t e f o r F e d e r a l o f f i c e c o u l d s p e n d on h i s o r h e r c a m p a i g n f r o m p e r s o n a l and immediate f a m i l y funds: $50,000 f o r P r e s i d e n t i a l and Vicep r e s i d e n t i a l c a n d i d a t e s , $ 3 5 , 0 0 0 f o r S e n a t e c a n d i d a t e s , a n d $ 2 5 , 0 0 0 f o r House candidates. However, t h e s e l i m i t s w e r e s t r u c k down by t h e Supreme C o u r t i n i t s 1976 d e c i s i o n i n B u c k l e y v . V a l e o , [424 U.S. 1 ( 1 9 7 6 ) ] on t h e g r o u n d t h a t s u c h l i m i t s c o n s t i t u t e d a n i n f r i n g e m e n t on f r e e s p e e c h r i g h t s o f c a n d i d a t e s w i t h o u t any o v e r r i d i n g governmental i n t e r e s t i n preventing c o r r u p t i o n of e l e c t i o n s . T h e r e was n o t h i n g c o r r u p t i n g a b o u t c a n d i d a t e s ' c o n t r i b u t i o n s t o t h e i r own c a m p a i g n s , t h e C o u r t a r g u e d , b e c a u s e t h e r e was n o p o t e n t i a l f o r r e a l o r p e r c e i v e d q u i d p r o quo r e l a t i o n s h i p s . Only i n t h e c o n t e x t o f a p u b l i c f u n d i n g system could Congress l i m i t c a n d i d a t e s ' personal spending, a s p a r t o f t h e c o n t r a c t u a l o b l i g a t i o n by t h e c a n d i d a t e i n r e t u r n f o r t h e b e n e f i t s o f a Government p r o g r a m . Hence, l i m i t s on c a n d i d a t e s ' p e r s o n a l s p e n d i n g e x i s t t o d a y o n l y f o r P r e s i d e n t i a l and V i c e - p r e s i d e n t i a l funding. c a n d i d a t e s who a c c e p t p u b l i c CRS- 18 To many, t h e a b s e n c e of l i m i t s on c a n d i d a t e s p e n d i n g p o s e s a t h r e a t t o t h e i n t e g r i t y of t h e c u r r e n t s y s t e m , i n which t h e r e a r e l i m i t s on most s o u r c e s o f f u n d i n g b u t no l i m i t s on campaign e x p e n d i t u r e s . T h i s dichotomy, i n c o n j u n c t i o n w i t h t h e h i g h c o s t s of r u n n i n g f o r o f f i c e t o d a y , i s s e e n a s p l a c i n g p r e s s u r e on c a n d i d a t e s t o r a i s e v a s t sums of money from c i r c u m s c r i b e d s o u r c e s ; i n s u c h a s y s t e m , t h e a v a i l a b i l i t y o f u n l i m i t e d f u n d s from a n y s o u r c e i s a n a t t r a c t i v e p r o s p e c t f o r a n y c a n d i d a t e f o r t u n a t e enough t o h a v e s u b s t a n t i a l p e r s o n a l ( o r family) wealth. The c o n c e r n t h a t p o l i t i c s may b e , o r become, dominated by t h e w e a l t h y , 1I b u y i n g t h e i r way" i n t o o f f i c e , i s n o t a new one a t a l l . Congress has t r a d i t i o n a l l y included wealthy individuals, although with public d i s c l o s u r e of p e r s o n a l f i n a n c e s n o t i n t r o d u c e d u n t i l t h e 1 9 7 0 s , t h e r e i s n o o b j e c t i v e way of knowing w h e t h e r t h i s h a s been a r i s i n g t r e n d d u r i n g t h i s c e n t u r y o r w h e t h e r we are s i m p l y more a w a r e of w e a l t h y o f f i c e h o l d e r s i n a n e r a o f d i s c l o s u r e . N o n e t h e l e s s , i n t h e c o n t e x t of t h e c o n g r e s s i o n a l campaign f i n a n c e s y s t e m w h i c h p l a c e s a premium on t h e a v a i l a b i l i t y o f u n l i m i t e d s o u r c e s of f u n d s , many f e e l t h a t i n c r e a s i n g l y o n l y t h e w e a l t h y w i l l be a b l e t o a f f o r d t o r a i s e t h e k i n d of money n e e d e d t o d a y t o r u n a s u c c e s s f u l c a m p a i g n - - p a r t i c u l a r l y i f opposing an incumbent w i t h i n h e r e n t name r e c o g n i t i o n and o t h e r a d v a n t a g e s o r i f s e e k i n g a n open s e a t , i n which t h e l a r g e s t amounts a r e t y p i c a l l y s p e n t . A s w i l l be d i s c u s s e d l a t e r , v i r t u a l l y a l l p r o p o s a l s f o r p u b l i c f i n a n c i n g of c o n g r e s s i o n a l e l e c t i o n s r e q u i r e c a n d i d a t e s t o a b i d e by l i m i t s o n p e r s o n a l (and immediate f a m i l y ) spending, a s w e l l a s o v e r a l l spending l i m i t s . Several p r o p o s a l s i n t h e 9 8 t h and 9 9 t h C o n g r e s s e s a t t e m p t t o l i m i t a r g u a b l y e x c e s s i v e p e r s o n a l s p e n d i n g o u t s i d e t h e c o n t e x t of p u b l i c f u n d i n g , by i n t r o d u c i n g d i s i n c e n t i v e s t o l a r g e amounts o f s u c h f o r m s o f s p e n d i n g ; t h e s e i n c l u d e : * S. 732 ( G o r t o n , 9 8 t h C o n g r e s s ) - - t r i p l e s l i m i t s on c o n t r i b u t i o n s by i n d i v i d u a l s and m u l t i c a n d i d a t e c o m n i t t e e s t o o p p o n e n t s o f c a n d i d a t e s whose p e r s o n a l s p e n d i n g e x c e e d s $50,000 ( S e n a t e c a n d i d a t e s i n S t a t e s w i t h one o r two d i s t r i c t s and a l l House c a n d i d a t e s ) o r $100,000 ( S e n a t e c a n d i d a t e s i n S t a t e s w i t h t h r e e o r more d i s t r i c t s ) * W.R. 2959 (Hami 1 t o n , 9 8 t h Congress)--doubles 1 imi t s on c o n t r i b u t i o n s by i n d i v i d u a l s and PACs, d o u b l e s a g g r e g a t e PAC r e c e i p t s l i m i t , and removes l i m i t s on p a r t y c o n t r i b u t i o n s t o and e x p e n d i t u r e s f o r o p p o n e n t s o f c a n d i d a t e s whose p e r s o n a l spending e x c e e d s $25,000 (House) o r $50,000 ( S e n a t e ) * S. 1072 ( G o r t o n , 9 9 t h C o n g r e s s ) - - i d e n t i c a l i n S. 732 t o provision The Corton and Hamilton p r o p o s a l s d i f f e r i n t h e t h r e s h o l d s f o r t r i g g e r i n g t h e removal o r r a i s i n g of l i m i t s , t h e s p e c i f i c l i m i t s which a r e r a i s e d ( r e m o v e d ) , and t h e f a c t o r by which l i m i t s a r e r a i s e d . They a l s o d i f f e r i n t h e i n c l u s i o n of i m n e d i a t e f a m i l y f u n d s i n t h e Hamilton but n o t t h e Gorton b i l l and t h e p r o h i b i t i o n on b e n e f i t s t o c a n d i d a t e s who t h e m s e l v e s e x c e e d e d t h e t h r e s h o l d ( e v e n i f t h e i r o p p o n e n t s had a l s o ) i n t h e Gorton b u t n o t t h e H a m i l t o n b i l l . The b i l l s a r e a l i k e i n t h e i r a p p l i c a t i o n o f d i s i n c e n t i v e s t o what i s deemed e x c e s s i v e c a n d i d a t e s p e n d i n g , p l a c i n g t h e onus on t h a t c a n d i d a t e f r o m making s p e n d i n g d e c i s i o n s which w i l l t r i g g e r a s u b s t a n t i a l a d v a n t a g e t o h i s o r h e r opponent. I t i s n o t c l e a r e x a c t l y t o what e x t e n t c a n d i d a t e s f o r C o n g r e s s do s p e n d l a r g e sums o f p e r s o n a l w e a l t h t o g e t e l e c t e d . C a l c u l a t i o n s by CRS showed t h a t i n t h e 1984 e l e c t i o n s , o n l y t h r e e p e r c e n t of House c a n d i d a t e s and f i f t e e n p e r c e n t of S e n a t e c a n d i d a t e s gave o r l o a n e d t h e i r campaigns i n e x c e s s o f $100,000. 21 Perhaps i t i s o n l y t h e s e r e l a t i v e l y s m a l l numbers who would o r s h o u l d be a f f e c t e d by t h i s kind of p l a n . I t s h o u l d be n o t e d , however, t h a t l a r g e amounts of c a n d i d a t e s p e n d i n g do n o t by any means g u a r a n t e e e l e c t i o n , a s i s continuously demonstrated. Beyond t h a t i s t h e q u e s t i o n o f f a i r n e s s : w h i l e 3_/ U.S. L i b r a r y o f Congress. C o n g r e s s i o n a l R e s e a r c h S e r v i c e . C o n t r i b u t i o n s and Loans by Major P a r t y G e n e r a l E l e c t i o n C a n d i d a t e s , 1984. Typed R e p o r t , by Kevin Coleman, J u l y 25, 1986. Washington, 1986. i t may seem u n f a i r f o r a c a n d i d a t e t o h a v e a d e c i d e d e l e c t o r a l a d v a n t a g e b e c a u s e o f p e r s o n a l w e a l t h , s o m e t i m e s t h i s w e a l t h may m e r e l y c o u n t e r b a l a n c e a d i s a d v a n t a g e i n r u n n i n g a g a i n s t e i t h e r a b e t t e r known c a n d i d a t e o r a n i n c u m b e n t , who i s l i k e l y t o be b o t h b e t t e r known and b e t t e r e q u i p p e d t o r a i s e money f r o m PACs. And i n d e e d , o n e may q u e s t i o n , a s t h e Supreme C o u r t d i d , w h e t h e r t h e w e a l t h y c a n d i d a t e c o r r u p t s t h e s y s t e m by t h e amount of f u n d s s p e n t , as d i s t i n c t f r o m t h e s o u r c e of t h o s e f u n d s . Nonetheless, concerns continue o v e r t h i s phenomenon, a n d i t r e m a i n s a c o m p l i c a t e d i s s u e . C. B o o s t t h e R o l e of I n d i v i d u a l C i t i z e n s C u r r e n t l a w l i m i t s c o n t r i b u t i o n s by i n d i v i d u a l s t o $1,000 t o a c a n d i d a t e ( p e r e l e c t i o n ) , $5,000 t o a p o l i t i c a l c o m m i t t e e ( p e r y e a r ) , $ 2 0 , 0 0 0 t o a n a t i o n a l p a r t y c o m m i t t e e ( p e r y e a r ) , and $25,000 t o a l l F e d e r a l c a n d i d a t e s a n d committees ( p e r year). T h e s e l i m i t s w e r e e s t a b l i s h e d by t h e FECA Amendments o f 1974 and 1976, i n o r d e r t o c u r b t h e o p p o r t u n i t i e s f o r any i n d i v i d u a l t o g a i n o r b e p e r c e i v e d t o h a v e g a i n e d undue i n f l u e n c e a s a r e s u l t of l a r g e c a m p a i g n c o n t r i b u t i o n s ; i n s h o r t , t h e s e l i m i t s w e r e a i m e d a t c u r b i n g what h a d come t o be known a s " f a t c a t s . " The r o l e of i n d i v i d u a l c i t i z e n s i n e l e c t i o n s i s a c o r n e r s t o n e o f o u r p o l i t i c a l p r o c e s s , and i t i s one f o r which t h e r e i s widespread s u p p o r t . (We d i s t i n g u i s h h e r e b e t w e e n i n d i v i d u a l s c o n t r i b u t i n g d i r e c t l y t o c a n d i d a t e s , as o p p o s e d t o g i v i n g t h r o u g h i n t e r m e d i a r i e s l i k e PACs o r p a r t i e s , t h e l a t t e r r a i s i n g generally different issues.) The d i s a g r e e m e n t s a r i s e o v e r j u s t w h e r e t o draw t h e l i n e between e n c o u r a g i n g i n d i v i d u a l s t o p l a y a n a p p r o p r i a t e r o l e a n d a l l o w i n g o p p o r t u n i t i e s f o r i n d i v i d u a l s t o g a i n undue i n f l u e n c e i n elections. To many o b s e r v e r s , t h e r o l e of i n d i v i d u a l s i n t h e f i n a n c i n g o f c a m p a i g n s h a s b e e n u n d u l y r e s t r i c t e d by t h e v a r i o u s l i m i t s , p a r t i c u l a r l y i n v i e w o f t h e e f f e c t s of i n f l a t i o n s i n c e t h e y were set a n d i n v i e w o f t h e c l e a r l y i n c r e a s i n g r o l e p l a y e d b y PACs. According t o one s t u d y , c o n t r i b u t i o n s f r o m i n d i v i d u a l s c o n s t i t u t e d 73 p e r c e n t of House c a n d i d a t e r e c e i p t s i n 1 9 7 4 , d e c l i n i n g t o 47 p e r c e n t i n 1 9 8 4 , w h i l e t h e p r o p o r t i o n of s u c h c o n t r i b u t i o n s f e l l f r o m 76 p e r c e n t t o 6 1 p e r c e n t f o r S e n a t e c a n d i d a t e s d u r i n g t h i s same period. 41 S u p p o r t f o r augmenting t h e r o l e of i n d i v i d u a l s g i v i n g a s i n d i v i d u a l s ( a s o p p o s e d t o a g g r e g a t i n g money t h r o u g h p a r t i e s o r PACs) comes f r o m some who see i n d i v i d u a l s a s a n i m p o r t a n t c o u n t e r w e i g h t t o t h e r o l e of PACs a n d f r o m o t h e r s , n o t p a r t i c u l a r l y b o t h e r e d a b o u t PACs, who s e e t h e r o l e o f i n d i v i d u a l s a s c r i t i c a l , i n and o f i t s e l f . Generally these proposals involve e i t h e r r a i s i n g limits o r providing ( g r e a t e r ) t a x incentives f o r individual c o n t r i b u t i o n s . R a i s i n g l i m i t s would a p p e a r t o make s e n s e f r o m t h e s t a n d p o i n t t h a t t h e e x i s t i n g l i m i t s a r e w o r t h a b i t l e s s t h a n h a l f o f what t h e y w e r e when s e t i n t h e mid-1970s, thereby c o n s t i t u t i n g l e s s meaningful boundaries today between " f a t c a t " a n d modest c o n t r i b u t o r . A l s o , r a i s i n g l i m i t s on i n d i v i d u a l c o n t r i b u t i o n s would t h e o r e t i c a l 1 y c i r c u m s c r i b e t h e i m p o r t a n c e o f PAC money, i n an i n d i r e c t manner, w i t h a reduced p r o s p e c t of e n c o u r a g i n g i n d e p e n d e n t expenditures. However, o n e may q u e s t i o n w h e t h e r , e v e n w i t h i n f l a t i o n i n t h e p a s t d e c a d e , a $ 1 , 0 0 0 c o n t r i b u t i o n i s n ' t s t i l l beyond t h e r e a c h ( o r w i l l i n g n e s s ) o f t h e v a s t m a j o r i t y of t a x p a y e r s ( e v e n i f t h e c o n t r i b u t i o n i s g i v e n i n s m a l l e r monthly sums). R e g a r d i n g t a x i n c e n t i v e s , some p r o p o s a l s c a l l f o r i n c r e a s i n g t h e maximum d o l l a r amount o f t a x c r e d i t s ( e x i s t i n g t h r o u g h J a n u a r y 1 , 1 9 8 7 ) , w h i l e o t h e r s e n v i s i o n a new c r e d i t f o r t h e f u l l v a l u e o f s m a l l d o n a t i o n s . These proposals a r e aimed s o l e l y a t t h e s m a l l c o n t r i b u t o r , whereas t h e i n c r e a s e d l i m i t s would 4_/ C o n l o n , R i c h a r d P. The D e c l i n i n g R o l e o f I n d i v i d u a l C o n t r i b u t i o n s i n F i n a n c i n g C o n g r e s s i o n a l Campaigns. P r e p a r e d f o r C o n f e r e n c e on Campaign F i n a n c i n g , U n i v e r s i t y o f V i r g i n i a Law S c h o o l , Apr. 3-4, 1 9 8 6 . pp. 3 7 , 4 1 . affect the more affluent individuals. They would likely add a substantial cost to taxpayers, however, and in view of the phased-out tax incentives under the tax reform legislation of 1986, the current climate would appear less favorable for their enactment. Uncertain is what dampening effect the elimination of a tax credit for political contributions will have on campaign giving, particularly among small contributors. Raising Individual Contribution Limits Thirteen legislative proposals in the 98th and 99th Congresses would increase existing limits on individual contributions to candidates; some of them also raise the limit on contributions to political cornittees and on the aggregate total of all Federal contributions. Among these was the Senate- passed Boren Amendment to S. 655 (99th Congress), which increased the per candidate limit from $1,000 to $1,500. The remaining 12 bills set the per candidate limit as follows: * S. 732 * * * * S. 1185 (Rudman, 98th congress)--$2,500 o or ton, 98th congress)--$2,000 H.R. 2959 (Hamilton, 98th congress)--$3,500 H.R. 2976 (Corcoran, 98th ~on~ress)--$3,000 S. 1433 (Boren, 98th Congress)--$2,500 congressional candidates) (only to * H.R. 3262 (synar/Anthony, 98th Congress)--identical to S. 1433 * H.R. 3610 (~antos,98th Congress)--identical S. 1433 * S. 297 (Boren, 99th Congress)--identical provision to S. 1433 * * provision to H.R. 2906 (Grotberg, 99th Congress)--$3,000 S. 1806 (Boren, 99th ~ongress)--$1,500 * H.R. 18 06 3799 ( s p a r e t a l . , * 4464 ( ~ o w a r d , 9 9 t h c o n g r e s s ) - - $ 1 , 5 0 0 H.R. 99th Congress)--identical t o S. T h e s e b i l l s would r a i s e t h e p e r c a n d i d a t e l i m i t t o a r a n g e f r o m $ 1 , 5 0 0 t o $ 3 , 5 0 0 , w i t h some l i m i t i n g t h e i n c r e a s e o n l y t o c o n g r e s s i o n a l c a n d i d a t e s . F o u r o f t h e 12 b i l l s l i s t e d a b o v e would a l s o r a i s e t h e a g g r e g a t e a n n u a l l i m i t on i n d i v i d u a l c o n t r i b u t i o n s from $ 2 5 , 0 0 0 t o $ 3 0 , 0 0 0 (S. 1185--Rudman, 9 8 t h C o n g r e s s ) o r t o $ 5 0 , 0 0 0 ( S . 732--Carton, 9 8 t h C o n g r e s s ; H . R . C o r c o r a n , 9 8 t h Congress; H.R. 2906--Grotberg, 99th Congress). 2976-- Three of t h e s e would a l s o r a i s e t h e l i m i t on c o n t r i b u t i o n s t o n a t i o n a l p a r t y c o m m i t t e e s f r o m $ 2 0 , 0 0 0 t o $ 4 0 , 0 0 0 p e r y e a r (S. 732--Gorton, C o r c o r a n , 9 8 t h C o n g r e s s ; H.R. 2906--Grotberg, 9 8 t h C o n g r e s s ; H.R. 99th Congress). 2976-F i n a l l y , two o f them would r a i s e t h e l i m i t on c o n t r i b u t i o n s t o o t h e r p o l i t i c a l c o m m i t t e e s ( i n c l u d i n g PACs) f r o m $ 5 , 0 0 0 t o $ 1 0 , 0 0 0 (S. 732--Gorton, 2906--Grotberg, 9 8 t h C o n g r e s s ; H.R. 99th Congress). I n e s s e n c e , a l l o f t h e s e p r o p o s a l s a t t e m p t t o s t r i k e a new b a l a n c e b e t w e e n what a r e deemed a p p r o p r i a t e a n d what a r e deemed e x c e s s i v e l e v e l s o f p o l i t i c a l c o n t r i b u t i o n s by i n d i v i d u a l c i t i z e n s . I n v i e w o f b o t h i n f l a t i o n a n d t h e r e l a t i v e r o l e of i n d i v i d u a l s v i s - a - v i s seen as a s e n s i b l e adjustment. o t h e r f u n d i n g s o u r c e s , i t may w e l l b e R e s e r v a t i o n s may b e v o i c e d , h o w e v e r , n o t o n l y w i t h r e g a r d t o whether t h e b a l a n c e might s h i f t back toward t h e p r e v i o u s p e r c e p t i o n o f " f a t c a t " d o m i n a n c e , b u t a s t o w h e t h e r t h e more a f f l u e n t i n d i v i d u a l s who would t h u s b e n e f i t a r e n o t i n f a c t r e p r e s e n t i n g " s p e c i a l interests", no l e s s t h a n a r e PACs. And, w h e r e a s PAC money may b e r e a d i l y c o n n e c t e d t h r o u g h p u b l i c d i s c l o s u r e t o i t s s o u r c e and i t s i n t e r e s t , l a r g e i n d i v i d u a l d o n a t i o n s a r e n o t n e a r l y as e a s i l y t r a c e d w i t h t h e s e q u e s t i o n s i n mind. I n c r e a s i n g t h e V a l u e o f Tax I n c e n t i v e s From 1972 t o 1 9 8 6 , t a x p a y e r s c o u l d c l a i m a t a x c r e d i t o f h a l f t h e v a l u e o f a l l p o l i t i c a l c o n t r i b u t i o n s up t o $50, o r $100 o n j o i n t r e t u r n s ( t h e s e s p e c i f i c a m o u n t s went i n t o e f f e c t i n 1 9 7 9 ) . T h r e e p r o p o s a l s w e r e made i n t h e 9 8 t h C o n g r e s s w h i c h would i n c r e a s e t h e maximum amount o f c r e d i t s w h i c h c o u l d be c l a i m e d , a s a means o f e n c o u r a g i n g ( s m a l l ) i n d i v i d u a l d o n a t i o n s . T h e s e were: * H.R. 2976 ( C o r c o r a n , 9 8 t h C o n g r e s s ) - - q u a d r u p l e s maximum amount o f c r e d i t s , f r o m $50 t o $200 ( i n d i v i d u a l ) a n d f r o m $100 t o $400 ( j o i n t r e t u r n s ) * H.R. 3172 (McCollum, 9 8 t h C o n g r e s s ) - - i n c r e a s e s maximum amount o f c r e d i t s t e n f o l d , f r o m $50 t o $500 ( i n d i v i d u a l ) a n d f r o m $100 t o $1000 ( j o i n t r e t u r n s ) * H.R. 3610 ( L a n t o s , 9 8 t h C o n g r e s s ) - - d o u b l e s maximum amount of c r e d i t s , from $50 t o $100 ( i n d i v i d u a l ) a n d f r o m $100 t o $200 ( j o i n t r e t u r n s ) I n l i g h t o f e n a c t m e n t of t h e t a x r e f o r m l e g i s l a t i o n i n 1 9 8 6 a n d t h e e l i m i n a t i o n of t a x c r e d i t s f o r p o l i t i c a l c o n t r i b u t i o n s a f t e r t h a t y e a r , t h e s e p r o p o s a l s would now a p p e a r t o be moot. E s t a b l i s h a 1 0 0 P e r c e n t Tax C r e d i t f o r S m a l l I n d i v i d u a l C o n t r i b u t i o n s Beyond t h e g e n e r a l c o n c e r n t h a t t h e i n d i v i d u a l c o n t r i b u t i o n s component o f campaign r e c e i p t s h a s shrunk i n r e c e n t y e a r s i s t h e p a r t i c u l a r c o n c e r n t h a t s m a l l i n d i v i d u a l d o n a t i o n s h a v e been most a f f e c t e d by ( o r r e s p o n s i b l e f o r ) these trends. The same s t u d y r e f e r r e d t o e a r l i e r showed t h a t c o n t r i b u t i o n s f r o m i n d i v i d u a l s i n a m o u n t s of u n d e r $200 d e c l i n e d f r o m 50 p e r c e n t t o 22 p e r c e n t o f House c a n d i d a t e r e c e i p t s b e t w e e n 1974 and 1 9 8 4 , w h i l e t h e c o m p a r a b l e l e v e l among S e n a t e c a n d i d a t e s f e l l f r o m 4 1 p e r c e n t t o 26 p e r c e n t d u r i n g t h i s period. 21 To some o b s e r v e r s , t h e s e d a t a s i g n a l a n e e d t o e n c o u r a g e n o t j u s t i n d i v i d u a l c o n t r i b u t i o n s a c r o s s t h e board, but t o t a r g e t t h e i n c e n t i v e s t o o n l y small d o n a t i o n s , which, i n t h e o r y , r e p r e s e n t g r a s s r o o t s p a r t i c i p a t i o n , r e l a t i v e l y f r e e of t h e p e r c e i v e d d r a w b a c k s o f " i n t e r e s t e d " money ( i . e . , d o n a t i o n s made w i t h a c l e a r u n d e r s t a n d i n g between d o n o r a n d r e c i p i e n t o f w h a t public policy i n t e r e s t s a r e being espoused). The i d e a o f a l l o w i n g t a x p a y e r s t o t a k e a f u l l c r e d i t on t h e v a l u e of s m a l l d o n a t i o n s t h u s g a i n e d a p p e a l , a s a means of p r o v i d i n g t h e u l t i m a t e i n c e n t i v e f o r t h o s e w i l l i n g t o c o n t r i b u t e - t h a t t h e i r c o n t r i b u t i o n would c o s t them n o t h i n g a t a l l . F i v e p r o p o s a l s f e a t u r i n g a 100 p e r c e n t t a x c r e d i t ( a p a r t from t h o s e l i n k e d t o a p u b l i c funding system w i t h spending limits, d i s c u s s e d l a t e r i n t h i s r e p o r t ) were o f f e r e d i n t h e 9 8 t h and 9 9 t h C o n g r e s s e s . One o f t h e s e p a s s e d t h e House on December 1 7 , 1985 ( b y a 230-196 v o t e ) , a s a n amendment t o H . R . t h e t a x reform l e g i s l a t i o n . 