Financing the 2004 Election

Financing the 2004 Election

David B. Magleby
Anthony Corrado
Kelly D. Patterson
Copyright Date: 2006
Pages: 281
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  • Book Info
    Financing the 2004 Election
    Book Description:

    In the wake of recent legislation, court challenges, and demands for reform, campaign finance remains one of the most important and controversial aspects of the world's oldest democracy. Since 1960, Financing the Election volumes have presented reliable information on the costs and trends of campaign finance in the United States. In establishing the parameters of electoral campaigns and political spending -and interpreting the results -Financing the 2004 Election provides a unique resource for readers and citizens interested in the current state of politics and money in America. Financing the 2004 Electionincorporates many of the features that have made previous editions so important. It employs authoritative analysis of spending by interest groups, political parties, and individual candidates, including data that enables examination of long-term trends. The contributors, all eminent political analysts, also examine spending patterns in different types of elections, including Senate and House races. This timely new volume pays special attention to the effects of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA). It contrasts campaign finance in 2004 with the ways in which national campaigns were financed before BCRA. The authors also draws lessons from 2004 for future reforms at the state and federal levels.

    eISBN: 978-0-8157-5440-4
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-x)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xi-xiv)
  4. ONE Change and Continuity in the Financing of Federal Elections
    (pp. 1-29)

    The federal election of 2004 centered on the contest for the presidency. Even though races for the White House traditionally overshadow congressional contests, the extent to which parties, groups, and individuals concentrated resources on this contest was unusual. According to Bob Farmer, a veteran of five presidential campaigns and John Kerry’s treasurer in the primaries, it was “much larger than anything I’ve seen in the past. The stakes … very high.”¹ This heightened interest drew record levels of money and resources. By most measures, it was the longest, most expensive, and most closely followed presidential election in decades.

    Part of...

  5. TWO The Regulatory Environment: Uncertainty in the Wake of Change
    (pp. 30-67)

    The federal elections of 2004 were the first in more than twenty years to be conducted under a major new regulatory statute: the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA), which took effect after the 2002 elections. Though not a comprehensive reform, BCRA made significant changes in the rules governing the financing of federal campaigns. It barred party committees from raising and spending unregulated funds, commonly known as soft money, which had become a major source of party funding in recent elections. The law also addressed the problems associated with candidate-specific issue advocacy advertising in federal elections by explicitly defining...

  6. THREE Spending in the 2004 Election
    (pp. 68-92)

    Nobody knew quite what to expect of federal campaign financing going into the 2004 election cycle. It was, after all, the first election conducted under the new campaign finance laws instituted by the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA) of 2002. Political scientists, pundits, and practitioners had their hunches, some well grounded in solid theory and past experience. Scholars, for example, looked at the interests and abilities of past campaign participants to extrapolate candidate and interest group practices in the new regulatory framework.¹ Few expected the pace of spending by presidential candidates to slacken, although with the ban on soft money,...

  7. FOUR Financing the 2004 Presidential Nomination Campaigns
    (pp. 93-125)

    The financing of the 2004 presidential nomination campaigns was extraordinary by any standard: it set a record for the total funds raised and spent by the major party nominees as well as for spending by interest groups. The reasons are not hard to find. For one thing, the 2004 campaign was a highly competitive affair, encouraging intensive and innovative fundraising. These efforts were aided by new campaign finance laws that doubled the individual contribution limits for federal candidates and encouraged the expansion of outside interest group spending, especially by 527 committees.

    Of greater import, however, was the continued decay of...

  8. FIVE Financing the 2004 Presidential General Election
    (pp. 126-148)

    The financing of the 2004 presidential general election effectively began when John Kerry emerged as the Democratic Party’s presumptive nominee in early March. From that point on, Kerry and President George Bush, who was unchallenged for the Republican nomination, were for all intents and purposes competing in a general election contest. As a result, almost all of Kerry’s spending after March was intended to influence voting in the general election. By the time of the nomination vote at the Democratic national convention in late July, which under federal campaign finance law signaled the start of the formal general election period...

  9. SIX Financing the 2004 Congressional Elections
    (pp. 149-182)

    The 2004 congressional elections occurred in the shadow of a hotly contested presidential race. Despite the attention on President George W. Bush and Senator John Kerry, several congressional elections offered their fair share of drama. Some Democrats believed they could make significant inroads into the Republican majority in the House of Representatives and even win control of the Senate; many Republicans hoped to increase their seats in both chambers and perhaps win enough seats in the Senate to make it harder for the Democrats to use the filibuster to obstruct the GOP’s policy agenda. To add to the pressures, candidates,...

  10. SEVEN A New Rule Book: Party Money after BCRA
    (pp. 183-207)

    For all the challenges of the 2004 elections, political party organizations at the national, state, and local levels came through the experience with an impressive adaptability. The long-promised campaign finance reform bill signed into law in March 2002 for the 2004 campaign cycle left party committees facing many uncertainties. Although they had the law’s provisions before them to help guide their fundraising and expenditure planning, they would spend much of 2003 waiting for court decisions and specific rules from the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to see if their plans would still be legal. Consequently, the cycle was filled with dire...

  11. EIGHT Interest Groups and Financing the 2004 Elections
    (pp. 208-240)

    From the nation’s beginning, political campaigns have been a focal point for those interests that understood their fortunes were dependent upon helping elect public officials sympathetic to their values and policy preferences. But until relatively recently, that assistance was not typically delivered via widespread and organized group participation in electoral activities. The groups that did participate were ordinarily content to simply endorse candidates, encourage their members to vote and get involved in campaigns, and to contribute money to parties and candidates. Organized interests historically have been subservient to parties and candidate campaign organizations, supportive, but normally not engaged in electioneering...

  12. NINE Lessons for Reformers
    (pp. 241-260)

    The highly contentious debate associated with the passage and constitutional defense of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA) not surprisingly carried over into analyses of the law’s impact during the 2004 election cycle. Critics quickly unfurled their venerable banner—“The Law of Unintended Consequences”—to highlight developments that they saw undermining the objectives of BCRA’s framers. They cited a surge in campaign fundraising and spending, the dominance of new 527 organizations financed largely by wealthy individuals, the collapse of the presidential public finance system, and the further decline of competition in congressional elections. Supporters generally took a more sanguine view...

  13. Contributors
    (pp. 261-262)
  14. Index
    (pp. 263-281)
  15. Back Matter
    (pp. 282-282)