Money Politics And Influences

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Money Politics and Influences


Money plays an important role in electoral politics; keeping a campaign well funded is essential to electoral success. A knowledgeable campaign staff, television advertisements, travel to give speeches, mailings, and phone calls cost a large amount of money. Many who are critical of the role money plays stipulate that those who have money to contribute, such as wealthy interest groups, have an unfair advantage in that they can essentially buy access to elected officials, thereby subverting the democratic process. Even officials not beholden to special interests need to find sources of funding, leading many to call for changes to the fundraising process. Even with reforms such as the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (McCain-Feingold Act), money has continues to be the key to successful campaigns.

This paper discusses the usage of money in politics and the influences it has in the country.


The degree to which actively lobbying congress can influence legislative outcomes is unsettling, and the severity of the resulting democratic deficit in the American political system is repugnant. Focusing on this too narrowly however, misses a far more important issue in need of addressing. If lobbying provides so clear and tangible a benefit, the opportunity to lobby is just as, if not more, important than lobbying itself. The reason some Fortune-100 companies were able to capitalize on their inherent advantage of being in possession of copious funds and man power, and others were not, is most likely to consequence of the simple fact that congress was considering more bills germane to certain companies and fewer bills germane to others. The ability to so successfully lobby for lower taxes is a real problem, but it is a rather small problem in light of the power of highly centralized and moneyed interests to dictate congresses's legislative agenda (Campbell, pp. 460).

Transparency is something we ought to be able to do. We should be able to compel PACs to reveal their coffers, and to say where all that money is coming from. We should be able to access information about political contributions when they come in such large amounts of money. We should know who is paying for which advertisements, and what their agendas are. People should know which corporations bought radio, print, television advertising. People should know who is calling them incessantly during election season (political campaigns are, neatly, exempt from telemarketing laws). People should know who is influencing their elections. It might not solve the larger problem, but it might create some breathing room and a fighting chance at more fair and honest elections. Major corporations should not be able to hide their agendas behind PACs, should be forced to own up to the ads they pay for and support (DiClerico, Pp. 96).

Transparency should be the name of the game in politics; people who have ideas should be able to stand behind them in public, as should corporations that want to influence elections. I would prefer strong limits on contributions, the dissolution of PACs, an actual attempt to ...
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