3838, The McHugh Amendment r e p l a c e d t h e e x i s t i n g t a x c r e d i t w i t h a f u l l c r e d i t on t h e v a l u e o f d i r e c t ( n o t " b u n d l e d " ) contributions t o House a n d S e n a t e c a n d i d a t e s i n t h e d o n o r ' s S t a t e , up t o $ 1 0 0 ( $ 2 0 0 on j o i n t returns). bill. T h i s p r o v i s i o n was d e l e t e d i n H o u s e - S e n a t e c o n f e r e n c e o n t h e t a x The o t h e r f o u r p r o p o s a l s were: * H.R. 2 8 3 3 ( P e a s e , 9 8 t h C o n g r e s s ) - - a d d s a n a d d i t i o n a l c r e d i t on t h e f u l l v a l u e o f c o n t r i b u t i o n s t o House a n d S e n a t e c a n d i d a t e s i n t h e d o n o r ' s S t a t e o r d i s t r i c t , up t o $10 ($20 on j o i n t r e t u r n s ) * H. R. 3737 ( ~ c H u g h / ~ o n a b l e9,8 t h C o n g r e s s ) - - r e p l a c e s e x i s t i n g c r e d i t w i t h a f u l l c r e d i t on t h e v a l u e o f c o n t r i b u t i o n s t o House and S e n a t e c a n d i d a t e s i n d o n o r ' s S t a t e , u p t o $50 ( $ 1 0 0 on j o i n t r e t u r n s ) -2 * H.R. 889 ( P e a s e , 9 9 t h c o n g r e s s ) - - i d e n t i c a l t o H.R. 2833 H.R. 3780 (McHugh e t a l . , 9 9 t h C o n g r e s s ) - - r e p l a c e s e x i s t i n g c r e d i t w i t h a f u l l c r e d i t on t h e v a l u e o f c o n t r i b u t i o n s t o House and S e n a t e c a n d i d a t e s i n d o n o r ' s S t a t e , u p t o $100 ( $ 2 0 0 on j o i n t r e t u r n s ) A l t h o u g h some of t h e s e p r o p o s a l s d i f f e r e d i.1 t h e amount of maximum c r e d i t , t h e y a l l l i m i t e d t h e u s e t o o n l y House and S e n a t e c a n d i d a t e s i n t h e d o n o r ' s S t a t e , i f n o t t h e d o n o r ' s own c o n g r e s s i o n a l d i s t r i c t . I t c o u l d be a r g u e d t h a t , n o t o n l y would s m a l l d o n a t i o n s be e n c o u r a g e d , b u t t h e l i n k a g e between c o n s t i t u e n t s and t h e i r e l e c t e d r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s would be f o s t e r e d , a s w e l l . While t h e r e i s l i t t l e doubt t h a t s u c h a p l a n would be a n i n c e n t i v e t o i n d i v i d u a l c o n t r i b u t o r s , t h e r e i s no way o f a c c u r a t e l y g a u g i n g t o what e x t e n t t h i s would i n f a c t be t h e c a s e . Because of t h e p o t e n t i a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t c o s t s t o t h e Government of t h i s p r o p o s a l , t h i s d i f f i c u l t y i n p r e d i c t i n g c o s t s i s o f concern. Some o b s e r v e r s n o t e t h a t , j u s t a s i t h a s n e v e r been proven t o what e x t e n t t h e c u r r e n t t a x c r e d i t h a s s e r v e d a s an inducement t o c o n t r i b u t i o n s , a s opposed t o mere1 y an u n a n t i c i p a t e d "reward" f o r expected behavior p a t t e r n s , i t i s n o t c l e a r w h e t h e r s u f f i c i e n t numbers of new c o n t r i b u t o r s would be g e n e r a t e d by s u c h a plan--even w i t h i t s g r e a t e r inducement v a l u e - - t o warrant i t s p o t e n t i a l l y c o n s i d e r a b l e and u n p r e d i c t a b l e c o s t s . D. B o o s t i n g t h e Role o f P o l i t i c a l P a r t i e s An a r e a which some view a s c e n t r a l t o t h e e n t i r e d e b a t e o v e r campaign f i n a n c i n g l i e s i n t h e r o l e of t h e major p o l i t i c a l p a r t i e s i n t h e e l e c t o r a l process. Many o b s e r v e r s b e l i e v e t h a t t h e s t r e n g t h of t h e p a r t y s y s t e m h a s b e e n weakened i n r e c e n t d e c a d e s by a number o f f a c t o r s , i n c l u d i n g t h e l i m i t a t i o n s on t h e i r a b i l i t y t o a s s i s t t h e i r c a n d i d a t e s under t h e FECA. Whereas many d i s a g r e e o v e r w h e t h e r PACs a r e e x e r t i n g t o o g r e a t a r o l e i n e l e c t i o n s , few would d i s a g r e e t h a t t h e p a r t i e s have a b e n e f i c i a l r o l e t o p l a y , b o t h i n p r o m o t i n g g r e a t e r c o h e s i v e n e s s among p a r t y members i n t h e policymaking p r o c e s s and i n p r o v i d i n g a r e a d i l y a v a i l a b l e and " u n t a i n t e d " s o u r c e o f f i n a n c i a l and o t h e r campaign a s s i s t a n c e t o i t s c a n d i d a t e s . P a r t i c u l a r l y i n l i g h t of t h e d e b a t e o v e r w h e t h e r c a n d i d a t e s a r e t o o r e l i a n t on s p e c i a l i n t e r e s t s , t h e s e o b s e r v e r s i n s i s t t h a t t h e p a r t i e s i d e a l l y o f f e r c a n d i d a t e s a r e f u g e from s p e c i a l i n t e r e s t p r e s s u r e s , by c h a n n e l i n g r e s o u r c e s t h r o u g h more b r o a d l y - b a s e d , structures mediating . C u r r e n t l a w a l l o w s f o r two p r i n c i p a l means t h r o u g h w h i c h p o l i t i c a l p a r t i e s may d i r e c t l y p r o v i d e f i n a n c i a l a s s i s t a n c e t o t h e i r c a n d i d a t e s f o r F e d e r a l o f f i c e ; b o t h o f t h e s e f o r m s of s p e n d i n g a r e s u b j e c t t o l i m i t s . The f i r s t i s d i r e c t c o n t r i b u t i o n s , t o which p a r t y c o m m i t t e e s a r e s u b j e c t t o t h e same l i m i t s a s o t h e r p o l i t i c a l committees ($1,000 o r $5,000 p e r c a n d i d a t e , p e r e l e c t i o n , d e p e n d i n g upon w h e t h e r o r n o t i t i s a m u l t i c a n d i d a t e c o m m i t t e e ) ; a s p e c i a l l i m i t o f $ 1 7 , 5 0 0 a p p l i e s t o c o n t r i b u t i o n s by t h e n a t i o n a l a n d s e n a t o r i a l campaign committees (combined) t o t h e i r S e n a t e c a n d i d a t e s , i n t h e y e a r o f t h e general election. A more s u b s t a n t i a l o p p o r t u n i t y f o r f i n a n c i a l a s s i s t a n c e e x i s t s i n t h e f o r m o f c o o r d i n a t e d e x p e n d i t u r e s , whereby t h e p a r t y p a y s f o r c e r t a i n c a m p a i g n s e r v i c e s (e.g., organization. TV a d s , p o l l s , e t c . ) i n c o n j u n c t i o n w i t h t h e c a n d i d a t e ' s T h e s e e x p e n d i t u r e s , w h i c h may o n l y be made on b e h a l f of g e n e r a l e l e c t i o n c a n d i d a t e s , a r e l i m i t e d a s f o l l o w s : f o r P r e s i d e n t i a l and Vicep r e s i d e n t i a l nominees--two c e n t s t i m e s t h e v o t i n g a g e p o p u l a t i o n (VAP) p l u s a n a d j u s t m e n t f o r i n f l a t i o n ( b a s e d on 1 9 7 4 d o l l a r s ) ; f o r House c a n d i d a t e s i n S t a t e s w i t h more t h a n o n e d i s t r i c t - - $ 1 0 , 0 0 0 plus a n adjustment f o r i n f l a t i o n ; a n d f o r S e n a t e c a n d i d a t e s ( a n d a t - l a r g e House c a n d i d a t e s ) - - t h e greater of $ 2 0 , 0 0 0 p l u s a d j u s t m e n t f o r i n f l a t i o n o r two c e n t s t i m e s t h e VAP p l u s adjustment f o r i n f l a t i o n . I n 1984, t h e p a r t y l i m i t f o r P r e s i d e n t i a l nominees was $6.9 m i l l i o n ; i n 1 9 8 6 , t h e l i m i t f o r House n o m i n e e s was $ 2 1 , 8 1 0 a n d f o r S e n a t e nominees ranged from $43,620 t o $851,681. Because t h e l i m i t s i n c o n g r e s s i o n a l r a c e s a p p l y s e p a r a t e l y t o n a t i o n a l and S t a t e p a r t y c o m m i t t e e s ( a n d o n e may t r a n s f e r i t s a u t h o r i t y t o t h e o t h e r ) , t h e l i m i t s a r e e f f e c t i v e l y d o u b l e d ; t h u s , i n 1 9 8 6 , t h e p a r t y c o m m i t t e e s c o u l d make c o o r d n a t e d e x p e n d i t u r e s o f u p t o $ 4 3 , 6 2 0 on b e h a l f of House n o m i n e e s and b e t w e e n $ 8 7 , 2 4 0 a n d $ 1 , 7 0 3 , 3 6 2 on b e h a l E of S e n a t e n o m i n e e s . C r i t i c s c o n t e n d t h a t t h e FECA'S r e s t r i c t i o n s on t h e p a r t e s ' a b i l i t y t o a s s i s t t h e i r c a n d i d a t e s h a s hampered t h e i r a b i l i t y t o s e r v e a s a u s e f u l c o u n t e r f o r c e t o t h e g r o w i n g r o l e p l a y e d by PACs i n e l e c t i o n s . The same s t u d y on f u n d i n g s o u r c e s c i t e d e a r l i e r shows a somewhat s t e a d y , b u t modest r o l e by p a r t i e s among o t h e r s o u r c e s i n House and S e n a t e c a m p a i g n s , r a n g i n g f r o m f o u r t o s e v e n p e r c e n t i n t h e f o r m e r and from t h r e e t o t e n p e r c e n t i n t h e l a t t e r , d u r i n g t h e p a s t d e c a d e . 6_/ Even when c a l c u l a t i n g t h e p a r t y s h a r e o f o v e r a l l r e c e i p t s by i n c l u d i n g t h e c o o r d i n a t e d e x p e n d i t u r e s i n t h e b a s e a m o u n t , t h e s e d a t a r e v e a l what i s - - t o some--too modest a r o l e i n campaign f i n a n c i n g . Two c o n s i d e r a t i o n s h a v e a s i g n i f i c a n t b e a r i n g on t h e d e b a t e o v e r t h e p a r t y r o l e i n campaign f i n a n c i n g . F i r s t , t h e c o n t r i b u t i o n s and c o o r d i n a t e d e x p e n d i t u r e s d o n o t r e p r e s e n t t h e e x t e n t o f s e r v i c e s by p a r t i e s t o c a n d i d a t e s . C a n d i d a t e t r a i n i n g s c h o o l s , o p p o s i t i o n r e s e a r c h , p o l l i n g , and g e n e r i c p a r t y m e d i a a d v e r t i s e m e n t s a r e some o f t h e s e r v i c e s t y p i c a l l y p r o v i d e d t o c a n d i d a t e s by t h e p a r t y c o m m i t t e e s , w h i c h t o a l a r g e e x t e n t a r e n o t a l l o c a b l e e x p e n s e s and, hence, a r e not r e f l e c t e d i n t h e contributions o r expenditures t o t a l s . They a r e s u b s t a n t i a l b e n e f i t s n o n e t h e l e s s . Second, t h e r e i s a s i g n i f i c a n t g a p b e t w e e n t h e l e v e l s o f r e s o u r c e s of t h e two m a j o r p o l i t i c a l p a r t i e s . pre-election A s of t h e r e p o r t i n g p e r i o d o f t h e 1986 e l e c t i o n c y c l e , t h e t h r e e m a j o r R e p u b l i c a n n a t i o n a l p a r t y c o m m i t t e e s had r a i s e d $190.9 m i l l i o n , compared w i t h $37.7 m i l l i o n by t h e i r D e m o c r a t i c c o u n t e r p a r t s d u r i n g t h i s p e r i o d . L/ Therein lies a n e s s e n t i a l underlying f a c t o r i n t h e d e b a t e over t h e p a r t y role--even 6_1 71 Ibid. U.S. F e d e r a l E l e c t i o n Commission. FEC R e p o r t s F i n a n c i a l S t a t u s o f N a t i o n a l - L e v e l P a r t y Commi t t e e s [ p r e s s r e l e a s e ] : O c t 2 9 , 1986. . though there is wide agreement in theory on loosening restrictions on the parties' role, as long as the Republican Party maintains its sizeable advantage in resources, i t is seen as unlikely that many Democrats will accept giving the parties significantly greater leeway to assist their candidates.&/ Raising or Removing Limits Nine bills in the 98th and 99th Congresses include provisions to boost the party role in campaign funding, featuring a raising or removal of the contribution and/or coordinated expenditure limits. The following bills dealt with party contribution limits: * S, 732 (Gorton, 98th Congress)--triples contribution limit for Senate candidates, from $17,500 to $52,500 * H.R. 2959 (Hamilton, 98th Congress)--increases limit on contributions by national party committees to House candidates from $20,000 (combined) to $60,000 and to Senate candidates from $17,500 to $50,000, over a three-election cycle period; indexes limits for inflation * H.R. 2976 (Corcoran, 98th Congress)--removes limits on contributions to congressional candidates * H.R. 3081 (Frenzel et al., 98th Congress)--increases party contribution limit from $5,000 to $15,000 and the limit for Senate candidates from $17,500 to $30,000 * S. 1350 (Laxaltl~ugar,98th Congress)--identical 3081 to H.R. * S. 1072 (Gorton, 99th Congress)--identical provision to S. 732 * H.R. 2906 (Grotberg, 99th Congress )--removes 1 imits on contributions to congressional candidates in general/special elections * H.R. 3863 (Frenzel et al., 99th Congress)--identical provision to H . R . 3081 8_/ Some have posed the question of whether the lack of aggregate financial parity between the two major parties might not be responsible for at least some of the ongoing debate. * S. 1891 (Heinz et al., 99th Congress)--identical provision to H.R. 3081 Coordinated expenditure limit proposals were as follows: * S. 732 (Gorton, 98th Congress)--triples coordinated expenditure limits for congressional candidates * H.R. 2959 (Hamilton, 98th Congress)--increases base for coordinated expenditures for House candidates from $10,000 to $18,000 and for Senate candidates from two cents to four cents, over a three-election cycle period * H.R. 2976 (~orcoran,98th Congress)--removes limits on coordinated expenditures for congressional candidates * H.R. 3081 (Frenzel et al., 98th Congress)--increases coordinated expenditure base for Presidential candidates from two cents to three cents; removes coordinated expenditure limit for congressional candidates * S. 1350 (Laxalt/ ~ u g a r ,98th Congress)--identical to H.R. 3081 * S. 1072 (Gorton , 99th Congress )--identical provision to S. 732 * H.R. 2906 (Grotberg, 99th Congress)--removes limits on coordinated expenditures for congressional candidates * H.R. 3863 (Frenzel et al., 99th congress)--identical provision to H.R. 3081 * S. 1891 (Heinz et al., 99th ~on~ress)--identical provision to H.R. 3081 The following bills contain provisions enhancing the parties' role by allowing unlimited national party expenditures for grassroots campaign materials ( a s State parties are currently permitted to do) and allowing unlimited (and unrestricted) contributions to party committees to defray administrative, overhead, and fundraising costs: * * * * H.R. 3081 (Frenzel et al., 98th congress) S. 1350 (LaxaltlLugar, 98th congress) H.R. 3863 (Frenzel et al., 99th Congress) S. 1891 (Heinz et al., 99th congress) Finally, the following bills have provisions allowing greater levels of contributions to the national party cormnittees: * H.R. 2959 (Hamilton, 98th Congress)--removes the current $20,000 limit on individual contributions to national party comnittees (while retaining the aggregate $25,000 limit); increases multicandidate PAC limit on contributions to party committees from $15,000 to $35,000, and indexes limit for inflation * H.R. 2976 (~orcoran,98th congress)--doubles the limit on contributions by individuals and non-multicandidate conunittees to national party committees, from $20,000 to $40,000 * H.R. 2906 (Grotberg, 99th Congress)--doubles the limit on contributions by individuals and non-multicandidate committees to national party committees, from $20,000 to $40,000 These proposals share a common perspective that the political parties serve a vital and beneficial function in the political system and hence should be accorded a status under the FECA which is, if not privileged, at least not below or on the same level with special interest PACs. An underlying premise of the law is that contributions by parties must be circumscribed, just as those by interest groups or wealthy individuals, and therein lies the philosophical grounds for this debate. Granting Special Tax Incentives for Contributions to Parties Although tax credits for political contributions no longer exist as of January 1, 1987, one proposal in the 98th Congress favored eliminating the existing credit except for contributions to political parties: H.R. 3737 ( ~ c ~ u g h / ~ o n a b l98th e , congress This provides another example of the use of tax incentives to encourage contributions to only those sectors which are deemed to be playing an undisputedly beneficial role in the political system. 11. LEVEL OF CAMPAIGN EXPENDITURES I f t h e s o u r c e o f campaign money i s a n o v e r r i d i n g i s s u e i n t h e d e b a t e o v e r c a m p a i g n f i n a n c i n g , t h e l e v e l of c a m p a i g n e x p e n d i t u r e s - - t h e candidates t o get elected--is amount s p e n t by an i s s u e of comparable s i g n i f i c a n c e and one t h a t i s c l o s e l y i n t e r r e l a t e d with t h e former. To many o b s e r v e r s , t h e amount of money s p e n t i n e l e c t i o n s t o d a y i s a r g u a b l y c o r r u p t i n g t h e p o l i t i c a l system-f o r c i n g c a n d i d a t e s and o f f i c e h o l d e r s t o spend i n c r e a s i n g amounts o f t i m e r a i s i n g money, p o s s i b l y c r e a t i n g p r e s s u r e on them t o r e l y on a f f l u e n t i n d i v i d u a l s a n d s p e c i a l i n t e r e s t s f o r campaign a s s i s t a n c e , c o n c e i v a b l y d e t e r r i n g c a n d i d a t e s without p e r s o n a l f o r t u n e s from a t t e m p t i n g t o run f o r o f f i c e , a n d l e a v i n g a n i m p r e s s i o n among some i n t h e e l e c t o r a t e t h a t e l e c t i o n s a r e "bought and sold." A c c o r d i n g t o o n e a u t h o r i t y , a n e s t i m a t e d $1.8 b i l l i o n was s p e n t o n a l l e l e c t i o n s i n t h e U.S. i n 1984 ($986.5 m i l l i o n i n c o n s t a n t 1976 d o l l a r s , b a s e d on C P I ) , compared w i t h a n e s t i m a t e d $540 m i l l i o n i n 1 9 7 6 . 9 -/ Candidates f o r t h e House a n d S e n a t e s p e n t a t o t a l o f $115.5 m i l l i o n i n 1 9 7 6 , c l i m b i n g t o $374.1 m i l l i o n i n 1 9 8 4 ; b a s e d on p r e l i m i n a r y d a t a , a n e s t i m a t e d $425 m i l l i o n was s p e n t i n 1 9 8 6 ($220.5 m i l l i o n i n c o n s t a n t 1976 d o l l a r s ) . The a v e r a g e c o s t f o r a w i n n i n g House c a n d i d a t e r o s e f r o m $ 8 7 , 2 0 0 i n 1 9 7 6 t o $ 2 8 8 , 6 3 6 i n 1 9 8 4 ( $ 1 5 8 , 1 8 9 i n c o n s t a n t 1976 d o l l a r s ) ; t h e a v e r a g e c o s t f o r a s u c c e s s f u l S e n a t e 9_/ E s t i m a t e s by H e r b e r t A l e x a n d e r , C i t i z e n s ' R e s e a r c h F o u n d a t i o n . I n C e n t e r f o r R e s p o n s i v e P o l i t i c s . Money a n d P o l i t i c s : Campaign S p e n d i n g O u t o f Control. W a s h i n g t o n , C e n t e r f o r R e s p o n s i v e P o l i t i c s , 1985. p. 3 . c a n d i d a t e i n c r e a s e d from $ 6 0 9 , 1 0 0 t o $ 2 , 9 5 4 , 5 4 5 ( $ 1 , 6 1 9 , 2 5 4 i n c o n s t a n t 1 9 7 6 d o l l a r s ) during t h i s period. 101 The i s s u e o f what a r e p e r c e i v e d t o be e x c e s s i v e a m o u n t s o f money s p e n t on e l e c t i o n s a r i s e s i n good m e a s u r e f r o m t h e d i c h o t o m o u s campaign f i n a n c e s y s t e m ( f o r c o n g r e s s i o n a l e l e c t i o n s ) i n which s o u r c e s o f f u n d s a r e l i m i t e d b u t campaign e x p e n d i t u r e s a r e n o t . As stated earlier, this situation is the result 1 (197611, s t r i k o f t h e Supreme C o u r t ' s r u l i n g i n B u c k l e y v. V a l e o [ 4 2 4 U.S. down c a m p a i g n s p e n d i n g l i m i t s e x c e p t a s p a r t o f a p u b l i c f i n a n c e s y s t e m . H e n c e , c a n d i d a t e s f o r P r e s i d e n t who o p t t o p a r t i c i p a t e i n t h e p u b l i c f u n d i n g s y s t e m a r e s u b j e c t t o a s e r i e s o f campaign s p e n d i n g l i m i t s ; c o n g r e s s i o n a l c a n d i d a t e s a r e r e s t r a i n e d by n o s u c h l i m i t s , a s p u b l i c f u n d i n g i s n o t a v a i l a b l e i n those e l e c t ions. Most of t h e p r o p o s a l s i n t h i s s e c t i o n d e a l w i t h some f o r m o f p u b l i c f i n a n c i n g , l i n k e d w i t h l i m i t a t i o n s o n campaign s p e n d i n g . It i s f o r t h e latter r e a s o n t h a t t h e y a r e i n c l u d e d i n t h i s s e c t i o n , r a t h e r t h a n t h e p r e v i o u s o n e on funding sources. Apart from p u b l i c f i n a n c e p r o p o s a l s , t h i s s e c t i o n i n c l u d e s some p r o v i d i n g f o r f r e e m e d i a , f o r a c o n s t i t u t i o n a l amendment t o l i m i t c a m p a i g n s p e n d i n g , and a measure t o impose l i m i t s w i t h o u t r e g a r d t o t h e Buckley r u l i n g . I t should be s t a t e d a t t h e o u t s e t t h a t not a l l observers express concern over the leve o f campaign e x p e n d i t u r e s t o d a y . They n o t e t h a t i t i s n o t o u t o f l i n e w i t h t h e c o s t o f o t h e r g o o d s a n d s e r v i c e s t o d a y , and t h a t A m e r i c a n s s p e n d l e s s o n e l e c t o n s t h a n t h e y do on comnon h o u s e h o l d p r o d u c t s . The $1.8 b i l l i o n s p e n t on e l e c t i o n s i n 1984 c o n s t i t u t e d o n l y a f r a c t i o n o f t h e $1.4 t r i l l i o n s p e n t by g o v e r n m e n t s a t a l l l e v e l s ; t h e amount s p e n t t o e l e c t t h e P r e s i d e n t a n d C o n g r e s s i n 1984--$699.1 million--was l e s s t h a n t h a t s p e n t by P r o c t o r & Gamble 1 0 / C a l c u l a t e d from: U.S. F e d e r a l E l e c t i o n Commission. FEC R e l e a s e s ~ i n a l R e ~ o t -o nt 1984 C o n g r e s s i o n a l R a c e s [ p r e s s r e l e a s e ] : Dec. 8 , 1985. p. 2. at ion's l e a d i n g a d v e r t i s e r ) i n p r o m o t i n g i t s p r o d u c t s t h a t y e a r . (the g/ S u r e l y , t h e y i n s i s t , t h e e d u c a t i o n o f t h e e l e c t o r a t e a b o u t t h o s e who s e e k t o make c r i t i c a l d e c i s i o n s a f f e c t i n g t h e i r l i v e s i s w o r t h a t l e a s t what i t c o s t s t o s e l l s o a p o r t o o t h p a s t e o r o t h e r goods and s e r v i c e s . I f t h e cost of p o l i t i c s i s higher today than i n years p a s t , they argue, i t is because t h e c o s t of c o m m u n i c a t i o n i n a n e r a o f t e l e v i s i o n i s h i g h ; t h i s , a l o n g w i t h t h e d o m i n a n c e o f TV i n o u r l i v e s , i s s i m p l y a f a c t o f l i f e i n A m e r i c a t o d a y . R a t h e r t h a n s p e n d i n g t o o much on e l e c t i o n s , some i n s i s t w e d o n o c s p e n d e n o u g h , a n d t h a t a more s e r i o u s p r o b l e m i s t h e i n a b i l i t y o f many c h a l l e n g e r s t o r a i s e s u f f i c i e n t f u n d s t o wage c o m p e t i t i v e r a c e s . Finally, these observers maintain t h a t t h e p r o p o s e d s o l u t i o n s t o t h e h i g h c o s t o f e l e c t i o n s would y i e l d r e s u l t s e v e n more t r o u b l i n g t h a n t h e p e r c e i v e d problems. A. P u b l i c Funding Linked t o Spending L i m i t s To many c r i t i c s o f t h e c u r r e n t s y s t e m , p u b l i c f u n d i n g o f c o n g r e s s i o n a l elections is the ultimate solution. Not o n l y would i t e n a b l e t h e G o v e r n m e n t t o c u r b s p e n d i n g c o s t s , b u t by l i m i t i n g ( o r e l i m i n a t i n g ) t h e a c c e p t a n c e o f p r i v a t e s o u r c e s o f money, i t would a d d r e s s t h e i s s u e s s u r r o u n d i n g t h e r e l i a n c e o n special interests in getting elected. I n f a c t , from t h e t i m e p u b l i c f i n a n c i n g was f i r s t p r o p o s e d b y P r e s i d e n t T h e o d o r e R o o s e v e l t i n 1907 u n t i l t h e B u c k l e y ruling , h e i m p e t u s f o r p a s s a g e stemmed f r o m t h e c o n c e r n o v e r t h e s o u r c e o f c a m p a i g n money, n o t t h e o v e r a l l amount s p e n t . I n view of t h e Buckley d e c i s i o n , however, i t a p p e a r e d t h a t p u b l i c f i n a n c i n g o f f e r e d t h e o n l y r e a l i s t i c means o f c o n t r o l 1 ng campaign e x p e n d i t u r e s i n c o n g r e s s i o n a l e l e c t i o n s , and t h e i m p e t u s f o r s u c h a p l a n h a s a p p e a r e d t o s h i f t more t o w a r d t h e l e v e l o f s p