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Opinion polls show that contributions to judicial candidates create an appearance of corruption. This perception damages the institutional legitimacy of the courts. This…
Opinion polls show that contributions to judicial candidates create an appearance of corruption. This perception damages the institutional legitimacy of the courts. This chapter explores the relationship between integrity ratings of Illinois trial judges and campaign contributions. Specifically, it examines the Illinois State Bar Association judicial poll integrity scores of 253 elected judges seated in 101 Illinois counties during 1994–2012. Regression analysis reveals that judicial candidates’ integrity scores declined as (a) the amount of attorney contributions increased; (b) the number of reported attorney contributors enlarged; and (c) the number of large attorney contributors grew. This chapter also discusses the efficacy and limitations of four policies meant to diminish the appearance of corruption: recusal and disqualification rules; anonymous contributions; public financing; and the elimination of the election of judges. Although a radical solution, the policy of abolishing judicial elections is more likely to overcome the appearance of corruption than the other reforms.
We explore the simultaneous influence of activist organizations and corporations on institutional change. Focusing on protests, campaign contributions, and lobbyists as…
We explore the simultaneous influence of activist organizations and corporations on institutional change. Focusing on protests, campaign contributions, and lobbyists as the strategies used by activist organizations and corporations to influence institutional change, we study the dynamics between movements and counter-movements and their influence on the probability of institutional change. In the context of the US tobacco industry, the results shed light on the effectiveness of these strategies and uncover potential moderators of this relationship. Overall, we demonstrate the simultaneous and asymmetric effects of activist organizations and corporations that use conspicuous and inconspicuous strategies to change institutions.
There is a perception in the United States that campaign contributions equate with vote buying. Outright vote buying is illegal, but many citizens believe that loopholes…
There is a perception in the United States that campaign contributions equate with vote buying. Outright vote buying is illegal, but many citizens believe that loopholes in campaign contribution laws allow some to buy votes while perpetuating a façade of legitimacy. Both federal and state laws attempt to regulate campaign contributions, but many of those have been limited by the Supreme Court’s ruling that campaign spending is considered free speech (Buckley vs. Valeo, 1976). Without the ability to limit campaign spending, the amount of money it takes to run a campaign, particularly a presidential campaign, has increased substantially. This had led to an increase in the use of bundling by presidential campaigns, with the winners often rewarding their bundlers. It has also led to an increase in outside independent organizations, known as Super PACs, with an unlimited ability to raise and spend money. This creates an additional problem as a small percentage of wealthy individuals constitute the vast majority of campaign contributors, leading to the perception that politicians cater to the elite. Whether a politician is affected by these factors or not is hard to prove, but it still leaves a perception by voters that their votes are less influential than large campaign contributors and there is always a risk that a vote has been bought.
We show that, in the US telecommunications industry, market participants have a sophisticated understanding of the political process, and behave strategically in their…
We show that, in the US telecommunications industry, market participants have a sophisticated understanding of the political process, and behave strategically in their allocation of contributions to state legislators as if seeking to purchase influence over regulatory policy. We find that interests respond defensively to contributions from rivals, take into account the configuration of support available to them in both the legislature and the regulatory commission, and vary their contributions according to variations in relative costs for influence by different legislatures. This strategic behavior supports a theory that commercially motivated interests contribute campaign resources in order to mobilize legislators to influence the decisions of regulatory agencies. We also report evidence that restrictions on campaign finance do not affect all interests equally. The paper therefore provides positive evidence on the nature and effects of campaign contributions in regulated industries where interest group competition may be sharp.
The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of the historical evolution of campaign finance laws and suggest the legal implications for public relations practitioners after the US Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United v. FEC.
The approach of this paper examines appellate case law and federal statutes to provide a legal analysis of the history of campaign finance laws and potential impact on public relations practitioners.
This research provides an overview of the evolution of campaign finance case law and federal statues in the USA and provides analysis of how the 2010 Citizens United case and a recent 2012 case, American Trade Partnership, are altering both the political and corporate landscapes. By allowing far greater contribution rights to corporations than any time since 1907, Citizens United is changing the role corporations may directly play in elections at all levels. Implications for how these changes may affect corporate public relations practitioners both professionally and ethically are discussed.
In a post-Citizens United era, corporate PR may now legally be engaged with many forms of highly political communications. Corporate PR may have a more political tone and ethical dilemmas may face practitioners who may be legally asked to perform communications tactics that are at odds with their political values.
Despite the academic analysis of Citizens United no study has evaluated the effect Citizens United and campaign finance laws on public relations practice.
This paper provides a perspective on the field of nonmarket strategy. It does not attempt to survey the literature but instead focuses on the substantive content of…
This paper provides a perspective on the field of nonmarket strategy. It does not attempt to survey the literature but instead focuses on the substantive content of research in the field. The paper discusses the origins of the field and the roles of nonmarket strategy. The political economy framework is used and contrasted with the current form of the resource-based theory. The paper argues that research should focus on the firm level and argues that the strategy of self-regulation can be useful in reducing the likelihood of challenges from private and public politics. The political economy perspective is illustrated using three examples: (1) public politics: Uber, (2) private politics: Rainforest Action Network and Citigroup, and (3) integrated strategy and private and public politics: The Fast Food Campaign. The paper concludes with a discussion of research issues in theory, empirics, and normative assessment.
This chapter examines the role that Citizens United v. FEC (2010) has played in shaping the current system of election spending in the United States. In Citizens United,…
This chapter examines the role that Citizens United v. FEC (2010) has played in shaping the current system of election spending in the United States. In Citizens United, the Court determined that individual rights to speech and expression can flow into the corporate entities they join. This chapter argues that the Court’s holding serves to redirect the focus of accountability away from those who seek to sway election outcomes through massive election spending and toward any efforts by government to regulate that type of spending. The practical result has been to allow for the creation of new organizations that can take in unlimited amounts of money while also effectively hiding the source of funds from disclosure. By muddying the waters of disclosure, these new entities – Super PACs and dark money organizations – lower the ability of citizens to maintain accountability over the electoral system. Finally, this chapter examines ways to encourage greater disclosure and accountability in government after Citizens United.
In both the academic and public policy realms, debates have gone on for decades concerning the influence of class-based interest groups on policymaking. Virtually no work…
In both the academic and public policy realms, debates have gone on for decades concerning the influence of class-based interest groups on policymaking. Virtually no work in this area compares influence in the U.S. with influence in Canada despite the fact that the countries provide interesting differences in the social and political contexts within which influence may occur. In this chapter, we analyze how receiving money from the same business and labor entities (“political action committees” in the U.S.) influences similarity in voting among legislators in the 105th U.S. House of Representatives (1997–1998). We then perform the same analysis for the 36th Canadian House of Commons (1997–2000). In the U.S., we find that sharing business contributors significantly affects vote similarity among legislators, whereas sharing labor contributors does not. This supports elite-power and class-based theories and bolsters the arguments of those who feel more campaign finance reform may be necessary. In Canada, however, sharing contributors of either type has no effect on vote similarity among parliamentarians, which supports state-centered theory and lends credence to those arguing additional reforms may be unnecessary. These findings suggest that structural context matters greatly for patterns of political power.