Campaign Finance Reform: The Political Shell Game (Lexington by Melissa M. Smith

By Melissa M. Smith

Crusade Finance Reform The Political Shell video game presents an in-depth examine the historical past of political crusade finance reform with exact emphasis on legislative, FEC, and federal courtroom activities from the Seventies to provide. specifically, the authors study the ways in which campaigns and self sustaining teams have sought to make end-runs round present crusade finance ideas.

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Example text

Those features, and others, continue to be used by 527 groups today. 1 The keystone of their campaign was the “Target ‘80” program aimed at defeating six incumbent Democratic senators—Birch Bayh (Indiana), Alan Cranston (California), Thomas Eagleton (Missouri), Frank Church (Idaho), John Culver (Iowa), and George McGovern (South Dakota). Four of those candidates—Bayh, Church, Culver, and McGovern—were defeated after heavy negative campaigns financed by the New Right. Most of that campaign activity came in the form of independent expenditures by the New Right—expenditures that were independent of the candidate’s official campaign structure.

83 By 1982, Democratic strategists had developed a new collection of tactics to deal with the groups. Add that to a change in the political environment, and the effectiveness of NCPAC gradually diminished. Still, the group had established a role model for future conservative groups to follow. Elements of the campaign strategy could be seen in the 2004 Swift Boat Veterans campaign against John Kerry and in numerous other negative campaigns against incumbents. 84 IMPLICATIONS FOR CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM The overall impact of NCPAC as an individual organization was relatively limited.

Dolan, “Working Today,” p. 1. 52. James T. Kitchens, CIP: Constituent Information Program (Fort Worth, TX: Parmer Marketing, 1981). 53. “New Right Takes Aim,” Time (August 2, 1979): 20–21. 54. Quoted by Bernard Weinraub, “Million-Dollar Drive Aims to Oust 5 Liberal Senators,” New York Times (March 24, 1980): 4. 55. Kitchens, CIP. 56. Quoted in “NCPAC’s Negative Campaign,” Political Action Report, 5 (1979): 1. 57. Bannon, “NCPAC’s Role in the 1980 Senate Elections,” p. 44. 58. Quoted in “New Right Takes Aim,” p.

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