e n d i n g t h a n 111 A l e x a n d e r , H e r b e r t E. The H i g h C o s t o f P o l i t i c s . I n C e n t e r f o r s t r a t e g i c S t u d i e s . E l e c t i n g t h e P r e s i d e n t : A P r o g r a m f o r Reform. Final Report o f t h e Commission on N a t i o n a l E l e c t i o n s , W a s h i n g t o n , 1986. p. 61. t h e source (although the l a t t e r i s obviously closely related). Indeed, t h i s a p p a r e n t p o l i t i c a l r e a l i t y h a s l e d some who h a v e r e s e r v a t i o n s o v e r p u b l i c f i n a n c i n g t o s u p p o r t i t , a s a l a s t r e s o r t t o c u r b r i s i n g campaign c o s t s . (Most p u b l i c f u n d i n g p l a n s e n v i s i o n f u n d i n g through the v o l u n t a r y t a x p a y e r d o l l a r checkoff--perhaps a t an increased l e v e l , but funding through t h e r e g u l a r a p p r o p r i a t i o n s p r o c e s s i s an a l t e r n a t i v e o p t i o n . ) P u b l i c f i n a n c i n g i s n o t a new c o n c e p t a t t h i s p o i n t . Presidential e l e c t i o n s have been p u b l i c l y funded s i n c e 1976, w i t h matching f u n d s a v a i l a b l e i n p r i m a r i e s and f u l l s u b s i d i e s provided ( t o major p a r t y nominees) i n g e n e r a l e l e c t i o n s , and f u l l s u b s i d i e s t o t h e p a r t i e s f o r c o s t s o f t h e nominating conventions. P r o p o s a l s f o r p u b l i c l y funded c o n g r e s s i o n a l e l e c t i o n s have been o f f e r e d i n C o n g r e s s s i n c e t h e mid-1950s, Congress--the H.R. and twice--both times i n t h e 93rd S e n a t e p a s s e d s u c h a s y s t e m : i n 1 9 7 3 , i t a d d e d a n amendment t o 1 1 1 0 4 , p r o v i d i n g f u l l s u b s i d i e s t o ( m a j o r p a r t y ) c a n d i d a t e s f o r House a n d S e n a t e i n g e n e r a l e l e c t i o n s , and i n 1 9 7 4 , i t i n c l u d e d a p r o v i s i o n i n S. 3044 t o p r o v i d e m a t c h i n g f u n d s i n House and S e n a t e p r i m a r i e s and f u l 1 s u b s i d i e s ( t o m a j o r p a r t y n o m i n e e s ) i n House and S e n a t e g e n e r a l e l e c t i o n s ; b o t h p r o v i s i o n s were l a t e r d e l e t e d i n conference. Not o n l y d o p u b l i c f i n a n c e s u p p o r t e r s s e e i t a s a means o f c u r b i n g r e l i a n c e on p r i v a t e money a n d a s a n e c e s s a r y t o o l t o c o n t r o l c a m p a i g n c o s t s , t h e y b e l i e v e t h a t i t i s a p p r o p r i a t e t h a t t h e p u b l i c b u s i n e s s should be c o n d u c t e d w i t h t h e p u b l i c ' s money. F u r t h e r m o r e , by making p u b l i c f u n d s a v a i l a b l e i n e l e c t i o n s where one c a n d i d a t e o r p a r t y i s n o r m a l l y h e a v i l y f a v o r e d , i t m i g h t i n j e c t some c o m p e t i t i v e n e s s i n t o e l e c t i o n s w h e r e t h e r e m i g h t o t h e r w i s e be v e r y l i t t l e . Opponents o f p u b l i c f i n a n c i n g say t h a t it i s i n a p p r o p r i a t e t o a l l o w l e g i s l a t o r s t o d e v i s e t h e s y s t e m by w h i c h t h e y t h e m s e l v e s must s e e k e l e c t i o n . They a s s e r t t h a t i t would d i s t o r t e l e c t i o n s by i m p o s i n g t h e same s y s t e m on 50 d i f f - e r e n t S t a t e s w i t h d i f f e r e n t d e g r e e s of c o m p e t i t i v e n e s s i n i n d i v i d u a l r a c e s a n d by p r o v i d i n g e v e n g r e a t e r a d v a n t a g e s t o i n c u m b e n t s t h a n a l r e a d y e x i s t , t h e r e b y d e c r e a s i n g t h e competitiveness of e l e c t i o n s . I n view of t h e r e l a t i v e l y low r a t e o f p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n t h e v o l u n t a r y d o l l a r c h e c k o f f f o r t h e e x i s t i n g P r e s i d e n t i a l s y s t e m ( r o u g h l y o n e - f o u r t h of t a x p a y e r s c h e c k " y e s " ) , they see l i t t l e e v i d e n c e t h a t t h e p u b l i c f a v o r s s u c h a p l a n . And t h e a d d e d c o s t s t o t h e t a x p a y e r s i n a n e r a of b u d g e t d e f i c i t s a n d c o s t c o n s c i o u s n e s s make i t a n inappropriate suggestion a t t h i s time, they maintain. Two c o n s i d e r a t i o n s i n t h i s a r e a b e a r m e n t i o n i n g a t t h e o u t s e t . First, the i s s u e o f w h e t h e r p u b l i c f i n a n c i n g would c o n s t i t u t e a n " i n c u m b e n t p r o t e c t i o n " m e a s u r e h a s b e e n d e b a t e d f o r some t i m e . I t is generally believed t h a t spending l i m i t s , e q u a l l y a p p l i e d t o b o t h c a n d i d a t e s i n a r a c e , would t e n d t o work t o t h e a d v a n t a g e o f t h e i n c u m b e n t , who b e g i n s w i t h g r e a t e r name r e c o g n i t i o n a n d t h e resources associated with h i s or her office. While t h e s p e n d i n g l i m i t a s p e c t o f a p u b l i c f i n a n c e s y s t e m may t h u s h e l p i n c u m b e n t s more t h a n c h a l l e n g e r s , i t is a l s o possible t h a t public subsidy provisions could a s s i s t t h e c h a l l e n g e r more t h a n t h e i n c u m b e n t , e s p e c i a l l y i n t h o s e r a c e s w h e r e t h e c h a l l e n g e r i s , as i s o f t e n t h e c a s e , g r e a t l y u n d e r f u n d e d by c o m p a r i s o n w i t h t h e i n c u m b e n t . So t h i s i s s u e seems t o c u t b o t h ways. Second, a l l p u b l i c f i n a n c e measures i n r e c e n t Congresses have e x c l u d e d coverage of primary e l e c t i o n s . T h i s h a s b e e n t h e c a s e n o t s o much b e c a u s e t h e s p o n s o r s d o n o t f a v o r s u c h c o v e r a g e b u t more r e f l e c t i v e o f s t r a t e g i c d e c i s i o n s a b o u t t h e r e d u c e d l i k e l i h o o d o f e n a c t i n g a more c o m p l i c a t e d a n d more e x p e n s i v e system. Many of t h e s e s p o n s o r s h a v e s t a t e d t h a t t h e y would s e t t l e f o r p u b l i c f u n d i n g i n g e n e r a l e l e c t i o n s f o r now and h o p e f u l l y l a t e r r e t u r n t o t h e p r i m a r y i s s u e a f t e r some e x p e r i e n c e w i t h a g e n e r a l e l e c t i o n s y s t e m . To some, h o w e v e r , t h e l a c k o f i n c l u s i o n of p r i m a r i e s r e p r e s e n t s a s e r i o u s f l a w i n r e c e n t p r o p o s a l s , w i t h t h e p r o s p e c t o f p r i v a t e money e n t e r i n g t h e e l e c t o r a l s y s t e m e a r l i e r a n d e x p e n d i t u r e s aimed a t i n f l u e n c i n g t h e g e n e r a l e l e c t o r a t e made d u r i n g p r i m a r i e s , a l l t o e v a d e t h e r e s t r i c t i o n s of t h e g e n e r a l e l e c t i o n s y s t e m . Whether t h i s p r o s p e c t might s e r i o u s l y undermine t h e i n t e g r i t y of t h e g e n e r a l e l e c t i o n s i s a n added c o n s i d e r a t i o n f o r policymakers. F u l l P u b l i c S u b s i d i e s w i t h Spending L i m i t s T h r e e p r o p o s a l s i n t h e 9 9 t h C o n g r e s s would e s t a b l i s h a s y s t e m o f p u b l i c funding i n congressional general elections similar t o that i n Presidential general elections--full p u b l i c g r a n t s t o major p a r t y nominees, s p e n d i n g limits e q u a l t o t h e amount of t h a t s u b s i d y a n d h e n c e no money f r o m p r i v a t e s o u r c e s a l l o w e d , l i m i t s on e x p e n d i t u r e s f r o m p e r s o n a l and f a m i l y f u n d s , a n d l e s s e r s u b s i d i e s a v a i l a b l e t o minor p a r t y c a n d i d a t e s ( a c c o r d i n g t o t h e i r p a s t e l e c t o r a l r e c o r d , w i t h t h e s u b s i d y i n t h e same r a t i o t o t h e m a j o r p a r t y s u b s i d y a s w e r e t h e v o t e s r e c e i v e d by t h e m i n o r p a r t y t o t h e a v e r a g e o f t h o s e r e c e i v e d by t h e m a j o r p a r t i e s i n t h e p r e v i o u s e l e c t i o n f o r t h a t o f f i c e ) . One o f t h e s e b i l l s would a p p l y t o House g e n e r a l e l e c t i o n s o n l y : * H.R. 3806 ( B e i l e n s o n e t a l . , 9 9 t h C o n g r e s s ) - - p r o v i d e s g r a n t s of $200,000 t o major p a r t y nominees and a l e s s e r amount t o q u a l i f y i n g m i n o r p a r t y c a n d i d a t e s ; l i m i t s o v e r a l l s p e n d i n g t o $200,000; limits p e r s o n a l e x p e n d i t u r e s t o $10,000; p r o v i d e s an a d d i t i o n a l s u b s i d y t o p a r t i c i p a t i n g o p p o n e n t s of c a n d i d a t e s who do n o t p a r t i c i p a t e , e q u a l t o t h e amount by w h i c h t h e n o n - p a r t i c i p a n t e x c e e d s t h e spending l i m i t T h e o t h e r two b i l l s would a p p l y o n l y t o S e n a t e g e n e r a l e l e c t i o n s , w i t h a m o u n t o f s u b s i d i e s a n d l i m i t s t i e d t o t h e v o t i n g a g e p o p u l a t i o n (VAP) i n t h e S t a t e : * S. 1 7 8 7 ( ~ a t h i a s l s i m o n , 9 9 t h C o n g r e s s ) - - p r o v i d e s g r a n t s t o m a j o r p a r t y n o m i n e e s o f $ 5 0 0 , 0 0 0 i n S t a t e s w i t h a VAP o f 1 m i l l i o n o r l e s s , 5 0 c e n t s times t h e VAP i n S t a t e s w i t h a VAP b e t w e e n 1 a n d 3 m i l l i o n , a n d 3 0 c e n t s times t h e VAP i n S t a t e s w i t h a VAP of more t h a n 3 m i l l i o n ( b u t n o t less t h a n $1.5 m i l l i o n ) ; p r o v i d e s a l e s s e r s u b s i d y t o m i n o r p a r t y n o m i n e e s ; l i m i t s o v e r a l l s p e n d i n g t o amount of g r a n t t o major p a r t y candidates; limits personal expenditures t o $20,000; p r o v i d e s a n a d d i t i o n a l s u b s i d y t o p a r t i c i p a t i n g o p p o n e n t s of c a n d i d a t e s who do n o t p a r t i c i p a t e , e q u a l t o t h e amount b y w h i c h t h e n o n - p a r t i c i p a n t e x c e e d s t h e spending 1i m i t * S. 1 7 8 9 ( K e r r y , 9 9 t h C o n g r e s s ) - - i d e n t i c a l t o S. 1787 (except f o r provision eliminating tax c r e d i t s for p o l i t i c a l c o n t r i b u t i o n s , a s a means o f p a y i n g f o r t h i s s y s t e m ) S y s t e m s w i t h f l a t g r a n t s o f f e r t h e a d v a n t a g e of s i m p l i c i t y b u t r u n t h e r i s k o f s e t t i n g l i m i t s which d o n o t a d e q u a t e l y a c c o u n t f o r t h e n a t u r e o f e a c h contest. W h i l e $ 2 0 0 , 0 0 0 may b e s u f f i c i e n t i n most House e l e c t i o n s , i t may f a l l f a r s h o r t o f w h a t i s t y p i c a l l y n e e d e d i n a n open s e a t r a c e o r a n o t h e r w i s e closely competitive contest. ( W h i l e t h e a v e r a g e House c a n d i d a t e i n t h e 1984 g e n e r a l e l e c t i o n s s p e n t $ 2 1 7 , 0 0 0 , t h e a v e r a g e s p e n t by a c a n d i d a t e i n a n o p e n s e a t was $ 3 5 3 , 0 0 0 . ) On t h e S e n a t e s i d e , p o p u l a t i o n a l o n e may n o t be a s u f f i c i e n t v a r i a b l e i n s e t t i n g f a i r spending limits i n each S t a t e . One c o n c e p t p r e s e n t i n t h e s e b i l l s w h i c h i s a b s e n t f r o m t h e P r e s i d e n t i a l s y s t e m i s t h e d i s i n c e n t i v e s t o c a n d i d a t e s who c h o o s e n o t t o p a r t i c i p a t e a n d who may t h e n e x c e e d t h e s p e n d i n g l i m i t s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h a c c e p t i n g p u b l i c f u n d i n g . P a r t i c u l a r l y b e c a u s e s p e n d i n g l i m i t s were s e t on t h e low s i d e i n t h e s e b i l l s , i t was t h o u g h t n e c e s s a r y t o i n c l u d e s u c h d i s i n c e n t i v e p r o v i s i o n s , l e s t c a n d i d a t e s c h o o s e n o t t o b e r e s t r i c t e d by t h e l i m i t s , f r e e o f a n y r e p e r c u s s i o n s ( a s i d e from p o s s i b l e c r i t i c i s m i n t h e p r e s s ) . Providing a d d i t i o n a l funds, o r allowing f o r supplementary p r i v a t e funding, t o p a r t i c i p a t i n g candidates f a c i n g non-participating opponents o f f e r s p r o t e c t i o n a g a i n s t being g r e a t l y outspent and presumably could d e t e r c a n d i d a t e s c o n s i d e r i n g n o t p a r t i c i p a t i n g . A p o t e n t i a l problem w i t h t h e s e d i s i n c e n t i v e s (and t h o s e d i s c u s s e d l a t e r ) are t h e i n c r e a s e d c o s t s t h e y would a d d t o a p u b l i c f u n d i n g s y s t e m ( c o s t s n o t e a s i l y predicted). M a t c h i n g Funds w i t h S p e n d i n g L i m i t s Twelve b i l l s i n t h e 9 8 t h and 9 9 t h C o n g r e s s e s would e s t a b l i s h a m a t c h i n g fund system i n c o n g r e s s i o n a l g e n e r a l e l e c t i o n s , s i m i l a r t o t h a t i n e x i s t e n c e i n P r e s i d e n t i a l p r i m a r i e s , w i t h t h e amount of p u b l i c s u b s i d i e s t i e d t o t h e e x t e n t t o w h i c h c a n d i d a t e s r a i s e s m a l l d o n a t i o n s from i n d i v i d u a l s . The m a t c h i n g f u n d a p p r o a c h would g e n e r a l l y b e l e s s e x p e n s i v e t h a n t h e f u l l g r a n t a p p r o a c h , a n d i t o f f e r s t h e a d v a n t a g e o f l i n k i n g t h e r e c e i p t of p u b l i c money w i t h a d e m o n s t r a t i o n of v o t e r a p p e a l by t h e c a n d i d a t e ( h e n c e a m e l i o r a t i n g t h e p r o b l e m of f u n d i n g " f r i v o l o u s " candidacies). F o r some s u p p o r t e r s of p u b l i c f i n a n c i n g , t h e matching fund plan i s l e s s d e s i r a b l e than t h e f u l l g r a n t s , because i t o n l y c u r b s b u t d o e s n o t e l i m i n a t e p r i v a t e s o u r c e s of money. S i x o f t h e s e b i l l s a p p l y o n l y t o House g e n e r a l e l e c t i o n s : * H.R. 2490 ( O b e y / ~ e a c h / G l i c k m a n , 9 8 t h c o n g r e s s ) - - m a t c h e s $100 d o n a t i o n s f r o m i n d i v i d u a l s ( a t l e a s t 75% must b e i n s t a t e ) , up t o $ 1 0 0 , 0 0 0 ; l i m i t s o v e r a l l campaign s p e n d i n g t o $ 2 0 0 , 0 0 0 ( p l u s 10% f o r f u n d r a i s i n g c o s t s ) ; l i m i t s c a n d i d a t e e x p e n d i t u r e s t o $ 2 0 , 0 0 0 ; removes e x p e n d i t u r e l i m i t s a n d p r o v i d e s a two-for-one match of d o n a t i o n s t o p a r t i c i p a t i n g c a n d i d a t e whose o p p o n e n t d o e s n o t ~ a r t i c i p a t e ; i f a p a r t i c i p a t i n g c a n d i d a t e i s o p p o s e d by i n d e p e n d e n t e x p e n d i t u r e s o f more t h a n $ 5 , 0 0 0 , p r o v i d e s f o r e i t h e r f r e e b r o a d c a s t r e s p o n s e time o r p u b l i c f u n d s e q u a l t o t h o s e expenditures * H.R. 3812 ( G r e e n , 9 8 t h C o n g r e s s ) - - m a t c h e s $150 d o n a t i o n s f r o m i n d i v i d u a l s ( a t l e a s t 80% must be i n - S t a t e ) , up t o $ 9 0 , 3 0 0 ; l i m i t s o v e r a l l campaign s p e n d i n g t o $ 2 2 2 , 0 0 0 ( p l u s $22,200 f o r one p r e - e l e c t i o n m a i l i n g ) ; limits c a n d i d a t e e x p e n d i t u r e s t o $ 3 7 , 0 0 0 ; removes e x p e n d i t u r e l i m i t s a n d p r o v i d e s a n a d d i t i o n a l m a t c h o f up t o $ 8 8 , 8 0 0 t o p a r t i c i p a t i n g c a n d i d a t e whose o p p o n e n t d o e s n o t p a r t i c i p a t e and exceeds e i t h e r p e r s o n a l spending l i m i t o r r a i s e s o r s p e n d s more t h a n $ 1 1 1 , 0 0 0 ; i f i n d e p e n d e n t e x p e n d i t u r e s o r c o m n u n i c a t i o n s c o s t s ( b y u n i o n s , e t c . ) a r e made i n e x c e s s o f $ 7 4 , 0 0 0 , l i m i t s a r e removed on p a r t i c i p a t i n g c a n d i d a t e s who b e n e f i t from l e s s t h a n o n e - t h i r d o f s u c h e x p e n d i t u r e s * H.R. 2844 ( S t . G e r m a i n , 9 9 t h C o n g r e s s ) - - i d e n t i c a l t o H.R. 2490 * H.R. 4072 ( ~ a F a l c e , 9 9 t h c o n g r e s s ) - - m a t c h e s $100 d o n a t i o n s from i n d i v i d u a l s ( a t l e a s t 75% must be i n - S t a t e ) , up to $125,000; limits overall campaign spending to $250,000; limits candidate expenditures to $50,000; removes expenditure limits on participating candidate whose opponent does not participate; if a participating candidate is opposed by independent expenditures of more than $5,000, provides for public funds equal to those expenditures * H.R. 4386 (Green, 99th Congress)--matches $150 donations from individuals (at least 80% must be in-State), up to $100,700; limits overall campaign spending to $248,000 (plus $24,800 for one pre-election mailing); limits candidate expenditures to $41,400; removes expenditure limits and provides an additional match of up to $99,200 to participating candidate whose opponent does not participate and exceeds either personal spending limit or raises or spends more than $124,000; if independent expenditures or connnunications costs (by unions, etc.) are made in excess of $83,000, limits are removed on participating candidates who benefit from less than one-third of such expenditures H.R. 5382 (Levine/Miller, 99th Congress)--matches $100 donations from individuals (all must be in-State), up to $100,000; limits overall campaign spending to $350,000; limits candidate expenditures to $20,000; removes expenditure limits and provides continuing matching of donations to participating candidate whose opponent does not participate; if a participating candidate is opposed by independent expenditures of more than $5,000, provides for public funds equal to those expenditures -2 These bills all match individuals donations of either $100 or $150 or less, with between 75 and 100 percent required from in-State donors. The spending limits range from $200,000 to $350,000, with the limit on matching funds ranging from 35 to 50 percent of the spending limit. Expenditures from personal and immediate family funds are limited to between $10,000 and $50,000. All of the bills allow for a lifting of the spending limits if an opponent (defined as a major party opponent, or alternatively one who has raised a certain level of funds) does not participate, with most allowing additional matching funds (H.R. 2490 allows a two-for-one match); this additional match is limited in all but H.R. 5382. In order to prevent independent expenditures from unfairly disadvantaging participating candidates, most bills allow for additional public funds equal to the amount of independent expenditures either opposing the participating candidate or supporting his opponent, with some providing an alternative option of free broadcast response time; the Green bills provide simply for the lifting of spending limits if either excessive independent expenditures or internal communications (an important political to01 of organized labor) are spent in opposition to that candidate. Six bills in these two Congresses providing matching funds only in Senate general elections: * S. 85 (Dixon/Dodd, 98th Congress)--matches $100 donations from individuals (at least 80% must be in-State), up to half the spending limit; limits overall campaign spending to $250,000 plus 15 cents times the VAP (with out-of-state broadcast exemption); limits candidate expenditures to $35,000; removes expenditure limits and provides for additional matching funds (up to half the spending limit) to participating candidate whose opponent does not participate or who is opposed by independent expenditures or communications costs of more than one-third the spending limit and has benefitted from less than one-third of them * S. 151 (Proxmire, 98th Congress)--rmtches $100 donations from individuals (at least 80% must be in-State), up to half the spending limit; limits overall campaign spending to $600,000 plus 5 cents times the VAP (with out-of-state broadcast exemption); limits candidate expenditures to $50,000; removes expenditure limits and provides a two-forone match of donations to participating candidate whose opponent does not participate; if a participating candidate is opposed by independent expenditures or communication costs of more than $5,000, provides for public funds equal to those expenditures * S. 2283 (Mathias, 98th congress)--matches $100 donations from individuals (at least 80% must be in-State), up to half the spending limit; limits overall campaign spending to $200,000 plus 16 cents times the VAP (with out-of-state broadcast exemption); Limits candidate expenditures to $35,000; removes expenditure limits and provides for additional matching funds (up to half the spending limit) to participating candidate whose opponent does not participate or who is opposed by independent expenditures or communications costs of more than one-third the spending limit and has benefitted from less than one-third of them * S. 2415 (Mitchell, 98th Congress)--matches $100 donations from individuals, up to half the spending limit; limits overall campaign spending to $500,000 plus 15 cents times the VAP; limits candidate expenditures to $35,000; removes expenditure limits and provides continuing matching of donations to participating candidate whose opponent does not participate; if a participating candidate is opposed by i n d e p e n d e n t e x p e n d i t u r e s o f more t h a n 5% o f t h e s p e n d i n g l i m i t , provides f o r public funds equal t o t h o s e expenditures * S. 2131 ( M i t c h e l l , 9 9 t h C o n g r e s s ) - - i d e n t i c a l t o S. 2415 T h e s e b i l l s a l l m a t c h i n d i v i d u a l s d o n a t i o n s of $ 1 0 0 o r l e s s , w i t h a l l b u t t h e M i t c h e l l b i l l s r e q u i r i n g 8 0 p e r c e n t t o h a v e come f r o m i n - S t a t e d o n o r s . The s p e n d i n g l i m i t s r a n g e f r o m $ 2 0 0 , 0 0 0 p l u s 1 6 c e n t s t i m e s t h e VAP t o $ 5 0 0 , 0 0 0 p l u s 1 5 c e n t s t i m e s t h e VAP, w i t h t h e l i m i t on m a t c h i n g f u n d s a t 5 0 p e r c e n t o f t h e spending l i m i t . An i m p o r t a n t f e a t u r e i n s e v e r a l o f t h e S e n a t e b i l l s i s t h e i n c l u s i o n of o n l y t h o s e b r o a d c a s t c o s t s u n d e r t h e s p e n d i n g l i m i t w h i c h c a n b e a l l o c a t e d t o v o t e r s i n t h a t S t a t e ; t h i s was i n t e n d e d t o a m e l i o r a t e t h e p r o b l e m a r i s i n g when l a r g e media e x p e n d i t u r e s a r e made i n a m e d i a m a r k e t w h i c h i n c l u d e s s e v e r a l S t a t e s (e.g., a l a r g e p o r t i o n of media buys i n a New J e r s e y e l e c t i o n r e a c h many v o t e r s i n New York and P e n n s y l v a n i a ) . Expenditures from p e r s o n a l and immediate f a m i l y f u n d s a r e l i m i t e d t o between $35,000 and $50,000. A l l of t h e b i l l s a l l o w f o r a l i f t i n g of t h e s p e n d i n g l i m i t s i f a n o p p o n e n t ( d e f i n e d a s a m a j o r p a r t y o p p o n e n t , o r a l t e r n a t i v e l y o n e who h a s r a i s e d a c e r t a i n l e v e l o f f u n d s ) does n o t p a r t i c i p a t e , w i t h a l l allowing a d d i t i o n a l matching f u n d s (S. 1 5 1 a l l o w s a two-for-one the bills. m a t c h ) ; t h i s a d d i t i o n a l m a t c h i s l i m i t e d i n some o f To combat t h e e f f e c t s of i n d e p e n d e n t e x p e n d i t u r e s , t h e s e b i l l s a l l o w f o r e i t h e r a d d i t i o n a l p u b l i c f u n d s e q u a l t o t h e amount o f i n d e p e n d e n t e x p e n d i t u r e s opposing t h e p a r t i c i p a t i n g c a n d i d a t e o r s u p p o r t i n g h i s opponent o r a l i f t i n g of s p e n d i n g l i m i t s w i t h a d d i t i o n a l m a t c h i n g f u n d s f o r d o n a t i o n s r a i s e d ; some o f t h e b i l l s i n c l u d e c o m u n i c a t i o n s c o s t s i n t h i s p r o v i s i o n . I n g e n e r a l , matching fund systems o f f e r t h e advantage of n o t h a v i n g t o make d i f f i c u l t j u d g m e n t s a b o u t who i s a n d i s n o t a " s e r i o u s " candidate, with t h e m e e t i n g of f u n d r a i s i n g t h r e s h o l d s and t h e c o n t i n u i n g r a i s i n g o f s m a l l d o n a t i o n s c o n s i d e r e d a n a d e q u a t e means o f s o d o i n g . A problem w i t h t h i s a p p r o a c h i s t h e same a s w i t h f l a t g r a n t s - = - t h e s p e n d i n g l i m i t s w h i c h do n o t d i s t i n g u i s h between d i s e n i c t s , e l e c t i o n c o n t e s t s , e t c . 