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It's Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the New Politics of Extremism
The New Campaign Finance Sourcebook has been integrated with the award-winning and frequently visited Brookings website to provide a timely, interactive tool for policymakers, journalists, and scholars. Four of the country's leading experts on campaign finance reform have contributed original essays on important facets of finance law and administration. The essays are accompanied by a list of corresponding documents available on the website. The book offers a thorough overview and analysis of this highly controversial issue, including the history of campaign finance regulation and the current state of the law, current practices and trends in the flow of money, the constitutional debate, the use of political party money, issue advocacy, public financing of presidential elections, implementing and enforcing campaign finance laws, and campaigning on the internet. The authors conclude with a broad overview of alternative approaches to reform.The related website (www.brookings.edu/campaignfinance) features sidebars that correspond to the book's chapters as well as associated documents. The site is frequently updated with recent developments in campaign finance regulation and analyses of current court cases and administrative decisions. There are also links to advisory opinions from the Federal Elections Commission, nonprofit organizations that study reform, and related publications-.
"Vital Statistics on Congress" remains the quintessential source of authoritative information on America's legislature. This important series tracks the elements that define and describe Congress in the post?World War II era, and in this new edition, three of America's most esteemed political analysts extend their examination through the 109th Congress. They combine historical context with insightful analysis and copious data to produce a valuable and authoritative picture of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. Norman Ornstein, Thomas Mann, and Michael Malbin track the changing makeup of Congress through history and across several dimensions, such as region, party, occupation, religion, committee assignments, staff size, and political stances. They document trends in critical areas such as voter turnout, ticket splitting, incumbency and turnover, and margin of victory. The authors, acknowledged experts in campaign finance, provide detailed information on candidate, party, and PAC spending. The material presented in l "Statistics on Congress 2008 rev r"eveals a fascinating and important picture of America's chosen representatives, as politicians and as people. It will be an important addition to the bookshelves of media, political professionals, scholars and their students, and political junkies everywhere.
Public opinion pools have become staples of contemporary political reporting, and most national news organizations have sophisticated in-house polling operations. The increased number and quality of polls conducted and reported by the press give the public a chance to help see the agendas of campaigns and define the meaning of elections.
Yet competition and the need for fast responses to events often lead news organizations to misuse polls in a way that diminishes rather than enhances democracy. Polls can shape public opinion as well as describe it; they can set the news agenda and influence the coverage of political events in ways hostile to a constructive dialogue between citizens and their leaders.
In this volume, media specialist and well-known reporters provide a comprehensive survey of the problems and possibilities of polling by media organizations in the 1990s and beyond. Thomas Mann and Gary Orren analyze the strengths and weaknesses of media polls and their impact on American politics. Everett Carll Ladd and John Benson discuss the extraordinary growth of polling in news organizations for the past two decades. Kathleen Frankovic addresses the tension between the needs of news organizations for quick results and the need to preserve the standards of survey research. Henry Brady and Gary Orren examine the most serious methodological problems with news media polls. Michael Kagay explores the sources of well-publicized variability in poll findings. Michael Traugott considers the complicated question of how polls influence the public and whether their effects are benign or harmful. Finally, E. J. Dionne, Jr. examines media organizations' obsession with polls and the impact polls have on reporters.
The authors offer recommendations for improving the conduct and use of media polls so that citizens can make better informed and enlightened decisions about the public agenda.
In 2002 Congress enacted the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA), the first major revision of federal campaign finance law in a generation. In March 2001, after a fiercely contested and highly divisive seven-year partisan legislative battle, the Senate passed S. 27, known as the McCain-Feingold legislation. The House responded by passing H.R. 2356, companion legislation known as Shays-Meehan, in February 2002. The Senate then approved the House-passed version, and President George W. Bush signed BCRA into law on March 27, 2002, stating that the bill had "flaws" but overall "improves the current system of financing for federal campaigns."The Reform Act was taken to court within hours of the President's signature. Dozens of interest groups and lawmakers who had opposed passage of the Act in Congress lodged complaints that challenged the constitutionality of virtually every aspect of the new law. Following review by a special three-judge panel, the case is expected to reach the U.S. Supreme Court in 2003.This litigation constitutes the most important campaign finance case since the Supreme Court issued its decision in Buckley v. Valeo more than twenty-five years ago. The testimony, submitted by some of the country's most knowledgeable political scientists and most experienced politicians, constitutes an invaluable body of knowledge about the complexities of campaign finance and the role of money in our political system. Unfortunately, only the lawyers, political scientists, and practitioners actually involved in the litigation have seen most of this writing until now.Ins ide the Campaign Finance Battle makes key testimony in this historic case available to a general readership, in the process shedding new light on campaign finance practices central to the congressional debate on the reform act and to the landmark litigation challenging its constitutionality.
The Republican Party currently enjoys an edge. The advantage can be seen in Congress, state politics, judicial rulings, foreign and domestic policy, party finances, the media, public attitudes, and economic and demographic developments. Yet the Republicans do not seem capable of translating this into a durable electoral majority.
Conditions now exist within American politics that will facilitate the establishment of Republican rule. Many of these conditions have ripened during the past decade. They include rules governing elections and campaign finance, shifts in core political values among the public that are consistent with Republican philosophy, and fundamental social and economic changes in American society that are likely to increase the ranks of Republican voters. The author explains in lucid, engaging terms how Republicans have taken control of both houses of Congress and experienced a remarkable resurgence at the state level. He explores how conservatives are utilizing the courts to simultaneously move policy rightward and mobilize sympathetic parts of the electorate. He also examines social and economic changes to show how racial politics, religiosity, and the nature of work and wealth benefit today's Republican Party.
Republican rule should not be confused with Republican realignment. These conditions will advantage Republicans in future elections and bring about consistent Republican control of government at all levels--federal, state, and local, executive, legislative, and judicial. However, current conditions do not guarantee the kind of enduring Republican majority many journalists and strategists have predicted. Taylor explains the factors that will prohibit the Republicans from fully exploiting their advantages and dominating American politics the way the Democrats did in the 30 years following the New Deal. These factors include internal and intractable tensions within the Republican Party, the parties' sophisticated political information gathering strategies, and the innate risk aversion of the campaign industry.