Choices and Changes: Interest Groups in the Electoral Process

By Michael M. Franz | Go to book overview

2 Election Law and Electoral Politics
Between FECA and BCRA

In April 1989, speaking on the floor of the Senate, Harry Reid (D-Nevada) implored his colleagues to take action and pass campaign finance reform:

Mr. President, [in] the 1988 Senate race in the State of
Nevada…there was a mass advertising campaign directed
against the present Senator Richard Bryan, who was then the
Governor. This money that was spent, more than one-half mil-
lion dollars, was spent by foreign auto dealers. Now, you would
think they would be spending their money to talk about stands
that Governor Bryan had taken relative to commerce or trade.
But, no; the foreign auto dealers were spending money on So-
cial Security issues. The people in the State of Nevada had no
way of knowing that it was the foreign auto dealers who were
spending these huge sums of money on Social Security ads.

I think that the voters have a right to know who is sponsor-
ing the political advertisements and the literature designed to
sway their choice. I think it is also important to note, Mr. Presi-
dent, that this is not a partisan issue. In the State of Nevada, the
money was spent, over one-half million dollars against a Demo-
crat, but there is nothing to prevent independent expenditures,

-15-

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Choices and Changes: Interest Groups in the Electoral Process
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • 1: The Puzzle of Interest Group Electioneering 1
  • 2: Election Law and Electoral Politics Between Feca and Bcra 15
  • 3: A Theory of Emergent and Changing Interest Group Tactics 51
  • 4: Putting Pacs in (Political) Context(S) 75
  • 5: Understanding Soft Money 95
  • 6: Following 527s and Watching Issue Advocacy 118
  • 7: Tracking the Regulatory Context 145
  • 8: Conclusion 172
  • Appendix: Pac Ideology Measure 189
  • Notes 193
  • Bibliography 207
  • Index 217
  • Political Science and Public Policy/American Studies 229
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