100 P e r c e n t = C r e d i t s Limi t s f o r C o n t r i b u t i o n s L o C a n d i d a t e s Who A b i d e b y T h r e e b i l l s i n t h e 9 8 t h and 9 9 t h Ccngresses a d o p t t h e a p p r o a c h t o p u b l i c f u n d i n g of p r o v i d i n g a g r a s s r o o t s f u n d r a i s i n g i n c e n t i v e t o c a n d i d a t e s who a g r e e t o l i m i t t h e i r expenditures. T h i s i n c e n t i v e would b e i n t h e f o r m of a 1 0 0 p e r c e n t t a x c r e d i t f o r contributions t o p a r t i c i p a t i n g c a n d i d a t e s . Such a t a x c r e d i t i s a form of p u b l i c f u n d i n g , e x c e p t t h a t i t i s a d m i n i s t e r e d from t h e ground up, r a t h e r t h a n i n r e v e r s e ; s u p p o r t e r s s e e t h i s a s an i m p o r t a n t b e n e f i t . P r e s u m a b l y , t h e p r o s p e c t o f r a i s i n g s m a l l d o n a t i o n s much more e a s i l y would provide s u f f i c i e n t incentive f o r candidates t o agree t o l i m i t spending. From t h e p e r s p e c t i v e o f t h e p o l i t i c a l s y s t e m , s u p p o r t e r s would a r g u e , t h e b e s t k i n d o f p o l i t i c a l money i s t h a t f r o m i n d i v i d u a l c i t i z e n s i n s m a l l a m o u n t s . d n e b i l l would a p p l y o n l y t o House g e n e r a l e l e c t i o n s : * H.R. 4428 ( O b e y / L e a c h / ~ p a r , 9 8 t h C o n g r e s s ) - - p r o v i d e s a f u l l L a x c r e d i t of up t o $100 f o r c o n t r i b u t i o n s t o a c a n d i d a t e ($200 t o a l i q u a l i f i e d c a n d i d a t e s , doubled on j o i n t r e t u r n s ) who r a i s e s a t h r e s h o l d amount i n d o n a t i o n s ( a t l e a s t 80% i n - s t a t e ) and a g r e e s t o l i m i t o v e r a l l campaign e x p e n d i t u r e s t o $240,000 and p e r s o n a l e x p e n d i t u r e s Lo $ 2 0 , 0 0 0 ; l i m i t s removed and l o w e r p o s t a l r a t e s ( t h e same a s a v a i l a b l e r o p a r t y c o m m i t t e e s ) would be p r o v i d e d t o p a r t i c i p a t i n g c a n d i d a t e s whose o p p o n e n t s d o n o t p a r t i c i p a t e ; provides e i t h e r free r e s p m s e time o r lower p o s t a l r a t e s t~ c a n d i d a t e s o p p o s e d by i n d e p e n d e n t e x p e n d i t 11res Two b i l l s would a p p l y o n l y :o * Sendie general elections: S , 323 (Proxmire, 93th Congress)--paovid@s a f u l l t a x c r e d i t o f up t o $10Q f o r c o n t r i b u t i o n s t o a c a n d i d a t e ( $ 2 0 0 t o a l l q u a l i f i e d c a n d i d a t e s , d o u b l e d on j o i n t r e t u r n s ) who r a i s e s a t h r e s h o l d amount i n d o n a t i o n s ( a t l e a s t 80% i n S t a t e ) a n d a g r e e s t o l i m i t o c ~ e r a l 1campaign e x p e n d i t u r e s t o $ 6 0 0 , 0 0 0 p l u s 5 c e n t s t i m e s Lhe VAP ( w i t h o u t - o f - s t a t e b r o a d c a s t e x e m p t i o n ) and p e r s o n a l e x p e n d i t u r e s t o $ 5 0 , 0 0 0 ; l i m i t s removed and l o w e r p o s t a l r a t e s ( t h e same a s a v a i l a b l e t o p a r t y c o m m i t t e e s ) would b e p r o v i d e d t o p a r t i c i p a t i n g c a n d i d a t e s whose o p p o n e n t s d o n o t p a r t i c i p a t e ; p r o v i d e s lower p o s t a l r a t e s t o c a n d i d a t e s o p p o s e d by i n d e p e n d e n t e x p e n d i t u r e s S. 4 7 1 ( ~ o d d / ~ e l c h e r9 ,9 t h c o n g r e s s ) - - p r o v i d e s a f u l l t a x c r e d i t o f up t o $100 f o r c o n t r i b u t i o n s t o a c a n d i d a t e ( $ 2 0 0 t o a l l q u a l i f i e d c a n d i d a t e s , d o u b l e d on j o i n t r e t u r n s ) who r a i s e s a t h r e s h o l d amount i n d o n a t i o n s ( a t l e a s t 8 0 % i n S t a t e ) a n d a g r e e s t o limit o v e r a l l c a m p a i g n e x p e n d i t u r e s t o $ 5 0 0 , 0 0 0 p l u s 15 c e n t s t i m e s t h e VAP a n d p e r s o n a l e x p e n d i t u r e s t o $ 3 5 , 0 0 0 ; l i m i t s removed a n d l o w e r p o s t a l r a t e s ( t h e same a s a v a i l a b l e t o p a r t y c o m i t t e e s ) would be p r o v i d e d t o p a r t i c i p a t i n g c a n d i d a t e s whose o p p o n e n t s d o n o t p a r t i c i p a t e ; provides f r e e response time o r lower p o s t a l r a t e s t o c a n d i d a t e s o p p o s e d by i n d e p e n d e n t e x p e n d i t u r e s 2 T h e s e b i l l s a r e s t r u c t u r e d v e r y much l i k e o t h e r p u b l i c f u n d i n g b i l l s , w i t h l i m i t s on o v e r a l l a n d p e r s o n a l s p e n d i n g , d i s i n c e n t i v e s t o n o n - p a r t i c i p a t i o n by c a n d i d a t e s , a n d c o m p e n s a t i o n t o p a r t i c i p a t i n g c a n d i d a t e s o p p o s e d by i n d e p e n d e n t expenditures. They d i f f e r f r o m o t h e r p u b l i c f u n d i n g b i l l s i n t h e i r p r o v i s i o n of 100 p e r c e n t t a x c r e d i t s t o c o n t r i b u t o r s r a t h e r t h a n d i r e c t s u b s i d i e s t o t h e candidates. Pub1 i c S u b s i d i e s f o r Media E x p e n d i t u r e s w i t h L i m i t s Two i d e n t i c a l b i l l s i n t h e 9 8 t h and 9 9 t h C o n g r e s s e s p r o p o s e d p u b l i c s u b s i d i e s f o r s p e c i f i e d a l l o t m e n t s o f a d v e r t i s i n g c o s t s i n House g e n e r a l e l e c t i o n s , provided t h a t the candidate l i m i t a d v e r t i s i n g expenditures t o t h e amount o f t h e s p e c i f i c s u b s i d i e s and n o t a c c e p t a n y c o n t r i b u t i o n s f r o m PACs. T h i s p r o p o s a l s e e k s t o s u b s i d i z e and t h e r e b y c o n t r o l e x p e n d i t u r e s f o r m e d i a t i m e ( a n d s p a c e ) , t h e s i n g l e l a r g e s t component o f t h e t y p i c a l c a m p a i g n b u d g e t a n d t h e b i g g e s t s i n g l e f a c t o r i n t h e r i s e of c a m p a i g n c o s t s i n r e c e n t y e a r s . These b i l l s are: * H.R. 1 8 9 3 ( J a c o b s , 9 8 t h c o n g r e s s ) - - p r o v i d e s f o r a l l o t m e n t s o f a d v e r t i s i n g t i m e and s p a c e t o House g e n e r a l e l e c t i o n c a n d i d a t e s who a c c e p t n o PAC d o n a t i o n s a n d who a g r e e n o t t o make a d d i t i o n a l e x p e n d i t u r e s f o r p u r p o s e s f o r w h i c h a n a l l o t m e n t i s r e c e i v e d ; p r o v i d e s 9 0 m i n u t e s of TV t i m e and 135 minutes of r a d i o time ( i n segments of a t l e a s t 5 m i n u t e s ) , t h e g r e a t e r of 126 column i n c h e s o r 1 page of newspaper s p a c e ( i n b l o c k s o f a t l e a s t 10 i n c h e s ) , and a l l c o s t s of i n s t a l l a t i o n of phones and o t h e r equipment f o r question-and-answer f o r m a t s on TV o r r a d i o ; FEC c e r t i f i e s c h a r g e s , t o be payed by T r e a s u r y t o vendor * H.R. 122 ( J a c o b s , 9 9 t h C o n g r e s s ) - - i d e n t i c a l t o H.R. 1893 By p r o v i d i n g s u b s i d i e s s p e c i f i c a l l y f o r media c o s t s , t h e s e p r o p o s a l s may e s c a p e some o f t h e p o t e n t i a l problems a s s o c i a t e d w i t h p u b l i c s u b s i d i e s f o r g e n e r a l campaign c o s t s and a l s o f o c u s on what many c o n s i d e r t h e b i g g e s t s i n g l e problem i n campaign f i n a n c i n g - - t h e h i g h c o s t o f media. The p r o p o s a l d o e s n o t , however, e s c a p e o n e major o b j e c t i o n t o p u b l i c f u n d i n g plans--the equal d i s t r i b u t i o n of b e n e f i t s t o a l l c a n d i d a t e s and t h e tendency t h e r e o f t o p r o v i d e a n a d v a n t a g e t o t h e incumbent o r better-known c a n d i d a t e . I n a d d i t i o n , some o b s e r v e r s n o t e numerous and complex problems a s s o c i a t e d w i t h d i s t r i c t s i n h i g h d e n s i t y , h i g h c o s t media m a r k e t s , which may c a u s e c o m p l i c a t i o n s i n implementing t h i s p l a n . Lower P o s t a l R a t e s f o r C a n d i d a t e s Who Agree t o Spending L i m i t s Another p r o p o s a l which s e e k s t o draw c a n d i d a t e s i n t o a c c e p t a n c e o f campaign s p e n d i n g limits i s one which o f f e r s p a r t i c i p a t i n g c a n d i d a t e s lower postal rates--those c u r r e n t l y a v a i l a b l e t o p o l i t i c a l p a r t y committees. The p r o p o s a l a p p l i e s o n l y t o House g e n e r a l e l e c t i o n c a n d i d a t e s : * H.R. 2005 (Brown, 9 8 t h Congress)--provides lower p o s t a l r a t e t o c a n d i d a t e s who r a i s e t h r e s h o l d l e v e l of f u n d s , a g r e e t o l i m i t o v e r a l l campaign e x p e n d i t u r e s t o $180,000 and p e r s o n a l e x p e n d i t u r e s t o $20,000, and who submit c o n t e n t of m a i l i n g s f o r review by opposing c a n d i d a t e and l o c a l e l e c t i o n review board; m a i l i n g s may be blocked i f found t o be l i b e l o u s , n o t documented, o r c o n t a i n i n g d e l i b e r a t e l y and m a l i c i o u s l y m i s l e a d i n g language Apart from t h e p o t e n t i a l l o g i s t i c a l problems i n a p r i o r review o f campaign l i t e r a t u r e by o p p o n e n t s , one may r a i s e q u e s t i o n s a s t o t h e e x t e n t a lower p o s t a l r a t e may s e r v e a s a s u f f i c i e n t inducement t o c a n d i d a t e s t o l i m i t t h e i r campaign s p e n d i n g . P o s t a g e i s n o t t h e l a r g e s t component i n a t y p i c a l c a m p a i g n b u d g e t , a l t h o u g h i t may w e l l be more i m p o r t a n t i n House r a c e s t h a n i n S e n a t e r a c e s , e s p e c i a l l y i n h i g h - d e n s i t y media m a r k e t s w h e r e m e d i a c o s t s a r e s e e n a s o f t e n p r o h i b i t i v e l y expensive. ( I t should be n o t e d h e r e t h a t , a s d i s c u s s e d i n t h e s e c t i o n on 1 0 0 p e r c e n t t a x c r e d i t l s p e n d i n g l i m i t s p r o p o s a l s , S . 323-Proxmire, 9 9 t h Congress--provided t h e lower p o s t a l r a t e t o opponents o f c a n d i d a t e s who e x c e e d e d s p e n d i n g c e i l i n g s . ) C o n d i t i o n a l P u b l i c S u b s i d i e s t o O p p o n e n t s o f C a n d i d a t e s Who E x c e e d L i m i t s A u n i q u e a p p r o a c h t o p u b l i c f u n d i n g and s p e n d i n g l i m i t s was e n g e n d e r e d i n one proposal i n t h e 99th Congress. This b i l l e s t a b l i s h e s spending c e i l i n g s i n S e n a t e g e n e r a l e l e c t i o n s w h i c h , i f e x c e e d e d by o n e o f t h e two ( m a j o r p a r t y ) c a n d i d a t e s , would t r i g g e r a p u b l i c s u b s i d y e q u a l t o t h a t l i m i t t o t h e l e s s e r f u n d e d c a n d i d a t e ; t h e l a t t e r c a n d i d a t e would t h e n b e l i m i t e d t o 1 5 0 p e r c e n t o f The s u b s i d y would n o t be t r i g g e r e d i f b o t h c a n d i d a t e s a g r e e d t o the l i m i t . a b i d e by t h e l i m i t o r i f n e i t h e r c a n d i d a t e s o a g r e e d . The b i l l i s d e s i g n e d t o c u r b a r g u a b l y e x c e s s i v e campaign s p e n d i n g ( i t s l i m i t s a r e set f a i r l y h i g h ) w i t h o u t i n c u r r i n g t h e e x p e n s e t o t h e t a x p a y e r s t h a t most p u b l i c f i n a n c e s y s t e m s would. I t would be a p p l i e d on a v e r y s e l e c t i v e b a s i s a n d would s e e k t o a c t a s a s t r o n g i n h i b i t o r a g a i n s t o n l y t h e most e x c e s s i v e c a m p a i g n s p e n d i n g . The b i l l is: * S. 2 9 4 0 ( G o r e , 9 9 t h c o n g r e s s ) - - p r o v i d e s p u b l i c s u b s i d i e s t o S e n a t e g e n e r a l e l e c t i o n c a n d i d a t e s whose o p p o n e n t e x c e e d s o v e r a l l l i m i t on c a m p a i g n s p e n d i n g : 50 c e n t s t i m e s t h e VAP p l u s : $1.5 m i l l i o n i n S t a t e s w i t h a VAP o f 5 m i l l i o n o r l e s s , $1 m i l l i o n i n S t a t e s w i t h a VAP o f b e t w e e n 5 a n d 10 m i l l i o n , a n d $ 5 0 0 , 0 0 0 i n S t a t e s w i t h a VAP o f m o r e t h a n 1 0 m i l l i o n ; s u b s i d y would e q u a l t h e l i m i t ; c a n d i d a t e r e c e i v i n g s u b s i d y would t h e n b e e l i g i b l e f o r a s p e n d i n g l i m i t o f 150% of t h e o r i g i n a l l i m i t T h i s b i l l i s s i m i l a r t o one proposed i n t h e 9 6 t h Congress (S. 1339, S t o n e ) . B. F r e e Media Time f o r F e d e r a l C a n d i d a t e s Two p r o p o s a l s i n t h e 9 9 t h C o n g r e s s would r e q u i r e b r o a d c a s t e r s t o p r o v i d e f r e e m e d i a t i m e t o F e d e r a l c a n d i d a t e s a s a c o n d i t i o n of t h e i r l i c e n s e s . These p r o p o s a l s , which h a v e r e c e i v e d some s u p p o r t i n c o n g r e s s i o n a l h e a r i n g s a n d i n n e w s p a p e r c o m n e n t a r i e s , a r e b a s e d on t h e v i e w t h a t t h e p u b l i c owns t h e a i r w a v e s a n d s h o u l d b e p r o v i d e d w i t h a d i s c u s s i o n o f p u b l i c p o l i c y i s s u e s a t no c o s t . F u r t h e r m o r e , t o t h e e x t e n t t h a t t h e s e c o s t s a r e removed from c a n d i d a t e s , t h e o v e r a l l c o s t o f e l e c t i o n s c o u l d be s i g n i f i c a n t l y c u r b e d . These p r o p o s a l s a r e : * H.R. 761 ( S t r a t t o n , 9 9 t h C o n g r e s s ) - - r e q u i r e s b r o a d c a s t e r s t o p r o v i d e f r e e r a d i o o r TV t i m e t o F e d e r a l c a n d i d a t e s b e g i n n i n g 30 d a y s p r i o r t o t h e g e n e r a l e l e c t i o n , w i t h a t l e a s t 75% i n p r i m e t i m e ; A l l o t m e n t s f o r m a j o r p a r t y c a n d i d a t e s : f o r P r e s i d e n t - - 2 112 h o u r s , f o r Senate--2 h o u r s , f o r House--1 h o u r ; l e s s e r a l l o t m e n t s f o r m i n o r p a r t y c a n d i d a t e s ; l i m i t s on how much t i m e c a n b e u s e d i n a 5 o r 1 0 d a y p e r i o d ; r e q u i r e s a minimum of 1 m i n u t e p e r program; r e q u i r e s a t l e a s t 75% of program t o c o n t a i n c a n d i d a t e r e m a r k s ; r e q u i r e s s i m u l t a n e o u s t r a n s m i s s i o n by n e t w o r k s o r TV s t a t i o n s f o r P r e s i d e n t i a l o r S e n a t o r i a l c a n d i d a t e s * S. 2837 ( P e l l , 9 9 t h C o n g r e s s ) - - r e q u i r e s b r o a d c a s t e r s t o p r o v i d e f r e e time t o n a t i o n a l p o l i t i c a l p a r t i e s t o d i s t r i b u t e through S t a t e committees t o c a n d i d a t e s f o r F e d e r a l o f f i c e ; t o b e p r o v i d e d b e g i n n i n g 30 d a y s p r i o r t o g e n e r a l e l e c t i o n ; time must be between 7:30-8:00 PM on weekdays; no t i m e a l l o t m e n t s s p e c i f i e d , b u t i n c l u d e s r e s t r i c t i o n s s i m i l a r t o H.R. 761 on minimal u s e and c o n t e n t While s u c h p r o p o s a l s a r e o f f e r e d a s a p o s s i b l e s o l u t i o n t o t h e h i g h c o s t o f e l e c t i o n s , t h e y would u n d o u b t e d l y i n v i t e s t r o n g o p p o s i t i o n f r o m t h e b r o a d c a s t i n d u s t r y a n d , i t c o u l d b e a r g u e d , t h e y would r e q u i r e complex r e g u l a t i o n s t o implement a n d a d m i n i s t e r . C. A C o n s t i t u t i o n a l Amendment t o L i m i t Campaign E x p e n d i t u r e s Seven p r o p o s a l s i n t h e 9 8 t h and 9 9 t h C o n g r e s s e s c a l l f o r a c o n s t i t u t i o n a l amendment t o a l l o w ( o r r e q u i r e ) C o n g r e s s ( a n d t h e S t a t e s ) t o p a s s l a w s l i m i t i n g campaign c o n t r i b u t i o n s and e x p e n d i t u r e s . T h e s e p r o p o s a l s would t h u s c i r c u m v e n t t h e r e s t r i c t i o n s imposed by t h e Supreme c o u r t ' s B u c k l e y r u l i n g , a l t h o u g h t h e y would r e q u i r e p a s s a g e by a t w o - t h i r d s v o t e o f b o t h House a n d S e n a t e a n d t h e r a t i f i c a t i o n by t h e l e g i s l a t u r e s o f t h r e e - f o u r t h s of t h e S t a t e s - - a b a r r i e r on a n y i s s u e . considerable F i v e p r o p o s a l s c a l l f o r a n amendment t o a l l o w b o t h Congress and t h e S t a t e s t o l i m i t ( o r r e g u l a t e ) campaign e x p e n d i t u r e s and contributions: * H.J. R e s . 77 ( V e n t o , 9 8 t h C o n g r e s s ) * H.J. Res. 141 (Donnelly, 9 8 t h Congress) * * H.J. Res. 1 8 8 (Brown, 9 8 t h C o n g r e s s ) H.J. Res. 2 3 1 ( R i n a l d o , 9 8 t h C o n g r e s s ) * H. J . R e s . 8 8 ( V e n t o , 9 9 t h C o n g r e s s ) One p r o p o s a l would a l l o w o n l y t h e r e g u l a t i o n o f c o n t r i b u t i o n s a n d e x p e n d i t u r e s i n Federal elections: * S.J. Res. 313 ( H o l l i n g s , 9 9 t h Congress) F i n a l l y , o n e p r o p o s a l would r e q u i r e - - n o t allow--Congress t o l i m i t contributions and e x p e n d i t u r e s i n F e d e r a l e l e c t i o n s : * D. S.J. R e s . 110 ( S t e v e n s , 9 8 t h C o n g r e s s ) I m p o s e S p e n d i n g L i m i t s W i t h o u t Regard t o t h e Supreme c o u r t ' s R u l i n g Two s i m i l a r p r o p o s a l s i n t h e 9 8 t h a n d 9 9 t h C o n g r e s s e s i n c l u d e c a m p a i g n expenditure limits i n Federal e l e c t i o n s , without regard t o t h e c o n s t r a i n t s p o s e d by t h e B u c k l e y d e c i s i o n . As a r g u e d by t h e i r s p o n s o r , t h e p e r c e i v e d e x c e s s i v e l e v e l s o f campaign s p e n d i n g i n t h e y e a r s s i n c e t h e C o u r t i s s u e d i t s 1 9 7 6 r u l i n g m i g h t l e a d t h e C o u r t t o r e v e r s e i t s d e c i s i o n , on t h e g r o u n d t h a t t o d a y ' s campaign f i n a n c e p a t t e r n s pose a t h r e a t t o t h e i n t e g r i t y o f t h e p o l i t i c a l system (even i f t h e Court p e r c e i v e d t h e y d i d n o t t e n y e a r s a g o ) . On t h a t b a s i s , t h e s e b i l l s i n c l u d e s p e n d i n g l i m i t s f o r House a n d S e n a t e c a n d i d a t e s and f o r P r e s i d e n t i a l c a n d i d a t e s ( a s p u b l i c f u n d i n g i s r e p e a l e d under t h e bills): * S. 1684 ( G o l d w a t e r , 9 8 t h C o n g r e s s ) - - l i m i t s P r e s i d e n t i a l c a n d i d a t e s t o e x p e n d i t u r e s o f $15 m i l l i o n i n p r i m a r i e s and $25 m i l l i o n i n g e n e r a l e l e c t i o n s ; l i m i t s S e n a t e c a n d i d a t e s t o e x p e n d i t u r e s of t h e g r e a t e r o f $150,000 o r 12 c e n t s t i m e s t h e VAP i n p r i m a r i e s and t h e g r e a t e r o f $ 2 5 0 , 0 0 0 o r 22 c e n t s t i m e s t h e VAP i n g e n e r a l e l e c t i o n s ; l i m i t s House c a n d i d a t e s t o e x p e n d i t u r e s of $100,000 i n p r i m a r i e s o r g e n e r a l e l e c t i o n s ; l i m i t s indexed f o r i n f l a t i o n ; l i m i t s i n c l u d e spending from p e r s o n a l o r f a m i l y f u n d s * S. 5 9 ( G o l d w a t e r , 9 9 t h C o n g r e s s ) - - i d e n t i c a l t o S . 