Discrimination and Congresssional Campaign Contributions

Discrimination and Congresssional Campaign Contributions

Discrimination and Congresssional Campaign Contributions

Discrimination and Congresssional Campaign Contributions

Synopsis

This is an interdiscplinary study that rigorously examines the role of campaign contributions in the election of blacks and women to the U.S. House of Representatives during the 1980s. It is an interdisciplinary work that provides an historical overview of discrimination and campaign financing, a model of campaign contributions based on a rent-seeking paradigm from public choice, and statistical testing of this model. Other books have treated aspects of campaign financing and racial/sexual discrimination, but this work is unique in its combination of campaign financing with racial and sexual discrimination.

Excerpt

Racism and sexism are emotionally charged issues; they are issues that demand political attention. Evidence that blacks and women are gaining political influence is reflected in the growing number of public offices they now occupy. Blacks and women have far more political clout today than even ten years ago. In the face of this success, however, is the plodding rate of change at the national level. There are proportionally far fewer women and blacks in Congress than in the U.S. population. This disproportionate representation has historical, cultural, psychological, and political roots, and its perpetuation defies simple explanation. This study investigates a single aspect of the underrepresentation problem: the role of money. Money has been part of the electoral process since before the Revolution, and its role in the current makeup of Congress should be understood. Every day there seems to be more voices clamoring for the diminution of money's influence on Capitol Hill. This is a change that could remake the face of Congress and the position of women and blacks in that body.

This study focuses on the influence of money on the election of black and female candidates to the House of Representatives. Implicit is a concern with representation and the impact of campaign contributions on congressional elections in general. The decade of the eighties has been a transition period in campaign financing and in the election of women and blacks to public office. By the end of the decade, women and blacks were being elected to public office in increasingly larger numbers, and even when they lost, they were treated as creditable candidates. By the . . .

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