Risky Business? Pac Decisionmaking in Congressional Elections

By Robert Biersack; Paul S. Herrnson et al. | Go to book overview

his relationship with Gephardt, who will play a major role in fashioning any campaign finance legislation that comes to the House floor. Through these relationships, Gersh expects the NCEC to have an impact on campaign finance reform.


Conclusion

The NCEC has undergone major changes since its founding. Originally intended to be a funding organization for liberal candidates for the Senate, it has become a staunchly Democratic organization that works closely with Democratic candidates for both the House and the Senate and with Democratic party committees at the federal and state levels. In addition to abandoning its bipartisanship, the PAC has greatly reduced the level of cash it contributes and has become an important provider of campaign services to Democratic congressional candidates. It now works closely with Democratic party committees in formulating party strategy, identifying marginal districts, and helping to turn on the flow of PAC money to candidates involved in close races. In 1992, the NCEC was able to further expand its influence by playing a central role in the redistricting process. Just as ideology and campaign contributions once defined the NCEC, partisanship, pragmatism, and the provision of campaign services are its hallmarks today.


Notes
1.
For an excellent discussion of the history of the NCEC and its activities into the mid-1960s, see Harry M. Scoble, Ideology and Electoral Action: A Comparative Case Study of the National Committee for an Effective Congress ( San Francisco: Chandler Publishing, 1967).
2.
Federal Election Commission, "PAC Activity Rebounds in 1992-92 Election Cycle--Unusual Nature of Contests Seen as Reason," Press Release, April 19, 1993.
3.
Scoble, Ideology and Electoral Action, pp. 26-27, 36.
4.
Some campaign contributions were given quietly, with no attendant endorsement, and some candidates received endorsements but no money.
5.
To date, no members have ever been expelled from the committee.
6.
Scoble, Ideology and Electoral Action, pp. 149-74.
7.
Ibid., p. 174.
8.
Ibid., pp. 28-89.
9.
Ibid., p. 82.
10.
Ibid., p. 87.
11.
Ibid., p. 88.
12.
Ibid., pp. 9, 51-57, 86.
13.
Personal interview with Mark Gersh, Washington, D.C., October 10, 1991.
14.
Scoble, Ideology and Electoral Action, p. 104.
15.
Ibid., pp. 109-11.
16.
Ibid., pp. 135-36.
17.
Unless otherwise noted, the information in this section is drawn from personal interviews with Mark Gersh held on October 10, 1991, and January 14, 1992.
18.
With the exception of the information about the religious affiliation of NCEC

-54-

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