1684 Even i f t h e C o u r t u p h e l d t h e l i m i t s t o d a y , n o t t h e most l i k e l y p r o s p e c t , t h e i m p o s i t i o n of spending limits without p u b l i c funding might t e n d t o a s s i s t t h e incumbent c a n d i d a t e , without t h e m i t i g a t i n g f a c t o r of t h e p u b l i c s u b s i d i e s which might a s s i s t t h e c h a l l e n g e r . CKS- 5 1 111. CLOSING PERCEIVED LOOPHOLES IN THE SYSTEM T h e r e may be p e r c e i v e d t o be two p o l e s o f o p i n i o n r e g a r d i n g t h e c a m p a i g n f i n a n c e s y s t e m : o n e s i d e g e n e r a l l y u r g i n g more r e g u l a t i o n of t h e f l o w o f money i n campaigns, t h e o t h e r s i d e g e n e r a l l y urging l e s s ( o r no) r e g u l a t i o n but f u l l d i s c l o s u r e o f money r a i s e d and s p e n t . On t h e l a t t e r p o i n t , t h e r e i s w i d e s p r e a d a g r e e m e n t i n b o t h camps, b u t t h e d i v e r g e n c e of o p i n i o n on t h e d e s i r a b l e e x t e n t of r e g u l a t i o n u n d e r l i e s t h e e n t i r e campaign f i n a n c e d e b a t e . Both s i d e s r e c o g n i z e t h a t a fundamental problem e x i s t s w i t h any e f f o r t s t o r e g u l a t e campaign f i n a n c i n g - - t h e opportunities f o r determined, resourceful i n d i v i d u a l s a n d g r o u p s t o l e g a l l y c i r c u m v e n t w h a t e v e r l i m i t a t i o n s a r e imposed. The d e r e g u l a t i o n f a c t i o n p o i n t s t o t h i s a s proof t h a t a t t e m p t s a t r e g u l a t i o n a r e f u t i l e , a s t h e y a r e b a s e d on t h e n a i v e p r e m i s e t h a t human b e h a v i o r ( p a r t i c u l a r l y w h e r e i m p o r t a n t i n t e r e s t s a r e a t s t a k e ) c a n be c o n t r o l l e d ; t h e y n o t e t h a t any r e g u l a t i o n s i n t h i s a r e a have and w i l l c o n t i n u e t o r e s u l t i n u n f o r e s e e n e f f o r t s t o c i r c u m v e n t them, e f f o r t s more l i k e l y t o e s c a p e d i s c l o s u r e , t h u s perhaps posing even g r e a t e r problems. The p r o - r e g u l a t i o n f a c t i o n r e c o g n i z e s t h e r e a l i t y of u n f o r e s e e n consequences and t h e p o t e n t i a l f o r i n s p i r i n g e f f o r t s a t circumvention, but they maintain t h a t t h e r e g u l a t i o n i s s t i l l n e e d e d and t h a t p o l i c y m a k e r s must r e d o u b l e t h e i r e f f o r t s t o c o r r e c t s i g n i f i c a n t c i r c u m v e n t i v e p r a c t i c e s a s t h e y d e v e l o p , i f n o t f o r e s e e them a n d r e s p o n d t o them i n a d v a n c e . S i n c e t h e c u r r e n t s y s t e m t o o k e f f e c t i n t h e mid-1970s, numerous methods o f c i r c u m v e n t i n g o r o t h e r w i s e e s c a p i n g c o v e r a g e by t h e l a w h a v e b e e n d i s c o v e r e d ; some h a v e b e e n a u t h o r i z e d i n l a w , o t h e r s h a v e d e v e l o p e d on a n a d hoc b a s i s . These i n c l u d e ( b u t a r e n o t l i m i t e d t o ) : independent e x p e n d i t u r e s , "bundling" of c a m p a i g n c o n t r i b u t i o n s by PACs and p a r t i e s , " s o f t moneya', u s e of l a b o r u n i o n d u e s money f o r p o l i t i c a l p u r p o s e s , and t h e u s e o f e x c e s s c a m p a i g n f u n d s f o r p e r s o n a l u s e by some Members o f C o n g r e s s . A l l of t h e s e a r e p e r c e i v e d a s " l o o p h o l e s " by many ( v a r y i n g ) o b s e r v e r s , a t e r m used h e r e w i t h n o p e j o r a t i v e implication. This s e c t i o n discusses these perceived loopholes i n t h e context of p r o p o s a l s f r o m t h e 9 8 t h and 9 9 t h C o n g r e s s e s d e s i g n e d t o c o u n t e r a c t them. A. Independent Expenditures The F e d e r a l E l e c t i o n campaign A c t , i n 2 U.S.C. 431 ( 1 7 1 , d e f i n e s independent expenditure as: ... a n e x p e n d i t u r e by a p e r s o n e x p r e s s l y a d v o c a t i n g t h e e l e c t i o n o r d e f e a t of a c l e a r l y i d e n t i f i e d c a n d i d a t e which i s made w i t h o u t c o o p e r a t i o n o r c o n s u l t a t i o n w i t h a n y c a n d i d a t e , o r any a u t h o r i z e d committee o r a g e n t of s u c h c a n d i d a t e , and w h i c h i s n o t made i n c o n c e r t w i t h , o r a t t h e r e q u e s t o r s u g g e s t i o n o f , any c a n d i d a t e , o r any a u t h o r i z e d committee o r a g e n t of such c a n d i d a t e . The FECA Amendments of 1974 had l i m i t e d s u c h e x p e n d i t u r e s t o $ 1 , 0 0 0 , but t h e Supreme C o u r t ' s B u c k l e y v. V a l e o r u l i n g s t r u c k down t h i s l i m i t , a l o n g w i t h o t h e r s p e n d i n g l i m i t s , a s c o n s t i t u t i n g undue i n f r i n g e m e n t s on F i r s t Amendment rights. S p e c i f i c a l l y regarding independent e x p e n d i t u r e s , t h e Court argued t h a t b e c a u s e of t h e a b s e n c e of c o o r d i n a t i o n w i t h any c a n d i d a t e , t h e r e i s no i s s u e o f p o t e n t i a l q u i d p r o quo r e l a t i o n s h i p s ( a s w i t h c o n t r i b u t i o n s t o c a n d i d a t e s ) a n d h e n c e no o v e r r i d i n g g o v e r n m e n t a l i n t e r e s t which m i g h t w a r r a n t some c u r b s o n otherwise protected p o l i t i c a l expression. T h u s , t h e B u c k l e y d e c i s i o n o f f e r e d a v e h i c l e t o t h o s e who f e l t c o n s t r a i n e d by t h e l i m i t a t i o n s o f t h e FECA and P r e s i d e n t i a l p u b l i c f u n d i n g s y s t e m , t o make t h e i r own c o m m u n i c a t i o n s w i t h v o t e r s , i n s u p p o r t o f o r o p p o s i t i o n t o F e d e r a l candidates. As l o n g a s t h e y meet t h e c r i t e r i a o f k e e p i n g t h e i r e f f o r t s t r u l y i n d e p e n d e n t of a c a n d i d a t e ' s campaign, t h e y c o u l d s p e n d u n l i m i t e d a m o u n t s on such endeavors. I n d e p e n d e n t e x p e n d i t u r e s t h u s emerged a s t h e f i r s t s i g n i f i c a n t o p p o r t u n i t y f o r l e g a l l y a v o i d i n g t h e l a w ' s r e s t r i c t i o n s on t h e f l o w of money i n c a m p a i g n s , a p r a c t i c e which c o n t i n u e s t o d a y . A c c o r d i n g t o FEC d a t a , i n c r e a s i n g amounts h a v e been s p e n t on s u c h a c t i v i t i e s : from $2.0 m i l k i o n i n 1976 t o $16.1 m i l l i o n i n 1980 t o $ 2 3 . 4 m i l l i o n i n 1984 ( $ 1 1 . 1 m i l l i o n i n c o n s t a n t 1976 d o l l a r s ) . I t i s worth n o t i n g t h a t between 75 and 8 5 p e r c e n t of e x p e n d i t u r e s i n t h o s e P r e s i d e n t i a l e l e c t i o n y e a r s were f o r o r a g a i n s t c a n d i d a t e s f o r P r e s i d e n t ; c l e a r l y t h e p u b l i c f u n d i n g s y s t e m a v a i l a b l e i n t h o s e e l e c t i o n s o f f e r s t h e most s i g n i f i c a n t r e s t r i c t i o n s on t h e f l o w o f p r i v a t e money and h e n c e t h e g r e a t e s t i n c e n t i v e s f o r i n t e r e s t e d a n d r e s o u r c e f u l p e r s o n s t o c o n d u c t i n d e p e n d e n t campaigns. The amount s p e c i f i c a l l y t a r g e t e d f o r o r a g a i n s t c o n g r e s s i o n a l c a n d i d a t e s r a n g e d from l e s s t h a n $400,000 i n 1976 t o $6.0 m i l l i o n i n 1984. I n d e p e n d e n t e x p e n d i t u r e s came t o p u b l i c a t t e n t i o n i n 1978 and 1980 a s a r e s u l t o f t h e i r p r o m i n e n t and p e r c e i v e d s u c c e s s f u l u s e by some l a r g e c o n s e r v a t i v e PACs i n c o n g r e s s i o n a l e l e c t i o n s ; some o f t h e s e e f f o r t s w e r e w i d e l y c r i t i c i z e d a s i n j e c t i n g e x c e s s i v e n e g a t i v i s m and d i s t o r t i o n i n t o c a m p a i g n s a n d t h e y r a i s e d i s s u e s of l a c k of a c c o u n t a b i l i t y . I n c r e a s i n g l y , o t h e r g r o u p s began t o wage i n d e p e n d e n t e x p e n d i t u r e s , i n c l u d i n g some l i b e r a l PACs, some w e a l t h y i n d i v i d u a l s , a n d , i n c r e a s i n g l y , some l a r g e t r a d e and membership o r g a n i z a t i o n s . Among t h e l a t t e r c a t e g o r y , s u c h e f f o r t s a r e more commonly c h a r a c t e r i z e d a s s u p p o r t i n g r a t h e r than opposing s p e c i f i c candidates. C l e a r l y , independent expenditures c o n s t i t u t e a l e g a l loophole a v a i l a b l e t o t h o s e who f e e l e x c e s s i v e l y c o n s t r a i n e d by t h e l a w , and t h e i r p o t e n t i a l f o r g r o w t h looms a s a s o u r c e o f c o n c e r n t o p o l i c y m a k e r s c o n s i d e r i n g f u r t h e r r e g u l a t i o n o f t h e f l o w o f campaign money. Particularly i n t h e public funding p r o p o s a l s f o r c o n g r e s s i o n a l c a m p a i g n s , s p o n s o r s have g e n e r a l l y f e l t a n e e d t o a n t i c i p a t e t h e g r o w t h i n t h i s a r e a and t o r e s p o n d a c c o r d i n g l y ; t h e s e w e r e d e a l t with i n t h e previous section (primarily dealing with provisions f o r additional p u b l i c f u n d s t o compensate t a r g e t s o f i n d e p e n d e n t e x p e n d i t u r e s ) . Many o t h e r b i l l s a d d r e s s t h e i n d e p e n d e n t e x p e n d i t u r e i s s u e i n t h e c o n t e x t of PAC l i m i t a t i o n s , w i t h t h e p r o s p e c t of p r o v o k i n g c i r c u m v e n t i o n a c l e a r c o n c e r n ; s t i l l o t h e r p r o p o s a l s d e a l w i t h t h i s i s s u e i n and o f i t s e l f . Some o b s e r v e r s h a v e n o t e d t h a t t h i s i s s u e may h a v e been e x a g g e r a t e d b a s e d o n e x p e r i e n c e t o d a t e , a s a p o s s i b l y l a r g e (and i n d e t e r m i n i t e ) p o r t i o n of what h a v e b e e n r e p o r t e d t o t h e FEC a s i n d e p e n d e n t e x p e n d i t u r e s a c t u a l l y may h a v e been s p e n t on o v e r h e a d and f u n d r a i s i n g by t h e g r o u p i n v o l v e d , l e a v i n g o n l y a f r a c t i o n o f t h e s e e m i n g l y h i g h amounts f o r a c t u a l v o t e r c o ~ r n n u n i c a t i o n s . A l s o , i t i s by n o means c l e a r t h a t i n d e p e n d e n t e x p e n d i t u r e s - - a s a g e n e r a l matter-- t r u l y b e n e f i t t h o s e c a n d i d a t e s f a v o r e d o r harm t h o s e c a n d i d a t e s o p p o s e d ; i n d e e d , some h a v e r a i s e d c o n c e r n s o v e r w h e t h e r s u c h campaigns may e v e n h a v e n e g a t i v e r e p e r c u s s i o n s , i f d o n e i n t o o heavy-handed a manner. Nonetheless, t h e p o s s i b i l i t y t h a t f u r t h e r r e s t r i c t i o n s may l e a d t o i n c r e a s e d i n d e p e n d e n t e x p e n d i t u r e s i s a common c o n c e r n . Proposals i n t h i s s e c t i o n respond t o i n d e p e n d e n t e x p e n d i t u r e s by c o m p e n s a t i n g t h e t a r g e t s , t i g h t e n i n g t h e l e g a l d e f i n i t i o n s and r e q u i r e m e n t s , a l l o w i n g c a n d i d a t e s t o i n c o r p o r a t e them, a n d l i m i t i n g them w i t h o u t r e g a r d t o t h e Buckley r u l i n g . Compensate T a r g e t s of I n d e p e n d e n t E x p e n d i t u r e s F o u r t e e n l e g i s l a t i v e p r o p o s a l s i n t h e 9 8 t h and 9 9 t h C o n g r e s s e s p r o v i d e d f o r some f o r m of c o m p e n s a t i o n t o c a n d i d a t e s who were e i t h e r o p p o s e d by i n d e p e n d e n t e x p e n d i t u r e s o r had o p p o n e n t s s u p p o r t e d by i n d e p e n d e n t e x p e n d i t u r e s ( g e n e r a l l y i n c l u d i n g some t h r e s h o l d amount o f e x p e n d i t u r e s b e f o r e t h e c o m p e n s a t i o n would be p r o v i d e d ) . previously-discussed ( T h e s e do n o t i n c l u d e t h e p r o v i s i o n s o f m e a s u r e s which would o f f e r p u b l i c f u n d s a s a f o r m o f c o m p e n s a t i o n , a s s u c h would n e c e s s a r i l y be p a r t of a n o v e r a l l p u b l i c f u n d i n g scheme.) These p r o p o s a l s o f f e r f r e e broadcast r e s p o n s e t i m e , lower p o s t a l r a t e s , o r h i g h e r l i m i t s on p a r t y c o n t r i b u t i o n s f o r c a n d i d a t e s o p p o s e d ( o r w h e r e t h e o p p o n e n t i s s u p p o r t e d ) by i n d e p e n d e n t e x p e n d i t u r e s . They s e e k t o p l a c e t h e o n u s on t h e i n d e p e n d e n t s p e n d e r s t h a t t h e i r c o m n u n i c a t i o n s w i l l t r i g g e r some b e n e f i t f o r t h e c a n d i d a t e s t h e y oppose. I n g e n e r a l , t h e s e m e a s u r e s s e e k t o impose s u f f i c i e n t d i s i n c e n t i v e s on independent spenders s o a s t o discourage t h e i r e f f o r t s . I t is possible that s u c h d i s i n c e n t i v e s m i g h t b e a v o i d e d by i n g e n i o u s i n d i v i d u a l s ( s u c h a s r u n n i n g a d s o s t e n s i b l y opposing a c a n d i d a t e , but w i t h messages d e s i g n e d t o improve t h e i r f a v o r a b l e s t a n d i n g among v o t e r s ) . More s e r i o u s p r o b l e m s a r g u a b l y may a r i s e , h o w e v e r , i f t h e s e schemes work a s i n t e n d e d . B r o a d c a s t e r s , f o r example, a r e n o t r e q u i r e d t o a c c e p t a d s from independent groups ( a s t h e y a r e from c a n d i d a t e s ) , a n d , f a c e d w i t h t h e c e r t a i n knowledge t h a t t h e i r a c c e p t a n c e o f a n a d would i n c u r f i n a n c i a l l o s s when r e s p o n s e t i m e i s demanded, t h e y may b e u n l i k e l y t o a c c e p t any such a d s i n t h e f i r s t p l a c e . W h i l e t h i s may w e l l b e t h e i n t e n t i o n of s u p p o r t e r s ( a n d f o r v a l i d p o l i c y r e a s o n s ) , s u c h a p l a n m i g h t be s e e n a s h a v i n g a c h i l l i n g e f f e c t on t h e a l s o l e g i t i m a t e r i g h t s o f i n d i v i d u a l s a n d g r o u p s t o c o m m u n i c a t e t h e i r own p o l i t i c a l m e s s a g e t o o t h e r v o t e r s . From t h e p e r s p e c t i v e of t h e p o l i t i c a l system, one c a n a r g u e t h a t t h e s e c o m m u n i c a t i o n s s e r v e a s a p r e s s u r e v a l v e , by a l l o w i n g a c e r t a i n d e g r e e o f o p i n i o n s o u t s i d e t h e "mainstream" o r e s t a b l i s h e d c h a n n e l s t o b e h e a r d . a r e among t h e c o n s i d e r a t i o n s f o r p o l i c y m a k e r s . These Free Broadcast Response Time Requirements that broadcasters provide free response time to candidates opposed by independent expenditures are included in fourteen proposals, most notably including the Senate-passed Boren Amendment to S. 655 (99th Congress). This provision was imnediately negated by the Boschwitz Amendment. Similar provisions are included in: * H.R. 2490 (Obey/Leach/Glickman, 98th Congress)--with alternative option of additional public funds * * * * * * H.R. 2959 (~amilton,98th Congress) * H.R. 3045 (Lantos, 99th Congress) * * * * * H.R. 3440 (Neal, 99th Congress) S. 1346 (Bentsen, 98th Congress) H.R. 4428 (Obey/~each/synar,98th Congress) S. 471 (DoddlMelcher, 99th Congress) S. 1310 (Danforth et al., 99th Congress) H.R. 2844 (St. Germain, 99th Congress)--identical to H.R. 2490 S. 1806 (Boren, 99th Congress) H.R. 3799 (Synar et al., 99th congress) H.R. 4464 (Howard, 99th Congress) H.R. 4514 (Weaver, 99th Congress) Reduced Postal Rates Two of the above proposals allow for reduced postal rates (the same rate as currently exists for party conittees) to candidates opposed by independent expenditures as an alternative to free broadcast response time. This was intended to protect candidates when opposed by communications in non-broadcast form (e.g., newspapers ads, direct mail, etc.). These bills are: * H.H. * S. 4 7 1 ( D o d d l M e l c h e r , 9 9 t h c o n g r e s s ) 4428 ( O b e y / ~ e a c h / s y n a r ,9 8 t h c o n g r e s s ) One p r o p o s a l n o t l i s t e d a b o v e would p r o v i d e f o r l o w e r p o s t a l r a t e s a s t h e o n l y form of compensation f o r t a r g e t s of independent e x p e n d i t u r e s : * S. 323 ( P r o x m i r e , 9 9 t h C o n g r e s s ) I n c r e a s e d L i m i t s on P a r t y C o n t r i b u t i o n s One p r o p o s a l l i s t e d i n t h e f r e e r e s p o n s e time s e c t i o n would p r o v i d e f o r i n c r e a s e d p a r t y c o n t r i b u t i o n s t o c a n d i d a t e s o p p o s e d by n o n - b r o a d c a s t independent expenditures. Under t h i s p r o p o s a l , p a r t y c o r n i t t e e s c o u l d m a t c h t h e amount o f i n d e p e n d e n t e x p e n d i t u r e s w i t h t h e i r own c o n t r i b u t i o n s t o t h e candidate: * H.R. 2959 ( H a m i l t o n , 9 8 t h C o n g r e s s ) T h i s m e a s u r e was i n t e n d e d t o s i m u l t a n e o u s l y combat i n d e p e n d e n t e x p e n d i t u r e s w h i l e b o o s t i n g t h e r o l e of t h e p o l i t i c a l p a r t i e s . T i g h t e n Legal D e f i n i t i o n s and Requirements Six proposals include identical provisions tightening the perceived l o o p h o l e s i n t h e l e g a l d e f i n i t i o n of i n d e p e n d e n t e x p e n d i t u r e s a n d r e q u i r i n g a d i s c l a i m e r o n b r o a d c a s t i n d e p e n d e n t e x p e n d i t u r e s by PACs. The new l e g a l t e r m i n o l o g y would s e e k t o p r e c l u d e p e r c e i v e d e v a s i o n s o f t h e l a w by p r o v i d i n g a d e t a i l e d d e f i n i t i o n of what c o n s t i t u t e s " c o o p e r a t i o n o r c o n s u l t a t i o n w i t h a n y candidate." S p e c i f i c a l l y t h i s i s aimed a t r e m o v i n g a m b i g u i t i e s o v e r s i t u a t i o n s i n w h i c h a c a n d i d a t e and a n i n d e p e n d e n t s p e n d e r s h a r e t h e s e r v i c e s o f a p o l i t i c a l c o n s u l t a n t o r o t h e r vendor w i t h i n a s h o r t p e r i o d o f t i m e . The new d i s c l a i m e r i s a i m e d a t i n f o r m i n g t h e p u b l i c who h a s s p o n s o r e d a n a d v e r t i s e m e n t and t h a t i t s c o s t i s n o t s u b j e c t t o any c o n t r i b u t i o n limits. These p r o v i s i o n s were i n c l u d e d i n t h e S e n a t e - p a s s e d Boren Amendment t o S. 655 ( 9 9 t h C o n g r e s s ) , and t h e f o l l o w i n g b i l l s : * S. 1806 ( B o r e n , 9 9 t h C o n g r e s s ) * H.R. 3799 ( S y n a r e t a1 * H.R. 4072 ( L a F a l c e , 9 9 t h C o n g r e s s ) * H.R. 4464 (Howard, 9 9 t h C o n g r e s s ) * H.R. 4514 (Weaver, 9 9 t h C o n g r e s s ) ., 9 9 t h C o n g r e s s ) T h e s e p r o p o s a l s s e e k e s s e n t i a l l y t o c u r b i n d e p e n d e n t e x p e n d i t u r e s by more n a r r o w l y c o n s t r u i n g what t h e y a r e ; e x p e n d i t u r e s which a r e n o t deemed t o b e i n d e p e n d e n t e x p e n d i t u r e s q u a l i f y i n s t e a d a s campaign c o n t r i b u t i o n s , s u b j e c t t o limitations. I n c o r p o r a t e I n d e p e n d e n t E x p e n d i t u r e s by C a n d i d a t e s A n o t h e r p r o p o s a l t o d e a l w i t h i n d e p e n d e n t e x p e n d i t u r e s would a l l o w a c a n d i d a t e t o u n i l a t e r a l l y d e c l a r e t o t h e FEC t h a t i n d e p e n d e n t e x p e n d i t u r e s made on h i s b e h a l f o r a g a i n s t h i s o p p o n e n t a r e p a r t o f h i s c a m p a i g n , t h u s s u b j e c t i n g t h e o u t s i d e group o r i n d i v i d u a l t o c o n t r i b u t i o n limits. This proposal i s e n g e n d e r e d i n two s i m i l a r p r o p o s a l s : * * S. 732 ( G o r t o n , 9 8 t h C o n g r e s s ) S. 1072 ( G o r t o n , 9 9 t h C o n g r e s s ) T h i s i d e a i s based on t h e d e s i r e t o c l a r i f y any c o n f u s i o n i n t h e p u b l i c ' s p e r c e p t i o n s o v e r communications by c a n d i d a t e s a s opposed t o t h o s e by o u t s i d e forces. I t p l a c e s t h e o n u s on t h e c a n d i d a t e t o pre-empt these activities, i n h o p e s of a v o i d i n g p u b l i c d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n by n o t d o i n g s o ; o n c e s u c h a d e c l a r a t i o n was made, t h e onus would b e on t h e i n d e p e n d e n t s p e n d e r t o p r o v e t h a t t h e r e was t r u l y n o c o o r d i n a t i o n w i t h t h e c a n d i d a t e , t h u s a l l o w i n g continued, u n r e s t r i c t e d expenditures. While i t s s p o n s o r r e c o g n i z e d p o t e n t i a l drawbacks t o i t , such a s i n only a l l o w i n g but not r e q u i r i n g such a d e c l a r a t i o n , i t s p r i m a r y i n t e n t i s t o make i n d e p e n d e n t e x p e n d i t u r e s more t r o u b l e s o m e f o r t h o s e who e n g a g e i n them. L i m i t I n d e p e n d e n t E x p e n d i t u r e s Without Regard t o Supreme C o u r t ' s R u l i n g F i n a l l y , one p r o p o s a l would e s t a b l i s h l i m i t s on i n d e p e n d e n t e x p e n d i t u r e s , on t h e ground t h a t t h e Supreme Court might r u l e d i f f e r e n t l y t o d a y t h a n i t d i d i n t h e 1976 Buckley c a s e , i n view of t h e l e v e l and c o n t r o v e r s y o v e r i n d e p e n d e n t e x p e n d i t u r e s s i n c e t h a t time. I t s s p o n s o r c o n j e c t u r e s t h a t t h e C o u r t m i g h t now view s u c h e x p e n d i t u r e s a s a t h r e a t t o t h e i n t e g r i t y of t h e p o l i t i c a l s y s t e m , t h u s w a r r a n t i n g some r e s t r i c t i o n . These b i l l s would l i m i t i n d e p e n d e n t e x p e n d i t u r e s t o $5,000 p e r y e a r f o r a n y i n d i v i d u a l o r g r o u p : * * B. S. 1684 ( C o l d w a t e r , 9 8 t h C o n g r e s s ) S. 59 ( G o l d w a t e r , 9 9 t h C o n g r e s s ) B u n d l i n g of C o n t r i b u t i o n s C u r r e n t l i m i t a t i o n s on c o n t r i b u t i o n s a p p l y o n l y t o t h e i n d i v i d u a l making t h e c o n t r i b u t i o n and do n o t a p p l y t o any a g e n t which a c t s a s a c o n d u i t by c o l l e c t i n g s u c h c o n t r i b u t i o n s and t r a n s m i t t i n g them t o a c a n d i d a t e . This p r a c t i c e i s known a s " b u n d l i n g " and i s r e l a t e d t o t h e t e r m " e a r m a r k i n g " ; where t h e l a t t e r h a s had t h e p o s i t i v e c o n n o t a t i o n a s s o c i a t e d w i t h p r o m o t i n g d e m o c r a c y w i t h i n PACs by a l l o w i n g i n d i v i d u a l s t o r e t a i n t h e r i g h t t o d e s i g n a t e r e c i p i e n t s , t h e f o r m e r p r a c t i c e h a s t a k e n on a more n e g a t i v e c o n n o t a t i o n - - o f c o n s t i t u t i n g a n a v o i d a n c e of c o n t r i b u t i o n l i m i t s by a g e n t s which a c t i v e l y c o l l e c t s u c h c o n t r i b u t i o n s and s t a n d t o a c c r u e b e n e f i t s w i t h c a n d i d a t e s t h e y a s s i s t i n t h i s manner. S e v e r a l r e p o r t e d i n s t a n c e s have o c c u r r e d i n r e c e n t t i m e s i n which a PAC o r a p o l i t i c a l p a r t y committee h a s r a i s e d money i n t h i s manner, effectively exceeding the limit on what it could itself contribute to a candidate. At least thirteen proposals in the 98th and 99th Congresses sought to counteract this practice by counting contributions channeled through an intermediary or conduit against the limit not only of the donor but of the conduit as well. This was included in the Senate-passed Boren Amendment to S. 655 (99th Congress), as well as the following measures: * * * * * * * * * * * * H.R. 2490 (Obey/Leach/Glickman, 98th Congress) H.R. 4428 (obey/Leach/Synar, 98th Congress) S. 2415 (Mitchell, 98th Congress) S. 471 (DoddIMelcher, 99th Congress) H.R. 2844 (St. Germain, 99th Congress) S. 1806 o or en, 99th Congress) H.R. 3799 ( S p a r et al., 99th Congress) H.R. 4072 (LaFalce, 99th Congress) S. 2131 (Mitchell, 99th Congress) H.R. 4464 (Howard, 99th congress) H.R. 4514 (Weaver, 99th Congress) H.R. 5382 (~evine/~iller, 99th Congress) Current law requires the reporting of contributions collected by intermediaries, although it is not clear to what extent this requirement is observed in practice. C. Soft Money The term "soft moneyu is generally defined as any money raised and spent outside the purview (i.e., restrictions) of the Federal Election Campaign Act, which is spent on activities intended to affect--at least indirectly--Federal A s s u c h , i t would i n c l u d e money from w e a l t h y i n d i v i d u a l s , f r o m elections. u n i o n s a n d c o r p o r a t i o n s , and f r o m o t h e r s o u r c e s e i t h e r p r o h i b i t e d f r o m c o n t r i b u t i n g i n F e d e r a l e l e c t i o n s o r h a v i n g r e a c h e d t h e i r maximum a l l o w e d l e v e l of s u c h c o n t r i b u t i o n s . I t c o u l d be s p e n t i n S t a t e s w h i c h h a v e n o p r o h i b i t i o n s a g a i n s t p o l i t i c a l d o n a t i o n s f r o m u n i o n d u e s money o r c o r p o r a t e p r o f i t s o r w h i c h do n o t l i m i t ( o r have r e l a t i v e l y h i g h l i m i t s o n ) c o n t r i b u t i o n s from individuals. I n r e c e n t y e a r s , t h e two m a j o r n a t i o n a l p a r t i e s h a v e e n g a g e d i n e f f o r t s t o r a i s e " s o f t money" a n d c h a n n e l i t i n t o S t a t e s w h e r e i t i s p e r m i t t e d t o be s p e n t , w i t h t h e expressed i n t e n t of a s s i s t i n g p a r t i c u l a r S t a t e p a r t i e s o r c a n d i d a t e s b u t w i t h t h e presumed i n t e n t of a s s i s t i n g , p e r h a p s i n d i r e c t l y , t h e e n t i r e party t i c k e t in the general e l e c t i o n (including the Federal candidates). T h i s i s s u e is a r a t h e r r e c e n t one a n d , a s y e t , s t i l l s u b j e c t t o considerable misunderstanding. This misunderstanding a r i s e s i n part because s u c h money i s n o t r e q u i r e d t o be r e p o r t e d a t t h e F e d e r a l l e v e l , b u t r a t h e r i t must b e d i s c l o s e d i n t h e r e l e v a n t S t a t e s , a c c o r d i n g t o t h e i r v a r i e d d i s c l o s u r e laws. H e n c e , t h e r e i s n o c e n t r a l i z e d method o f k e e p i n g t r a c k o f money r a i s e d a n d s p e n t i n t h i s manner a n d f o r t h e s e p u r p o s e s . Two p r o p o s a l s i n t h e 9 9 t h C o n g r e s s would s e e k t o a l l e v i a t e t h i s l a c k o f k n o w l e d g e by r e q u i r i n g d i s c l o s u r e of s o f t money: * H.R. 5382 ( L e v i n e / M i l l e r , 9 9 t h C o n g r e s s ) - - r e q u i r e s d i s c l o s u r e t o t h e FEC o f a l l c o n t r i b u t i o n s i n e x c e s s o f $1,000 which c r o s s S t a t e l i n e s * S. 655--Amendment n o . 2690 ( B o s c h w i t z , 9 9 t h C o n g r e s s ) - r e q u i r e s n a t i o n a l p a r t y c o m m i t t e e s t o d i s c l o s e money r a i s e d and s p e n t o t h e r than t o i n f l u e n c e a Federal e l e c t i o n ; amendment p a s s e d t h e S e n a t e by a 58-42 v o t e , b u t n o a c t i o n t a k e n on S. 6 5 5 The l a t t e r p r o p o s a l would r e q u i r e d i s c l o s u r e by p a r t y c o m m i t t e e s o f money i t a c t u a l l y c o l l e c t e d and s p e n t o t h e r t h a n t o i n f l u e n c e F e d e r a l e l e c t i o n s , w h i l e t h e former p r o p o s a l sought t o monitor l a r g e c o n t r i b u t i o n s which c r o s s S t a t e lines, on the presumption that, to some extent, this money may have been directed--if not actually collected--by an intermediate agent. Two other proposals in the 99th Congress dealt with another aspect of the soft money issue--tax-exempt foundations. Recent reports in the media about tax-exempt educational organizations engaging in activity aimed at--at least indirectly--influencing Federal elections have led to calls for correcting any perceived abuses. Some of these foundations are closely associated with elected officials and prospective Presidential candidates. If these foundations are actually engaged in political activity, their tax-exempt status would be jeopardized; in the meantime, they may be seen as circumventing, if not violating, the contribution limits and disclosure provisions of the FECA. Two 99th Congress bills would address this situation as follows: * S. 2415 (Hart, 99th Congress)-- prohibits Members of Congress from being closely associated with tax-exempt organizations which do not publicly disclose contributions and expenditures; establishes a panel to study the potential development of unregulated campaign expenditures by charitable educational organizations * H.R. 5089 (Neal, 99th Congress)--requires foundations which seek to influence U.S. elections be treated as political comnittees, subject to the provisions of the FECA In a relatively recent and not thoroughly explored issue as this one (soft money, tax-exempt foundations, etc.), proposals typically address it through calls for greater disclosure or clarification of perceived ambiguities. D. Personal Use of Excess Campaign Funds by Members of Congress The FECA Amendments of 1979 contained a provision prohibiting the personal use of excess campaign funds by Federal candidates, but excluded Members of Congress in office at the time of enactment (January 8, 1980) from its coverage. However, Senate Rule XXXVIII prohibits conversion of excess campaign funds to personal use by Senators and former Senators. House Rule XLIII i m p o s e s s u c h a r e s t r i c t i o n on House Members b u t d o e s n o t c o v e r f o r m e r Members. Hence, w h i l e t h e e x e m p t i o n o f t h e n - s e r v i n g Members u n d e r t h e 1 9 7 9 FECA Amendments i s e f f e c t i v e l y n e g a t e d by S e n a t e R u l e s , t h e o p p o r t u n i t y s t i 1 1 e x i s t s f o r House Members i n o f f i c e a t t h e t i m e of e n a c t m e n t t o c o n v e r t e x c e s s c a m p a i g n f u n d s t o p e r s o n a l u s e o n c e t h e y l e a v e t h e House. This perceived loophole has b e e n t h e s u b j e c t of c r i t i c i s m i n t h e p r e s s , a n d i t would e t f e c t i v e l y b e c l o s e d by a p r o p o s a l t o remove t h e e x e m p t i o n i n t h e FECA a n d e x t e n d c o v e r a g e t o a l l c u r r e n t a n d f o r m e r Members o f C o n g r e s s . This proposal i s engendered i n f i v e s i m i l a r b i l l s i n t h e 9 8 t h and 9 9 t h C o n g r e s s e s : -2 H.R. 1458 ( J a c o b s , 9 8 t h c o n g r e s s ) * H.R. 123 ( J a c o b s , 99th c o n g r e s s ) * H.R. 668 ( H a m i l t o n , 9 9 t h C o n g r e s s ) * * H.R. 988 (Tauke, 9 9 t h C o n g r e s s ) H.R. 5210 ( F r e n z e l , 9 9 t h C o n g r e s s ) E. Use o f Union Dues Money f o r P o l i t i c a l P u r p o s e s C u r r e n t l a w p r o h i b i t s l a b o r u n i o n s f r o m s p e n d i n g t r e a s u r y money i n c o n n e c t i o n w i t h F e d e r a l e l e c t i o n s , b u t permi t s t h r e e s p e c i f i c p o l i t i c a l l y r e l a t e d a c t i v i t i e s t o be f u n d e d w i t h t h i s money: p a r t i s a n i n t e r n a l c o m u n i c a t i o n s w i t h i t s membership, n o n - p a r t i s a n get-out-the-vote and r e g i s t r a t i o n d r i v e s aimed a t i t s m e m b e r s h i p , a n d t h e c o s t s o f e s t a b l i s h i n g , a d m i n i s t e r i n g and s o l i c i t i n g v o l u n t a r y c o n t r i b u t i o n s from i t s membership f o r a s e p a r a t e s e g r e g a t e d fund--or PAC. W h i l e l a b o r PACs f o r m e r l y d o m i n a t e d t h e f i e l d o f PACs, t h e y h a v e i n c r e a s i n g l y b e e n o v e r s h a d o w e d by b u s i n e s s PACs; w h e r e a s h a l f o f PAC c o n t r i b u t i o n s t o F e d e r a l c a n d i d a t e s i n 1 9 7 4 w e r e f r o m l a b o r PACs, l a b o r PAC d o n a t i o n s c o n s t i t u t e d o n l y o n e - f o u r t h of PAC c o n t r i b u t i o n s i n 1 9 8 4 . However, l a b o r h a s c o n t i n u e d t o e x e r c i s e i t s p o l i t i c a l i n t e r e s t s t h r o u g h t h e u s e of i t s i n t e r n a l communications, get-out-the-vote a d m i n i s t r a t i o n o f PACs. and r e g i s t r a t i o n d r i v e s , a n d t h e While p o l i t i c a l i n n a t u r e , t h e s e a c t i v i t i e s a r e p e r m i t t e d u n d e r t h e law and, e x c e p t f o r i n t e r n a l communications e x c e e d i n g $2,000, t h e y a r e n o t r e q u i r e d t o be d i s c l o s e d t o t h e FEC. Hence, t h e r e i s l i ~ t l eway o f a c c u r a t e l y g a u g i n g t h e e x t e n t of u n i o n e x p e n d i t u r e s f o r t h e s e activities. Union Dues C o l l e c t e d a s a C o n d i t i o n o f Employment B e c a u s e many e m p l o y e e s a r e r e q u i r e d e i t h e r by S t a t e l a w o r a g e n c y s h o p agreement t o join--and pay d u e s to--a u n i o n a s a c o n d i t i o n o f e m p l o y m e n t , some have a r g u e d t h a t i t i s u n f a i r t o a l l o w a p o r t i o n of such i n v o l u n t a r i l y d o n a t e d money t o p a y f o r t h e u n i o n ' s p o l i t i c a l a c t i v i t i e s , w i t h w h i c h t h e member may disagree. Two Supreme C o u r t c a s e s c o n s i d e r e d c o m p l a i n t s by s u c h u n i o n members a n d f o u n d t h a t , t o t h e e x t e n t t h e i r d u e s money was u s e d f o r p u r p o s e s o t h e r t h a n c o l l e c t i v e b a r g a i n i n g , t h e i r r i g h t s were v i o l a t e d , a s t h e y w e r e c o m p e l l e d t o pay f o r p o l i t i c a l a c t i v i t i e s w i t h which t h e y d i s a g r e e d . 111 W h i l e t h e C o u r t r u l i n g s a l l o w e d d i s s e n t i n g u n i o n members t o b e r e i m b u r s e d , f i v e b i l l s a n d two amendments i n t h e 9 8 t h a n d 9 9 t h C o n g r e s s e s s o u g h t - - a s uniform p u b l i c policy--the p r o h i b i t i o n o f t h e u s e of u n i o n d u e s c o l l e c t e d as a c o n d i t i o n of employment f o r ~ o l i t i c a la c t i v i t i e s . The p r o p o s a l s were i n c l u d e d in these five bills: * H.R. * S. 1 3 3 3 (Helms e t a l . , * S. 3024 ( D i c k i n s o n , 9 8 t h C o n g r e s s ) 9 8 t h Congress) 1881 (Helms, 9 8 t h Congress) 1 2 1 I n t e r n a t i o n a l A s s o c i a t i o n of M a c h i n i s t s v. S t r e e t [ 3 6 7 U.S. (1961j-f; Abood v . D e t r o i t Board of E d u c a t i o n [ 4 3 0 U.S. 209 ( 1 9 7 7 1 1 740 * H.R. * S. 2534 ( D i c k i n s o n , 9 9 t h C o n g r e s s ) 1 5 6 3 (Helms, 9 9 t h c o n g r e s s ) The p r o p o s a l was i n c l u d e d i n Amendment no. 3111 ( ~ e l m s ,9 8 t h C o n g r e s s ) t o H.R. 5 1 7 4 , which was t a b l e d by a 65-32 v o t e on May 2 2 , 1984. An amendment b y Mr. B l i l e y t o H.R. 3036 ( 9 9 t h C o n g r e s s ) , which r e q u i r e d t h e FEC t o p r o m u l g a t e r e g u l a t i o n s p r e v e n t i n g u n i o n s from u s i n g d u e s money c o l l e c t e d a s a c o n d i t i o n o f employment f o r p o l i t i c a l p u r p o s e s , was r u l e d o u t o f o r d e r by t h e House o n J u l y 2 6 , 1985. D i s c l o s u r e of Union T r e a s u r y Money Used f o r P o l i t i c a l P u r p o s e s I n o r d e r t o compensate f o r t h e r e l a t i v e absence o f d i s c l o s u r e o f u n i o n p o l i t i c a l a c t i v i t y , one b i l l i n t h e 9 8 t h Congress r e q u i r e d u n i o n s t o d i s c l o s e a l l e x p e n d i t u r e s o n i n t e r n a l cornrnunications (beyond t h e c u r r e n t $2,000 t r i g g e r i n g t h r e s h o l d ) , get-out-the-vote and r e g i s t r a t i o n d r i v e s , a n d a d m i n i s t r a t i o n of and s o l i c i t a t i o n f o r s e p a r a t e s e g r e g a t e d f u n d s . This p r o p o s a l was i n c l u d e d i n : * H.R. 6114 (Bethune, 9 8 t h Congress) Of n o t e i s t h a t t h i s b i l l d i d n o t r e q u i r e c o r p o r a t i o n s t o d i s c l o s e t h e i r similar a c t i v i t i e s ( c o r p o r a t i o n s a r e s p e c i f i c a l l y p e r m i t t e d t o u s e c o r p o r a t e p r o f i t s f o r t h e same p u r p o s e s a s u n i o n s ) . While u n i o n s a r e f a r more h e a v i l y i n v o l v e d i n t h e f i r s t two a r e a s , e x c l u d i n g c o r p o r a t i o n s would, some would a r g u e , l e a v e t h e p u b l i c s t i l l uninformed about c o r p o r a t e e x p e n s e s i n r u n n i n g PACs--a p o s s i b l e c o n s i d e r a b l e a c t i v i t y on t h e i r p a r t . IV. A STUDY COMMlSSION In view of the complexity and controversy surrounding campaign finance issues and the apparent lack of consensus on either defining or solving perceived problems, several proposals were offered in the 98th and 99th Congresses to establish bipartisan study commissions to study and recomnend changes in the law. Two of these were identical bills offered in the 98th Congress : * H.R. 2876 (Simon, 98th Congress)--establishes a Comnission to Reform Federal Campaign Finance to make recomnendations for changes in the role of PACs in Federal elections * S. 911 (Chiles, 98th Congress)--identical to H.R. 2876 Two identical bills in the 99th Congress changed the focus of the earlier bills from just PACs to the entire campaign finance system: * H.R. 1284 (~dall/Frenzel,99th Congress)--establishes a Bipartisan Commission on Congressional Campaign Financing to study and recommend changes in the system * S. 528 (Rudman, 99th Congress)--identical to H.R. 1284 On August 13, 1986, the Senate Governmental Affairs Cornittee reported S. 528 to the Senate, the day following passage of the Boren and Boschwitz Amendments to S. 655. No further action was taken on S. 528 in the 99th Congress. V. THE PRESIDENTIAL PUBLIC FUNDING SYSTEM Most of the attention in the campaign finance area has centered around the congressional system, as the public funding system in Presidential elections since 1976 has been perceived by many observers as ameliorating some of the basic problems of prior years. Aside from interest in closing loopholes (such as soft money and independent expenditures) which especially affect Presidential election practices, little legislative attention has been directed toward the Presidential system. What proposals exist range from adjusting some of the limits to outright abolition of the system. A. Repeal Public Funding of Presidential Elections Years after its implementation, public funding of Presidential elections continues to be opposed on philosophical grounds by some observers. Three proposals in the 98th and 99th Congresses call for repeal of this system: * H.R. * * S. 1684 (Goldwater, 98th Congress) 3234 (McDonald, 98th Congress) S. 59 (Goldwater, 99th Congress) In the latter two bills, public funding is abolished but limitations on expenditures are retained, without regard to the Supreme Court's Buckley ruling . CRS- 70 B, E x p r e s s S u p p o r t f o r R e t e n t i o n of P u b l i c Funding As s u b m i t t e d t o t h e C o n g r e s s i n 1 9 8 5 , P r e s i d e n t R e a g a n ' s t a x r e f o r m l e g i s l a t i o n proposed a b o l i t i o n o f t h e d o l l a r t a x checkoff--the f o r t h e p u b l i c f u n d i n g system. s o u r c e of funds A l t h o u g h i t was n o t s t a t e d , many saw t h i s a s a n a t t e m p t t o a b o l i s h t h e p u b l i c f u n d i n g s y s t e m i t s e l f , by p r e s u m a b l y l e a v i n g i t s f u n d i n g t o t h e normal a p p r o p r i a t i o n s p r o c e s s . One b i l l e x p r e s s e d t h e s e n s e o f t h e Congress t h a t t h e p r e s i d e n t ' s proposal n o t be enacted: * H.Con.Res. 169 ( L a F a l c e , 9 9 t h Congress) The p r e s i d e n t ' s p r o p o s a l was o m i t t e d f r o m b o t h House a n d S e n a t e v e r s i o n s o f t h e t a x reform l e g i s l a t i o n a n d , a c c o r d i n g l y , from t h e e n a c t e d s t a t u t e a s w e l l . C. Increase Expenditure Limits Under c u r r e n t l a w , p r i m a r y e x p e n d i t u r e s a r e l i m i t e d t o $10 m i l l i o n p l u s a d j u s t m e n t f o r i n f l a t i o n ( b a s e d on 1974 d o l l a r s ) ; g e n e r a l e l e c t i o n e x p e n d i t u r e s a r e l i m i t e d t o $20 m i l l i o n p l u s t h e i n f l a t i o n a d j u s t m e n t . I n 1984, t h e s e l i m i t s w e r e s e t a t $20.2 m i l l i o n i n p r i m a r i e s a n d $40.4 m i l l i o n i n t h e g e n e r a l elections. I n t h e l a t t e r c a s e , t h e s u b s i d y t o major p a r t y nominees e q u a l s t h e s p e n d i n g l i m i t , w h i l e i n t h e p r i m a r i e s , t h e l i m i t on s u b s i d i e s i s h a l f t h e l i m i t on s p e n d i n g . F o u r b i l l s i n t h e 9 8 t h a n d 9 9 t h C o n g r e s s e s would h a v e c h a n g e d t h e b a s e l i m i t i n t h e l a w f r o m $10 m i l l i o n t o $18 m i l l i o n i n p r i m a r i e s a n d f r o m $20 m i l l i o n t o $30 m i l l i o n i n t h e g e n e r a l e l e c t i o n s . By c h a n g i n g t h e l i m i t s , t h e s e b i l l s would, of c o u r s e , a l s o change t h e l e v e l of p u b l i c s u b s i d i e s . are: H.R.3081 * ( F r e n z e l , 9 8 t h Congress) S. 1 3 5 0 ( ~ a x a l t / L u g a r , 9 8 t h C o n g r e s s ) These b i l l s CRS- 7 1 D. * S. 1 8 9 1 ( ~ e i n ze t a l . , -2 H.R. 99th congress) 3863 ( F r e n z e l e t a l . , 99th Congress) I n c r e a s e S u b s i d y f o r Nominating Conventions P r i o r t o t h e 1984 e l e c t i o n s , t h e amount o f p u b l i c s u b s i d y a v a i l a b l e t o t h e m a j o r p a r t i e s f o r t h e c o s t s of t h e i r n o m i n a t i n g c o n v e n t i o n ( a n d h e n c e t h e s p e n d i n g l i m i t f o r t h o s e c o n v e n t i o n s ) was s e t a t $ 3 m i l l i o n p l u s a d j u s t m e n t f o r i n f l a t i o n ( s i n c e 1974). Faced w i t h a r e q u e s t by t h e two m a j o r p a r t i e s f o r a d d i t i o n a l f u n d i n g f o r t h e 1984 c o n v e n t i o n s , C o n g r e s s e n a c t e d a m e a s u r e t o r a i s e t h e b a s e amount t o $ 4 m i l l i o n . * H.R. T h i s p r o p o s a l was i n c l u d e d i n : 5 9 5 0 ( R o s t e n k o w s k i , 9 8 t h Congress)--P.L. 98-355 I n 1 9 8 4 , t h e amount o f s u b s i d y f o r e a c h p a r t y ' s c o n v e n t i o n was $8.1 m i l l i o n . E. A b o l i s h t h e S t a t e - b y - S t a t e Spending L i m i t s i n P r i m a r i e s One o f t h e most c o n t r o v e r s i a l a s p e c t s o f t h e P r e s i d e n t i a l s y s t e m h a s b e e n t h e l i m i t s o n what p r i m a r y c a n d i d a t e s may s p e n d i n e a c h S t a t e , a p a r t f r o m t h e overall National l i m i t . T h e s e l i m i t s a r e set a t t h e g r e a t e r o f $ 2 0 0 , 0 0 Q p l u s i n f l a t i o n a d j u s t m e n t o r 16 c e n t s t i m e s t h e VAP p l u s i n f l a t i o n a d j u s t m e n t . B e c a u s e t h e y a r e b a s e d s t r i c t l y on t h e p o p u l a t i o p o f t h e S t a t e s , t h e y d o n o t t a k e i n t o account t h e s t r a t e g i c , p o l i t i c a l r e a l i t i e s of P r e s i d e n t i a l primary campaigns. S t a t e s l i k e N e w H a m p s h i r e a n d Iowa h a v e r e l a t i v e l y l o w l i m i t s , r e f l e c t i n g t h e i r s i z e , but t h e i r importance i n t h e p r o c e s s i s enhanced because of t h e i r e a r l y p r i m a r i e s s o t h a t c a n d i d a t e s i n v a r i a b l y f e e l f r u s t r a t e d by t h e l i m i t s i n those States. T h u s , c a n d i d a t e s h a v e t y p i c a l l y s o u g h t means o f circumventing t h e r e s t r i c t i v e l i m i t s i n t h e e a r l y S t a t e s , whereas f o r l a t e r S t a t e s , t h e l i m i t s h a v e had l i t t l e p r a c t i c a l e f f e c t . Among o t h e r s , t h e FEC h a s f o r y e a r s recommended a b o l i t i o n of t h e s e S t a t e l i m i t s i n i t s a n n u a l r e p o r t t o Congress. Four b i l l s i n t h e 9 8 t h and 9 9 t h Congresses would e l i m i n a t e t h e s e limits: * H.R.3081 ( F r e n z e l , 9 8 t h Congress) * S . 1350 (LaxaltILugar, 9 8 t h Congress) * S . 1891 (Heinz e t a l . , 9 9 t h C o n g r e s s ) * H.R. 3863 ( F r e n z e l e t a l . , 9 9 t h Congress) VI. NEGATIVE CAMPAIGNING Much d i s c u s s i o n was h e a r d d u r i n g t h e 1986 e l e c t i o n s a b o u t t h e p e r c e i v e d i n c r e a s e i n n e g a t i v e campaign a d v e r t i s e m e n t s by c a n d i d a t e s f o r F e d e r a l o f f i c e . I n t h e view of some o b s e r v e r s , t h i s a l l e g e d w i d e s p r e a d " m u d s l i n g i n g " on t h e a i r w a v e s was l i n k e d i n some way t o t h e l a r g e amounts of money a v a i l a b l e i n t o d a y ' s e l e c t i o n campaigns and t h e t e n d e n c y t o u s e t h a t money i n i n c r e a s i n g l y s o p h i s t i c a t e d and h a r d - h i t t i n g communications w i t h v o t e r s . To some, t h i s p e r c e p t i o n o f i n c r e a s e d n e g a t i v i t y i n campaigns i s y e t a n o t h e r r e a s o n why campaign e x p e n d i t u r e s must be l i m i t e d . I t i s n o t c l e a r w h e t h e r t h e p e r c e p t i o n i s c o r r e c t t h a t t h e r e h a s been a n i n c r e a s e i n n e g a t i v i t y and w h e t h e r , even i f i t i s c o r r e c t , t h e r e i s a n y r e a l r e l a t i o n t o t h e l e v e l of money i n campaigns. F i r s t of a l l , n e g a t i v e c a m p a i g n i n g h a s a l w a y s been a p a r t of American e l e c t i o n s ; t h e r e i s o b v i o u s l y more a w a r e n e s s o f i t i n t o d a y ' s TV-dominated campaigns. Second, t o t h e e x t e n t c a n d i d a t e s a r e u s i n g more a t t a c k s on t h e i r o p p o n e n t s i n TV a d s ( a s o p p o s e d t o s t r e s s i n g t h e i r own q u a l i f i c a t i o n s and r e c o r d ) , i t may be more a f u n c t i o n of t h e view among p o l i t i c a l c o n s u l t a n t s and e x p e r t s t h a t s u c h s t r a t e g i e s a r e effective. What may r e a l l y be t h e s o u r c e of c o n c e r n t o some o f t h o s e e x p r e s s i n g t h e s e views i s t h e p r o f e s s i o n a l i z a t i o n of p o l i t i c s - - t h e r e l i a n c e on f u l l - t i m e p o l i t i c a l c o n s u l t a n t s , p o l l s t e r s , e t c . , s o p h i s t i c a t e d , "high-tech" increasing with t h e i r approach t o p o l i t i c s ( i n c l u d i n g t h e i r w i l l i n g n e s s t o r e l y on " n e g a t i v e " campaigns i f t h e y a r e t h o u g h t l i k e l y t o p r o v e s u c c e s s f u l ) . W h i l e t h e r e i s a campaign f i n a n c e i s s u e i n v o l v e d h e r e , i t d o e s n o t a p p e a r t o b e t h e central underlying issue. The c a m p a i g n f i n a n c e - r e l a t e d i s s u e of n e g a t i v e c a m p a i g n s was r a i s e d i n t h e e a r l y 1 9 8 0 s i n c o n n e c t i o n w i t h i n d e p e n d e n t e x p e n d i t u r e s , p a r t i c u l a r l y some h i g h l y p u b l i c i z e d o n e s waged by some p r o m i n e n t c o n s e r v a t i v e PACs. Here t h e i s s u e s o f a c c o u n t a b i l i t y stemming from t h e n a t u r e of i n d e p e n d e n t e x p e n d i t u r e s came i n t o p l a y , of w h i c h t h e n e g a t i v e n a t u r e o f some a d v e r t i s e m e n t s were a focal point. Today t h e r e seems t o b e l e s s c r i t i c i s m of n e g a t i v i t y a s i t c o n c e r n s i n d e p e n d e n t e x p e n d i t u r e s ( p a r t i c u l a r l y a s much of s u c h e f f o r t s t o d a y are s e e n a s more " p o s i t i v e " i n n a t u r e ) , i n p a r t b e c a u s e some c a n d i d a t e s t h e m s e l v e s may h a v e been s e e n a s a d o p t i n g some o f t h e n e g a t i v e t a c t i c s . B e c a u s e t h e i s s u e of n e g a t i v e c a m p a i g n i n g i s o n e t h a t i s e s s e n t i a l l y p e r i p h e r a l t o t h e campaign f i n a n c e ( a s o p p o s e d t o t h e e l e c t o r a l ) s y s t e m , p r o p o s a l s t h a t a d d r e s s t h i s i s s u e a r e mentioned h e r e o n l y b r i e f l y . Five b i l l s i n t h e 9 8 t h and 9 9 t h Congresses i n c l u d e d p r o v i s i o n s w i t h c o n t e n t r e q u i r e m e n t s f o r m e d i a a d v e r t i s e m e n t s by F e d e r a l c a n d i d a t e s . I n essence, they require c a n d i d a t e s t o a p p e a r i n p e r s o n , s p e a k i n g d i r e c t l y i n t o t h e c a m e r a , when r e f e r e n c e s a r e made t o h i s o r h e r o p p o n e n t , and t h a t p r o d u c t i o n m a t e r i a l ( u s e of b a c k d r o p s , "gimmicks", e t c . ) a r e t o b e e l i m i n a t e d o r k e p t t o a minimum. T h e s e p r o p o s a l s a r e aimed i n p r o m o t i n g g r e a t e r a c c o u n t a b i l i t y a n d r e s p o n s i b i l i t y i n p o l i t i c a l c o m m u n i c a t i o n s , on t h e p r e m i s e t h a t n e g a t i v i t y may b e c u r b e d i f t h e o n u s f o r t h e a t t a c k s o r c h a r g e s i s p l a c e d on t h e c a n d i d a t e . These proposals include: * * H.R. 5307 ( ~ o n a b l e / ~ c ~ u g9 h8 t, h c o n g r e s s ) S. 2509 (Rudrnan/Inouye, 9 8 t h c o n g r e s s ) -A- S. 1 3 1 0 ( D a n f o r t h e t a l . , * H.R. 3045 ( L a n t o s , 9 9 t h c o n g r e s s ) * H.R. 3440 ( ~ e a l ,9 9 t h C o n g r e s s ) 99th Congress) It should be noted that content requirements are included in H.R. 2005 (arown, 98th congress)--discussed under the public funding section--which allowed lower ,postal rates for candidates who agreed to spending limits and prior review of mailings, to mitigate against libel, non-documentation, and malicious and distorted charges. The linkage to a public funding system might ameliorate some of the constitutional issues which could be raised regarding the abovementioned proposals for content requirements in political communications. One other legislative proposal regarding negative campaigns bears mention. Because of the controversy over negative independent expenditures a few years ago, some raised the issue of whether tax credits should be allowed for contributions to groups which oppose--rather than support--Federal candidates (26 U.S.C. 24(c)(l)(B) defined an eligible contribution as one made to "further the candidacy" of an individual). One proposal was offered to clarify the law to specifically permit credits for contributions to groups which oppose as well as support candidates for office: * H.R. 977 (Frenzel, 98th Congress) VII . MISCELLANEOUS PROPOSALS This section offers a brief discussion of campaign finance proposals which do not logically fit into the other categories of this report. They are not insignificant proposals but their rationale or impetus simply does not unite them with other concepts outlined here. A. Index Contribution Limits for Inflation Three bills in the 98th and 99th Congresses would index all contribution limits for inflation, not so much out of a desire to boost the role of any particular sector but to account for the effects of inflation on (virtually) all contributors in Federal elections (the limits were set in 1974 and 1976 and are generally worth a bit less than half in today's dollars). (Proposals increasing or indexing the limits on specific sectors are discussed in the first section of this report.) These bills are: * S. 732 (Gorton, 98th Congress)--idexes all individual and multicandidate (including PAC and party) contribution limits * S . 810 (Humphrey/~enton,98th Congress)--idexes contribution limits * all S. 1072 (Gorton, 99th Congress )--ident ical provision to S. 732 CRS- 78 B. R e p e a l Tax C r e d i t f o r P o l i t i c a l C o n t r i b u t i o n s Under t h e new t a x r e f o r m s t a t u t e , t a x c r e d i t s f o r po~ l i t i c a lc o n t r i b u t i o n s a r e e l i m i n a t e d a s of J a n u a r y 1 , 1987. T h i s p r o v i s i o n was i n c l u d e d i n H.R. 3838 ( R o s t e n k o w s k i , 9 9 t h C o n g r e s s ) , which became P u b l i c Law 99-514 on O c t o b e r 2 2 , 1986. E s s e n t i a l l y , t h i s e l i m i n a t i o n was r e v e n u e d r i v e n , a s r o u g h l y a q u a r t e r of a b i l l i o n d o l l a r s a y e a r was t a k e n i n s u c h c r e d i t s i n r e c e n t t a x y e a r s ; u/ f u r t h e r m o r e t h e r e was no c o n c l u s i v e e v i d e n c e t h a t t h e s e c r e d i t s promoted i n d i v i d u a l c o n t r i b u t i o n s t o any a p p r e c i a b l e e x t e n t . The r e p e a l of t h e c r e d i t was a f e a t u r e of s i x o t h e r b i l l s i n t h e 9 9 t h C o n g r e s s , i n c l u d i n g t h e f o l l o w i n g f o u r p r i n c i p a l t a x r e f o r m packages: * * * * H.R. 800 ( G e p h a r d t , 9 9 t h C o n g r e s s ) S. 409 ( B r a d l e y , 9 9 t h C o n g r e s s ) H.R. 2 2 2 2 (Kemp, 9 9 t h C o n g r e s s ) S. 1006 ( K a s t e n , 9 9 t h C o n g r e s s ) The f o l l o w i n g b i l l s would have r e p e a l e d t h e c r e d i t a s a means of s a v i n g r e v e n u e , t o be a v a i l a b l e f o r f u n d i n g f o r t h e p u b l i c f i n a n c e s y s t e m s e s t a b l i s h e d i n these b i l l s : * * C. S. 1789 ( K e r r y , 9 9 t h C o n g r e s s ) S. 2131 ( M i t c h e l l , 9 9 t h C o n g r e s s ) P r o h i b i t C o n t r i b u t i o n s from U.S. Ambassadors One b i l l i n t h e 9 8 t h Congress p r o h i b i t s U.S. ambassadors from making c o n t r i b u t i o n s and p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n p o l i t i c a l campaigns: * S. 845 (DeConcini, 9 8 t h c o n g r e s s ) 131 U.S. I n t e r n a l Revenue S e r v i c e . R e t u r n s . (Annual S e r i e s ) . S t a t i s t i c s of Income: I n d i v i d u a l Tax T h i s p r o p o s a l i s aimed a t r e d u c i n g a n y p e r c e i v e d l i n k a g e b e t w e e n t h e s e a p p o i n t e d f o r e i g n s e r v i c e o f f i c e r s and t h e p o l i t i c a l p r o c e s s . Prior t o the FECA, t h e r e was c o n s i d e r a b l e , s p o r a d i c c o n t r o v e r s y o v e r t h e a p p o i n t m e n t of a m b a s s a d o r s who were l a r g e c a m p a i g n c o n t r i b u t o r s . D. V a l u e o f In-Kind Contributions One b i l l i n t h e 9 8 t h C o n g r e s s s e e k s t o c l a r i f y p e r c e i v e d a m b i g u i t i e s i n t h e law r e g a r d i n g t h e v a l u a t i o n of non-monetary, F e d e r a l campaigns. o r in-kind, contributions t o Such d o n a t i o n s o f g o o d s o r s e r v i c e s a r e h e l d t o t h e same limits a s d i r e c t monetary c o n t r i b u t i o n s . T h i s b i l l s e t s more d e t a i l e d s t a n d a r d s i n l a w a s t o how a p p r o p r i a t e l y t o e s t a b l i s h t h e i r v a l u e : * H.R. 3144 ( M i n i s h , 9 8 t h C o n g r e s s ) E. Bank L o a n s One b i l l s e e k s t o c l a r i f y a n d t i g h t e n r e s t r i c t i o n s on b a n k l o a n s t o p o l i t i c a l c o m n i t t e e s , o u t o f c o n c e r n t h a t u n p a i d l o a n s may c o n s t i t u t e c o n t r i b u t i o n s , i n v i o l a t i o n of t h e law. T h i s b i l l r e q u i r e s bank l o a n s t o p o l i t i c a l c o m n i t t e e s a n d o t h e r p e r s o n s t o be c o l l a t e r a l i z e d a n d r e p o r t e d , a n d i t r e q u i r e s t h e FEC t o d e t e r m i n e t h a t s u c h l o a n s a r e l e g i t i m a t e a n d n o t campaign c o n t r i b u t i o n s : * H.R. 5462 ( K i n d n e s s , 9 9 t h C o n g r e s s ) F. P a r t y R e c e i p t s L i m i t A l t h o u g h many p r o p o s a l s i n t h e 9 8 t h and 9 9 t h C o n g r e s s e s a t t e m p t t o b o o s t t h e r o l e o f p o l i t i c a l p a r t i e s , o n e p r o p o s a l p l a c e s a n a g g r e g a t e l i m i t on t h e amount o f p a r t y c o n t r i b u t i o n s w h i c h may be s p e n t by F e d e r a l c a n d i d a t e s . This b i l l , w h i c h a l s o p l a c e s a s i m i l a r l i m i t on s p e n d i n g of PAC c o n t r i b u t i o n s , l i m i t s c o n g r e s s i o n a l c a n d i d a t e s t o e x p e n d i t u r e s from p a r t y r e c e i p t s o f t h e g r e a t e r o f 25 c e n t s t i m e s t h e v o t i n g a g e p o p u l a t i o n o r 30 p e r c e n t o f t o t a l expenditures. * T h i s b i l l is: S. 1185 (Rudman, 9 8 t h C o n g r e s s ) The p r o p o s a l would t h u s s e e k t o k e e p b o t h PAC r e c e i p t s a n d p a r t y r e c e i p t s i n some k i n d o f b a l a n c e i n a campaign b u d g e t , w i t h p a r t y r e c e i p t s a l l o w e d t o occupy a l a r g e r r o l e i n t h i s s p e c i f i c c a s e . JEC: p j g APPENDIX A: CAMPAIGN FINANCE LEGISLATION IN THE 98th CONGRESS House Bills and Amendments H.J. Res. 77 (Vento, Jan. 6, 1983) * Proposes a constitutional amendment to allow Congress and the States to regulate amounts of election campaign contributions and expenditures H.J. H.J. Res. 141 (Donnelly, Feb. 15, 1983) Proposes a constitutional amendment to allow Congress and the States to regulate amounts of election campaign contributions and expenditures * Res. 188 (Brown, Mar. 10, 1983) Proposes a constitutional amendment to allow Congress and the States to regulate amounts of election campaign contributions and expenditures * H.J. Res. 231 (Rinaldo, Apr. 11, 1983) * Proposes a constitutional amendment to allow Congress and the States to regulate amounts of election campaign contributions and expenditures H.R. 640 (Minish, Jan. 6 , 1983) * Lowers the PAC contribution limit H.R. 977 (Frenzel, Jan. 26, 1983) * Clarifies law to allow tax credit for contributions to political committees which oppose, as well as those which support, candidates H.R. 1379 (Courter, Feb. 10, 1983) * Establishes a trust fund to collect PAC contributions for distribution to congressional candidates, disclosing the PAC's name, candidates it contributes to, and total PAC receipts by candidates, but not the specific amount donated by each PAC to each candidate H.R. 1458 (Jacobs, Feb. 15, 1983) * Prohibits conversion of excess Federal campaign funds to the candidate's personal use H.R. 1799 (McNulty, Mar. 2, 1983) * Lowers the PAC contribution limit H.R. H.R. H.R. H.R. H.R. H.R. H.R. 1893 ( J a c o b s , Mar. 3 , 1 9 8 3 ) P r o v i d e s p u b l i c s u b s i d i e s f o r s p e c i f i e d a l l o t m e n t s of a d v e r t i s i n g c o s t s i n House g e n e r a l e l e c t i o n c a m p a i g n s , i f c a n d i d a t e l i m i t s e x p e n d i t u r e s f o r s u c h p u r p o s e s t o t h e amount of s u b s i d y and d o e s n o t a c c e p t c o n t r i b u t i o n s from PACs * 2005 (Brown, Mar. 9 , 1983) Makes a v a i l a b l e n o n p r o f i t p o s t a l r a t e t o House g e n e r a l e l e c t i o n c a n d i d a t e s who a g r e e t o l i m i t o v e r a l l campaign e x p e n d i t u r e s and s u b m i t c o n t e n t o f m a i l i n g s t o p r i o r r e v i e w ; imposes an a g g r e g a t e PAC r e c e i p t s l i m i t on House c a n d i d a t e s * 2490 (Obey, Leach and Glickman, Apr. 1 2 , 1983) E s t a b l i s h e s a m a t c h i n g fund s y s t e m of p u b l i c f i n a n c i n g i n House g e n e r a l e l e c t i o n s , w i t h l i m i t s on o v e r a l l campaign and c a n d i d a t e s ' p e r s o n a l e x p e n d i t u r e s , w i t h a two f o r one match i f a c a n d i d a t e ' s opponent d o e s n o t p a r t i c i p a t e , and w i t h a d d i t i o n a l p u b l i c f u n d s o r f r e e r e s p o n s e t i m e i f opposed by i n d e p e n d e n t e x p e n d i t u r e s ; imposes an a g g r e g a t e PAC r e c e i p t s l i m i t on House c a n d i d a t e s ; p r o h i b i t s "bundling" o f c o n t r i b u t i o n s t o circumvent limits * 2833 ( P e a s e , Apr. 2 8 , 1983) P r o v i d e s a 100% t a x c r e d i t f o r c o n t r i b u t i o n s t o House and S e n a t e candidates i n donor's d i s t r i c t or S t a t e * 2876 (Simon, May 3, 1983) E s t a b l i s h e s Commission t o Reform F e d e r a l Campaign F i n a n c e Act o f 1983 t o make recommendations f o r c h a n g e s i n t h e r o l e of PACs i n F e d e r a l campaign f i n a n c i n g [ i d e n t i c a l t o S. 9111 * 2959 ( ~ a m i l t o n , May 1 0 , 1983) Imposes a n a g g r e g a t e PAC r e c e i p t s l i m i t on House and S e n a t e c a n d i d a t e s ; r a i s e s t h e i n d i v i d u a l c o n t r i b u t i o n l i m i t ; removes t h e l i m i t o n i n d i v i d u a l c o n t r i b u t i o n s t o p a r t i e s ( w h i l e r e t a i n i n g t h e a g g r e g a t e l i m i t on i n d i v i d u a l c o n t r i b u t i o n s ) ; r a i s e s t h e l i m i t on PAC c o n t r i b u t i o n s t o p a r t i e s ; i n c r e a s e s l i m i t s on p a r t y c o n t r i b u t i o n s and c o o r d i n a t e d e x p e n d i t u r e s i n s t a g e s over t h r e e e l e c t i o n c y c l e s ; r e q u i r e s b r o a d c a s t e r s t o p r o v i d e f r e e r e s p o n s e t i m e t o c a n d i d a t e s opposed by i n d e p e n d e n t e x p e n d i t u r e s ; a l l o w s a d d i t i o n a l p a r t y c o n t r i b u t i o n s t o c a n d i d a t e s opposed by n o n - b r o a d c a s t i n d e p e n d e n t e x p e n d i t u r e s ; p r o v i d e s f o r d o u b l i n g of i n d i v i d u a l and PAC c o n t r i b u t i o n l i m i t s and t h e a g g r e g a t e PAC r e c e i p t s l i m i t and removing of p a r t y c o n t r i b u t i o n and e x p e n d i t u r e l i m i t s f o r c a n d i d a t e s whose o p p o n e n t s exceed s p e c i f i e d p e r s o n a l / f a m i l y s p e n d i n g c e i l i n g s ; i n d e x e s l i m i t s on p a r t y c o n t r i b u t i o n s and on PAC c o n t r i b u t i o n s t o parties for inflation * 2976 ( C o r c o r a n , May 1 1 , 1983) I n c r e a s e s l i m i t s on i n d i v i d u a l c o n t r i b u t i o n s , t o c a n d i d a t e s , p a r t i e s , and i n t h e a g g r e g a t e ; i n c r e a s e s l i m i t on c o n t r i b u t i o n s by i n d i v i d u a l s and n o n - m u l t i c a n d i d a t e PACs t o p a r t i e s ; e l i m i n a t e s p a r t y l i m i t s on c o n t r i b u t i o n s t o and c o o r d i n a t e d e x p e n d i t u r e s f o r c o n g r e s s i o n a l c a n d i d a t e s ; i n c r e a s e s t h e maximum t a x c r e d i t f o r p o l i t i c a l c o n t r i b u t i o n s * H.R. 3024 (Dickinson, May 17, 1983) * Prohibits the use of union dues collected as a condition of employment for political activities [identical to S. 1333 and S. 18811 H.R. 3081 (Frenzel et al., May 23, 1983) Enhances the role of political parties as funding sources by: increasing their contribution limits, removing their coordinated expenditure limits (for congressional candidates), allowing unlimited party assistance to candidates, and allowing unlimited contributions to party committees for administrative and overhead costs; increases the base limit on expenditures in Presidential elections; increases party coordinated expenditure limit for Presidential nominees; eliminates state-by-state spending limits in Presidential primaries [identical to S. 13501 * H.R. 3144 (Minish, May 25, 1983) * Establishes a standard for determining the value of non-monetary (inkind) contributions to candidates H.R. 3172 (McCollum, May 26, 1983) Increases amount of maximum tax credit for political contributions * H.R. 3234 (McDonald, Jun. 6, 1983) * Repeals public financing of Presidential elections H. R. 3262 ( S p a r and Anthony, Jun. 8, 1983) * Imposes an aggregate PAC receipts limit on House and Senate candidates; increases the individual contribution limit in congressional elections [identical to S. 14331 H.R. 3610 (Lantos, Jul. 20, 1983) * Imposes an aggregate PAC receipts limit on House and Senate candidates; increases the individual contribution limit in congressional elections; increases the maximum tax credit for political contributions H.R. 3620 (Annunzio, Jul. 21, 1983) Requires the Clerk of the House to annually publish in the Congressional Record a list of PACs, their sponsoring organizations, and their total receipts and expenditures * H.R. 3650 (~nnunzio,Jul. 26, 1983) * Prohibits government contractors from establishing PACs H.R. 3737 (McHugh and Conable, Aug. 2, 1983) Provides for a 100% tax credit for contributions to House and Senate candidates in donor's State; limits existing 50% tax credit to contributions to political parties only, eliminating credit for donations to State and local and Presidential candidates, to PACs, and to newsletter funds; requires candidates to remit to Treasury unobligated surpluses over specified amount (but not more than was raised in credit-eligible contributions) * H.R. 3812 c ree en, Aug. 4 , 1983) * Establishes a matching fund system of public financing in House general elections, with limits on overall campaign and candidates' personal spending, and additional public funds if opponent exceeds either limit H.R. 4157 (~oward,Oct. 19, 1983) * Reduces the limit on PAC contributions H.R. 4428 (Obey, Leach and S p a r , Nov. 16, 1983) * Provides 100% tax credits for individual contributions to House genera election candidates who reach a fundraising threshold and agree to abide by overall campaign and candidates' personal expenditure limits, with fre e broadcast response time or reduced postal rates-for candidates opposed by independent expenditures; imposes an aggregate PAC receipts limit on House candidates; prohibits "bundling" of contributions to circumvent limits H.R. 4861 (~atkins,Feb. 9, 1984) * Imposes an aggregate PAC receipts limit on House and Senate candidates; reduces the limit on PAC contribution H.R. 5307 (Conable and McHugh, Mar. 30, 1984) Requires that paid broadcasts for Federal candidates adhere to content requirements, especially that the candidate or alternative speaker appear directly before the camera with no contrived backdrops [identical to S. * H.R. 5950 (Rostenkowski, Jun. 28, 1984) * Raises the base public subsidy for President a1 nominating conventions; P.L. 98-355, Jul. 11, 1984 H.R. H.R. 6114 (Bethune, Aug. 9, 1984) Requires labor unions to disclose all expend tures on partisan communications and get-out-the-vote and registration drives, and all administrative and solicitation costs of separated segregated funds (PACs) * 6360 (LaFalce, Oct. 2, 1984) Disallows tax credit on contributions to PACs * Senate Bills and Amendments S.J. Res. 110 (Stevens, May 26, 1983) * Proposes a constitutional amendment to require Congress to limit Federal elect ion campaign contributions and expenditures S. 85 (Dixon and Dodd, Jan. 26, 1983) * Establishes a matching fund system of public financing in Senate general elect ions, with limits on overall campaign and candidates ' personal spending and additional public funds if opposed by independent expenditures or communication costs S. 151 (Proxmire, Jan. 26, 1983) * Establishes a matching fund system of public financing in Senate general elections, with limits on overall campaign spending (with a broadcast allocation exemption) and candidates' personal expenditures, additional public funds if opposed by independent expenditures, and a two for one match if opponent does not participate; imposes an overall PAC receipts limit on Senate candidates S. 732 (Gorton, Mar. 9, 1983) * Indexes multicandidate comnittee and individual contribution limits for inflation; increases all limits on contributions by individuals; encourages earmarking of individual contributions to PACs; increases party contribution and expenditure limits; allows candidates to incorporate independent expenditures into their campaigns; increases limits on contributions to opponents of candidates who exceed specified personal spending ceilings S. 810 (Humphrey and Denton, Mar. 15, 1983) * Adjusts all contribution limits for inflation S. 845 (DeConcini, Mar. 17, 1983) * Prohibits ambassadors from making contributions and participating in political campaigns S. 911 (Chiles, Mar. 23, 1983) * Establishes Commission to Reform Federal Campaign Finance Act of 1983 to make recommendations for changes in the role of PACs in Federal campaign financing [identical to H.R. 2876) S. 1185 (Rudman, May 2, 1983) * Increases limits on individual contributions, per candidate and in the aggregate; limits expenditures from PAC and party receipts to specified ratios of overall expenditures, with personal spending by candidates not included in calculating such expenditures S. 1333 (Helms et al., May 19, 1983) * Prohibits the use of union dues collected as a condition of employment for political activities [identical to H.R. 3024 and S. 18811 S. 1346 (Bentsen, May 23, 1983) * Requires broadcasters to provide free response time to candidates opposed by independent expenditures S. 1350 (Laxalt and Lugar, May 24, 1983) * Enhances the role of political parties as funding sources by: increasing their contribution limits, removing their coordinated expenditure limits (for congressional candidates), allowing unlimited party assistance to candidates, and allowing unlimited contributions to party committees for administrative and overhead costs; increases the base limit on expenditures in Presidential elections; increases party coordinated expenditure limit for Presidential nominees; eliminates state-by-state spending limits in Presidential primaries [identical to H.R. 30811 S. 1433 (Boren, Jun. 8, 1983) * Imposes an aggregate PAC receipts limit on House and Senate candidates; increases the limit on individual contributions in congressional elections [identical to H.R. 32621 S, 1684 (Goldwater, Jul. 27, 1983) * Repeals public financing of Presidential elections; imposes limits on overall campaign expenditures by Federal candidates ( including from personal and family funds); limits independent expenditures S. 1 8 8 1 ( H e l m s , S e p t . 2 6 , 1 9 8 3 ) P r o h i b i t s t h e u s e o f u n i o n d u e s c o l l e c t e d a s a c o n d i t i o n of employment f o r p o l i t i c a l a c t i v i t i e s [ i d e n t i c a l t o H . R . 3024 and S. 13331 * S. 2 2 8 3 ( M a t h i a s , Feb. 9 , 1 9 8 4 ) * E s t a b l i s h e s a m a t c h i n g f u n d s y s t e m of p u b l i c f i n a n c i n g i n S e n a t e g e n e r a l e l e c t i o n s , w i t h l i m i t s on o v e r a l l campaign and c a n d i d a t e s ' p e r s o n a l expenditures S. 2415 ( M i t c h e l l , Mar. 13, 1984) E s t a b l i s h e s a m a t c h i n g f u n d s y s t e m of p u b l i c f i n a n c i n g i n S e n a t e g e n e r a l e l e c t i o n s , w i t h l i m i t s on o v e r a l l c a m p a i g n and c a n d i d a t e s ' p e r s o n a l e x p e n d i t u r e s a n d a d d i t i o n a l p u b l i c f u n d s i f o p p o s e d by i n d e p e n d e n t e x p e n d i t u r e s ; p r o h i b i t s " b u n d l i n g " of c o n t r i b u t i o n s t o c i r c u m v e n t 1i m i t s * S. 2 5 0 9 ( ~ u d m a na n d I n o u y e , Mar. 3 0 , 1 9 8 4 ) * Requires t h a t paid broadcasts f o r Federal candidates adhere t o content requirements, especially that the candidate o r a l t e r n a t ive speaker appear d i r e c t l y b e f o r e t h e c a m e r a w i t h n o c o n t r i v e d b a c k d r o p s [ i d e n t i c a l t o H.R. 5 30 7 ] H.R. 5174--Amendment No. 3 1 1 1 (Helms, May 2 2 , 1 9 8 4 ) P r o h i b i t s u s e o f u n i o n d u e s c o l l e c t e d a s a c o n d i t i o n o f employment f o r p o l i t i c a l a c t i v i t i e s ; t a b l e d by a 65-32 v o t e * APPENDIX B: CAMPAIGN FINANCE LEGISLATION IN THE 9 9 t h CONGRESS House B i l l s and Amendments H.J. Res. 8 8 ( V e n t o , J a n . 2 2 , 1 9 8 5 ) * P r o p o s e s a c o n s t i t u t i o n a l amendment t o a l l o w C o n g r e s s and t h e S t a t e s t o r e g u l a t e e l e c t i o n campaign c o n t r i b u t i o n s and e x p e n d i t u r e s H.Con. H.R. H.R. H.R. H.R. H.R. H.R. H.R. Res. 169 ( L a F a l c e , J u n . 2 1 , 1 9 8 5 ) Expresses t h e s e n s e of t h e Congress t h a t t h e P r e s i d e n t ' s p r o p o s a l t o r e p e a l t h e d o l l a r t a x c h e c k o f f s h o u l d n o t be e n a c t e d * 122 ( J a c o b s , J a n . 3 , 1 9 8 5 ) P r o v i d e s p u b l i c s u b s i d i e s f o r s p e c i f i e d a l l o t m e n t s of a d v e r t i s i n g c o s t s i n House g e n e r a l e l e c t i o n c a m p a i g n s , i f c a n d i d a t e l i m i t s e x p e n d i t u r e s f o r s u c h p u r p o s e s t o t h e amount of s u b s i d y and d o e s n o t a c c e p t c o n t r i b u t i o n s from PACs * 1 2 3 ( ~ a c o b s ,J a n . 3 , 1 9 8 5 ) P r o h i b i t s c o n v e r s i o n of e x c e s s F e d e r a l campaign f u n d s t o t h e c a n d i d a t e ' s personal use * 668 (Hamilton, Jan. 24, 1985) R e p e a l s p r o v i s i o n o f l a w t h a t a l l o w s c e r t a i n Members of C o n g r e s s t o c o n v e r t e x c e s s campaign f u n d s t o p e r s o n a l u s e * 761 ( S t r a t t o n , J a n . 28, 1 9 8 5 ) P r o v i d e s f o r s p e c i f i e d a l l o t m e n t s o f f r e e r a d i o a n d t e l e v i s i o n time t o candidates f o r Federal o f f i c e * 800 (Gephardt, J a n . 30, 1985) R e p e a l s t a x c r e d i t s f o r ~ o l i t i c a lc o n t r i b u t i o n s ( p a r t o f t a x r e f o r m m e a s u r e ) [ i d e n t i c a l t o S. 4091 * 889 ( P e a s e , J a n . 31, 1985) P r o v i d e s f o r 100 p e r c e n t t a x c r e d i t s f o r c o n t r i b u t i o n s t o House a n d Senate candidates i n donor's d i s t r i c t l ~ t a t e * 9 8 8 ( T a u k e , Feb. 6 , 1 9 8 5 ) R e p e a l s p r o v i s i o n of l a w t h a t a l l o w s c e r t a i n Members o f C o n g r e s s t o c o n v e r t e x c e s s campaign f u n d s t o p e r s o n a l u s e * H.R. H.R. H.R. H.R. H.R. H.R. H.R. H.R. H.R. H.R. 1110 ( C o u r t e r , Feb. 1 9 , 1985) E s t a b l i s h e s a t r u s t fund t o c o l l e c t PAC c o n t r i b u t i o n s f o r d i s t r i b u t i o n t o c o n g r e s s i o n a l c a n d i d a t e s , d i s c l o s i n g t h e PAC's name, c a n d i d a t e s i t c o n t r i b u t e s t o , and t o t a l PAC r e c e i p t s by c a n d i d a t e s , b u t n o t t h e s p e c i f i c amount d o n a t e d by e a c h PAC t o e a c h c a n d i d a t e * 1284 ( U d a l l and F r e n z e l , Feb. 26, 1985) E s t a b l i s h e s a o n e y e a r B i p a r t i s a n Commission on C o n g r e s s i o n a l Campaign F i n a n c i n g , t o s t u d y and recommend c h a n g e s i n t h e s y s t e m [ i d e n t i c a l t o S. 5281 * 1807 ( L a F a l c e , Mar. 2 8 , 1985) E l i m i n a t e s t h e t a x c r e d i t f o r c o n t r i b u t i o n s t o PACs * 2222 (Kemp, Apr. 2 5 , 1 9 8 5 ) Repeals tax c r e d i t s f o r p o l i t i c a l contributions m e a s u r e ) [ i d e n t i c a l t o S. 10061 * art of t a x reform 2534 ( D i c k i n s o n , May 1 6 , 1985) P r o h i b i t s t h e u s e o f u n i o n d u e s c o l l e c t e d a s a c o n d i t i o n of employment f o r p o l i t i c a l a c t i v i t i e s [ i d e n t i c a l t o S. 15631 * 2844 ( S t . Germain, Jun. 21, 1985) * E s t a b l i s h e s a m a t c h i n g fund s y s t e m of p u b l i c f i n a n c i n g i n House g e n e r a l e l e c t i o n s , w i t h l i m i t s on o v e r a l l campaign and c a n d i d a t e s ' p e r s o n a l e x p e n d i t u r e s , w i t h a two f o r o n e match i f a c a n d i d a t e ' s o p p o n e n t d o e s n o t p a r t i c i p a t e , and w i t h a d d i t i o n a l p u b l i c f u n d s o r f r e e r e s p o n s e t i m e i f opposed by i n d e p e n d e n t e x p e n d i t u r e s ; imposes an a g g r e g a t e PAC r e c e i p t s l i m i t o n House c a n d i d a t e s ; p r o h i b i t s "bundling" o f c o n t r i b u t i o n s t o circumvent l i m i t s 2906 ( G r o t b e r g , J u n , 27, 1 9 8 5 ) Increases a l l individual contribution l i m i t s (per candidate, per c o m m i t t e e , and i n t h e a g g r e g a t e ) ; e l i m i n a t e s l i m i t s on p a r t y c o n t r i b u t i o n s t o and e x p e n d i t u r e s f o r c o n g r e s s i o n a l c a n d i d a t e s i n g e n e r a l and s p e c i a l e l e c t i o n s * 2923 ( W a t k i n s , J u n . 27, 1985) D e c r e a s e s t h e l i m i t on PAC c o n t r i b u t i o n s p e r c a n d i d a t e ; imposes a n a g g r e g a t e PAC r e c e i p t s l i m i t on c o n g r e s s i o n a l c a n d i d a t e s * 3036--Amendment ( B l i l e y , J u l . 2 6 , 1985) Amendment t o T r e a s u r y - P o s t a l S e r v i c e A p p r o p r i a t i o n s b i l l , e a r m a r k s money t o t h e FEC t o p r o m u l g a t e r e g u l a t i o n s p r e v e n t i n g t h e u s e o f u n i o n d u e s c o l l e c t e d a s a c o n d i t i o n of employment f o r p o l i t i c a l a c t i v i t i e s ; r u l e d o u t of o r d e r * 3045 ( L a n t o s , J u l . 1 8 , 1 9 8 5 ) Requires b r o a d c a s t e r s t o provide f r e e response time t o c a n d i d a t e s opposed by i n d e p e n d e n t e x p e n d i t u r e s ; r e q u i r e s c a n d i d a t e s t o a p p e a r i n p e r s o n when r e f e r e n c e s a r e made t o o p p o n e n t s i n b r o a d c a s t a d s [ i d e n t i c a l t o S. 13101 * H.R. 3440 (Neal, Sept. 26, 1985) Requires broadcasters to provide free response time to candidates opposed by independent expenditures; requires candidates to appear in person when references are made to opponents in broadcast ads H.R. 3780 (McHugh et al., Nov. 19, 1985) * Replaces existing 50% tax credit for political contributions with a 100% credit for donations only to House and Senate candidates in donor's State H.R. 3799 (Synar et al., Nov. 20, 1985) * Imposes an aggregate PAC receipts limit on congressional candidates; raises the individual contribution limit; decreases the PAC contribution limit; requires broadcasters to provide free response time to candidates opposed by independent expenditures ; tightens the definition of and regulations governing independent expendi tures; prevents "bundl ing" of contributions to circumvent limits [identical to the Boren proposal--S. 1806 and Amendment to S. 6551 H.R. 3806 (Beilenson et al., Nov. 21, 1985) * Provides public funding in House general elections, through full grants to major party candidates and a lesser share to minor party candidates, with limits on overall expenditures (equal to the major party candidates' subsidy) and on candidates' personal expenditures H.R. 3838 (Rostenkowski, Dec. 3, 1985) * Tax reform measure deleted the existing tax credit for political contributions, after 1986; P.L. 99-514, Oct. 22, 1986 , 17, 1985) H.R. 3838--Amendment to House-passed Tax Bill ( ~ c ~ u g hDec. * Replaces the existing 50% political contributions tax credit with a 100% credit for direct (not "bundled") contributions to House and Senate candidates in donor's State; attached to H.R. 3838 by a 230-196 vote, but deleted in House-Senate conference H.R. 3863 (Frenzel et al., Dec. 5 , 1985) * Enhances the role of political parties as funding sources by: increasing their contribution limits, removing their coordinated expenditure limits (for congressional candidates), allowing unlimited party assistance to candidates, and allowing unlimited contributions to party committees for administrative and overhead costs; increases the base limit on expenditures in Presidential elections; increases party coordinated expenditure limit for Presidential nominees; eliminates state-by-state spending limits in Presidential primaries H.R. 4072 (LaFalce, Jan. 29, 1986) * Establishes a matching fund system of public financing for House general elections, with limits on overall campaign and candidates' personal expenditures and additional public funding if a participating candidate is opposed by independent expenditures; tightens definition and regulation of independent expenditures; lowers the PAC contribution limit; imposes an aggregate PAC receipts limit on House candidates; prohibits "bundling" of contributions to circumvent limits H.R. 4 3 8 6 ( G r e e n , Mar. 1 2 , 1 9 8 6 ) E s t a b l i s h e s a m a t c h i n g f u n d s y s t e m of p u b l i c f i n a n c i n g f o r House g e n e r a l e l e c t i o n s , w i t h l i m i t s on o v e r a l l campaign and c a n d i d a t e s ' p e r s o n a l e x p e n d i t u r e s and a d d i t i o n a l p u b l i c f u n d i n g i f opponent e x c e e d s e i t h e r * limit H.R. 4 4 6 4 (Howard, Mar. 2 0 , 1 9 8 6 ) * I m p o s e s a n a g g r e g a t e PAC r e c e i p t s l i m i t on House and S e n a t e c a n d i d a t e s ; l o w e r s t h e PAC c o n t r i b u t i o n l i m i t ; r a i s e s t h e i n d i v i d u a l c o n t r i b u t i o n l i m i t ; p r e v e n t s " b u n d l i n g " of c o n t r i b u t i o n s t o c i r c u m v e n t l i m i t s ; r e q u i r e s b r o a d c a s t e r s t o p r o v i d e f r e e r e s p o n s e t i m e t o c a n d i d a t e s o p p o s e d by independent e x p e n d i t u r e s ; t i g h t e n s t h e d e f i n i t i o n of independent expenditures H.R. 4 5 1 4 ( W e a v e r , Mar. 2 5 , 1 9 8 6 ) I m p o s e s a n a g g r e g a t e PAC r e c e i p t s l i m i t on House and S e n a t e c a n d i d a t e s ; l o w e r s t h e PAC c o n t r i b u t i o n l i m i t ; p r e v e n t s I t b u n d l i n g t ' o f c o n t r i b u t i o n s t o circumvent limits; requires broadcasters t o provide f r e e response time t o c a n d i d a t e s o p p o s e d by i n d e p e n d e n t e x p e n d i t u r e s ; t i g h t e n s t h e d e f i n i t i o n o f independent expenditures H.R. H.R. H.R. H.R. * 5089 ( N e a l , J u n . 25, 1986) R e q u i r e s t h a t f o u n d a t i o n s which s e e k t o i n f l u e n c e U.S. e l e c t i o n s be t r e a t e d a s p o l i t i c a l c o m n i t t e e s , s u b j e c t t o t h e r e q u i r e m e n t s and l i m i t a t i o n s o f t h e FECA * 5210 ( F r e n z e l , J u l . 21, 1986) R e p e a l s p r o v i s i o n o f l a w t h a t a l l o w s c e r t a i n Members of C o n g r e s s t o c o n v e r t e x c e s s campaign f u n d s t o p e r s o n a l u s e * 5382 ( L e v i n e a n d M i l l e r , Aug. 11, 1 9 8 6 ) E s t a b l i s h e s a m a t c h i n g f u n d s y s t e m o f p u b l i c f i n a n c i n g i n House g e n e r a l e l e c t i o n s , w i t h l i m i t s on o v e r a l l campaign and c a n d i d a t e s ' p e r s o n a l e x p e n d i t u r e s and a d d i t i o n a l p u b l i c f u n d i n g i f a p a r t i c i p a t i n g c a n d i d a t e i s o p p o s e d by i n d e p e n d e n t e x p e n d i t u r e s ; i m p o s e s a n a g g r e g a t e PAC r e c e i p t s l i m i t o n House c a n d i d a t e s ; l o w e r s t h e PAC c o n t r i b u t i o n l i m i t ; i m p o s e s a n a g g r e g a t e l i m i t o n c o n t r i b u t i o n s by a PAC; p r e v e n t s " b u n d l i n g " o f c o n t r i b u t i o n s t o c i r c u m v e n t 1imits; r e q u i r e s d i s c l o s u r e o f " s o f t moneyt' 5 4 6 2 ( K i n d n e s s , Aug. 1 5 , 1 9 8 6 ) R e q u i r e s t h a t bank l o a n s t o p o l i t i c a l c o m m i t t e e s and o t h e r p e r s o n s be c o l l a t e r a l i z e d a n d r e p o r t e d ; r e q u i r e s t h e FEC t o d e t e r m i n e t h a t s u c h l o a n s a r e l e g i t i m a t e a n d n o t campaign c o n t r i b u t i o n s * S e n a t e B i l l s and Amendments S. J . Res. 3 1 3 ( H o l l i n g s , Mar. 1 8 , 1 9 8 6 ) P r o p o s e s a c o n s t i t u t i o n a l amendment t o a l l o w C o n g r e s s t o l i m i t campaign e x p e n d i t u r e s i n (and a f f e c t i n g ) F e d e r a l e l e c t i o n s * S. 5 9 ( G o l d w a t e r , J a n . 3 , 1 9 8 5 ) * R e p e a l s p u b l i c f i n a n c i n g of P r e s i d e n t i a l e l e c t i o n s ; i m p o s e s i m i t s on o v e r a l l campaign e x p e n d i t u r e s by F e d e r a l c a n d i d a t e s ( i n c l u d i n g f r o m p e r s o n a l and f a m i l y f u n d s ) ; l i m i t s i n d e p e n d e n t e x p e n d i t u r e s S. 297 ( B o r e n , J a n . 2 4 , 1 9 8 5 ) Imposes a n a g g r e g a t e PAC r e c e i p t s l i m i t o n House a n d S e n a t e * andidates; r a i s e s the individual contribution l i m i t in congressional e l e c t i o n s [ e a r l i e r v e r s i o n of S . 18061 ~ - S. 3 2 3 ( P r o x m i r e , J a n . 3 1 , 1 9 8 5 ) * P r o v i d e s f o r a 100% t a x c r e d i t t o c o n t r i b u t o r s t o S e n a t e c a n d i d a t e s who a g r e e t o l i m i t o v e r a l l and p e r s o n a l campaign e x p e n d i t u r e s , w i t h l o w e r p o s t a l r a t e s t o o p p o n e n t s o f c a n d i d a t e s who d o n o t p a r t i c i p a t e ; a l l o w s c a n d i d a t e s opposed by i n d e p e n d e n t e x p e n d i t u r e s t o b e n e f i t f r o m l o w e r p o s t a l r a t e s ; i m p o s e s a n a g g r e g a t e PAC r e c e i p t s l i m i t on S e n a t e c a n d i d a t e s S. 4 0 9 ( B r a d l e y , Feb. 6 , 1 9 8 5 ) * Repeals t a x c r e d i t s f o r p o l i t i c a l contributions ( p a r t of t a x reform measure [ i d e n t i c a l t o H.R. 800) S. 4 7 1 (Dodd and M e l c h e r , Feb. 1 9 , 1 9 8 5 ) * P r o v i d e s f o r a 100% t a x c r e d i t t o c o n t r i b u t o r s t o S e n a t e c a n d i d a t e s who a g r e e t o l i m i t o v e r a l l and p e r s o n a l campaign e x p e n d i t u r e s ; a l l o w s c a n d i d a t e s opposed by i n d e p e n d e n t e x p e n d i t u r e s t o b e n e f i t f r o m t h e same p o s t a l r a t e s a s p o l i t i c a l p a r t i e s and t o r e c e i v e f r e e b r o a d c a s t r e s p o n s e time; i m p o s e s a n a g g r e g a t e PAC r e c e i p t s l i m i t o n S e n a t e c a n d i d a t e s ; p r o h i b i t s " b u n d l i n g " of c o n t r i b u t i o n s t o c i r c u m v e n t l i m i t s S. 5 2 8 (Rudman e t a l . , Feb. 2 7 , 1 9 8 5 ) * E s t a b l i s h e s a o n e y e a r B i p a r t i s a n Commission on C o n g r e s s i o n a l Campaign F i n a n c i n g , t o s t u d y and recommend c h a n g e s i n t h e s y s t e m [ i d e n t i c a l t o H.R. 1 2 8 4 1 ; r e p o r t e d by S e n a t e Governmental A f f a i r s C o m n i t t e e on Aug. 1 3 , 1986 S. 655--Amendment No. 1168 ( B o r e n , Aug. 1 2 , 1 9 8 6 ) * I m p o s e s a n a g g r e g a t e PAC r e c e i p t s l i m i t on c o n g r e s s i o n a l c a n d i d a t e s . ; r a i s e s t h e i n d i v i d u a l c o n t r i b u t i o n l i m i t ; d e c r e a s e s t h e PAC c o n t r i b u t i o n l i m i t ; r e q u i r e s b r o a d c a s t e r s t o p r o v i d e f r e e r e s p o n s e time t o c a n d i d a t e s o p p o s e d by i n d e p e n d e n t e x p e n d i t u r e s ; t i g h t e n s t h e d e f i n i t i o n of a n d r e g u l a t i o n s g o v e r n i n g i n d e p e n d e n t e x p e n d i t u r e s ; p r e v e n t s 1f b u n d l i n g " o f c o n t r i b u t i o n s t o c i r c u m v e n t l i m i t s [ i d e n t i c a l t o S. 1 8 0 6 a n d H.R. 3 7 9 9 1 ; amendment p a s s e d S e n a t e by a 69-30 v o t e ; S. 6 5 5 n e v e r p a s s e d S. 655--Amendment No. 2690 ( B o s c h w i t z , Aug. 1 2 , 1 9 8 6 ) * R e p e a l s t h e Boren Amendment's p r o v i s i o n o f f r e e r e s p o n s e time f o r c a n d i d a t e s opposed by i n d e p e n d e n t e x p e n d i t u r e s ; p r o h i b i t s PAC c o n t r i b u t i o n s t o n a t i o n a l p a r t y committees; r e q u i r e s p a r t i e s t o d i s c l o s e " s o f t moneyu f u n d s ; Amendment p a s s e d by a 58-42 v o t e ; S. 6 5 5 never passed S. 1 0 0 6 ( K a s t e n , Apr. 2 5 , 1 9 8 5 ) * Repeals t a x c r e d i t s f o r p o l i t i c a l contributions ( p a r t of t a x reform m e a s u r e ) [ i d e n t i c a l t o H . R . 22221 S. 1 0 7 2 ( G o r t o n , May 6 , 1 9 8 5 ) * I n d e x e s m u l t i c a n d i d a t e c o m m i t t e e and i n d i v i d u a l c o n t r i b u t i o n l i m i t s f o r i n f l a t i o n ; i n c r e a s e s p a r t y c o n t r i b u t i o n and e x p e n d i t u r e l i m i t s ; i n c r e a s e s l i m i t s on i n d i v i d u a l and PAC c o n t r i b u t i o n s t o c a n d i d a t e s whose o p p o n e n t s exceed suggested personal spending c e i l i n g s ; encourages c a n d i d a t e s t o i n c o r p o r a t e independent e x p e n d i t u r e s i n t o t h e i r campaigns; encourages e a r m a r k i n g of c o n t r i b u t i o n s t o PACs S. 1 3 1 0 ( D a n f o r t h e t a l . , J u n . 1 7 , 1 9 8 5 ) * Requires b r o a d c a s t e r s t o provide f r e e response time t o c a n d i d a t e s o p p o s e d by i n d e p e n d e n t e x p e n d i t u r e s ; r e q u i r e s c a n d i d a t e s t o a p p e a r i n p e r s o n when r e f e r e n c e s a r e made t o o p p o n e n t s i n b r o a d c a s t a d s [ i d e n t i c a l t o H.R. 30451 S. 1 5 6 3 (Helms, Aug. 1, 1 9 8 5 ) P r o h i b i t s t h e u s e o f u n i o n d u e s c o l l e c t e d a s a c o n d i t i o n of employment f o r p o l i t i c a l a c t i v i t i e s [ i d e n t i c a l t o H.R. 25341 * S. 1 7 8 7 ( M a t h i a s and Simon, O c t . 2 4 , 1 9 8 5 ) Provides f o r p u b l i c f i n a n c i n g of Senate e l e c t i o n s through f u l l g r a n t s t o m a j o r p a r t y c a n d i d a t e s and a lesser amount t o m i n o r p a r t y c a n d i d a t e s , w i t h l i m i t s on o v e r a l l campaign e x p e n d i t u r e s ( e q u a l t o m a j o r p a r t y c a n d i d a t e g r a n t ) a n d on c a n d i d a t e s ' p e r s o n a l s p e n d i n g * S. 1 7 8 9 ( K e r r y , O c t . 2 4 , 1 9 8 5 ) P r o v i d e s f o r p u b l i c f i n a n c i n g of S e n a t e e l e c t i o n s t h r o u g h f u l l g r a n t s t o m a j o r p a r t y c a n d i d a t e s and a l e s s e r amount t o m i n o r p a r t y c a n d i d a t e s , w i t h l i m i t s on o v e r a l l campaign e x p e n d i t u r e s ( e q u a l t o m a j o r p a r t y c a n d i d a t e g r a n t ) a n d on c a n d i d a t e s ' p e r s o n a l s p e n d i n g ; r e p e a l s t a x c r e d i t s f o r p o l i t i c a l c o n t r i b u t i o n s a s a means of f u n d i n g t h e p u b l i c f i n a n c i n g p r o v i s i o n s [ p u b l i c f i n a n c e s e c t i o n i d e n t i c a l t o S. 17873 * S. 1 8 0 6 ( B o r e n , O c t . 2 9 , 1 9 8 5 ) I m p o s e s a n a g g r e g a t e PAC r e c e i p t s l i m i t on c o n g r e s s i o n a l c a n d i d a t e s ; r a i s e s t h e i n d i v i d u a l c o n t r i b u t i o n l i m i t ; d e c r e a s e s t h e PAC c o n t r i b u t i o n l i m i t ; requires broadcasters t o provide f r e e response t i m e t o candidates o p p o s e d by i n d e p e n d e n t e x p e n d i t u r e s ; t i g h t e n s t h e d e f i n i t i o n o f a n d r e g u l a t i o n s governing independent e x p e n d i t u r e s ; p r e v e n t s "bundling" o f c o n t r i b u t i o n s t o c i r c u m v e n t l i m i t s [ i d e n t i c a l t o H.R. 3 7 9 9 a n d Amendment t o S. 6 5 5 1 * S. 1 8 9 1 ( H e i n z e t a l . , Dec. 3 , 1 9 8 5 ) * E n h a n c e s t h e r o l e o f p o l i t i c a l p a r t i e s a s f u n d i n g s o u r c e s by: i n c r e a s i n g t h e i r c o n t r i b u t i o n l i m i t s , removing t h e i r c o o r d i n a t e d e x p e n d i t u r e l i m i t s ( f o r congressional candidates), allowing unlimited party a s s i s t a n c e t o c a n d i d a t e s , and a l l o w i n g u n l i m i t e d c o n t r i b u t i o n s t o p a r t y committees f o r a d m i n i s t r a t i v e and overhead c o s t s ; i n c r e a s e s t h e base l i m i t on expenditures i n Presidential elections; increases party coordinated e x p e n d i t u r e l i m i t f o r P r e s i d e n t i a l nominees; e l i m i n a t e s s t a t e - b y - s t a t e spending limits i n Presidential primaries S. 2 0 1 6 ( D i x o n , J a n . 2 3 , 1 9 8 6 ) * E s t a b l i s h e s a m a t c h i n g f u n d s y s t e m of p u b l i c f i n a n c i n g i n S e n a t e e l e c t i o n s , w i t h l i m i t s on o v e r a l l campaign a n d c a n d i d a t e s ' p e r s o n a l expenditures and additional public funds if participating candidate is opposed by independent expenditures S. 2131 (Mitchell, Feb. 28, 1986) * Establishes a matching fund system of public financing in Senate elections, with limits on overall campaign and candidates' personal expenditures and additional public funds if participating candidate is opposed by independent expenditures; eliminates tax credit for political contributions; prohibits "bundling" of contributions to circumvent Limits S. 2415 (Hart, May 6, 1986) * Prohibits Members of Congress from being close1 y associated with taxexempt organizations which do not publicly disclose contributions and expenditures; establishes a panel to study the potential development of unregulated campaign expenditures by charitable educational organizations S. 2837 (Pell, Sept. 18, 1986) * Requires broadcasters to provide free prime media time to the national committees of political parties for allocation among Federal candidates S. 2940 (Gore, Oct. 17, 1986) * Provides for conditional pub1 ic financing in Senate elect ions, based on voluntary spending limits and on public subsidies (equal to the Limit) to candidates whose opponents exceed those limits