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Campaign Finance Reform Proposal Essay

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In the last election cycle, 132 Americans accounted for sixty percent of all the Super Political Action Committees (PACs) money (Lessig 2013). With statistics like this, it is no wonder the average American does not feel as though his or her vote is meaningful. In the current American way of government elections, the average citizen does not choose the candidate; he or she merely deciphers which best fits his or her beliefs the best out of the ones suggested by the large election donators. The question at hand here is whether there should be an amendment that limits the amount of money corporations and organizations can give to potential political figures, as well as organizations that fund these figures?
Elected officials are not wrong for taking funds, it just confirms that the citizens are not getting the voice they are supposed to have according to the constitution. This is why year after year incumbents are reelected, but the approval rating of congress is unsettlingly low. In the 2002 congressional elections, 94% of the candidates who raised the most money won their races (Ackerman & Ayres, 2002). It is a wonder why unpopular incumbents retain their seat in office. The only explanation is funds, and the trend has always been, the candidate with the most funds wins; most notably in congress; especially incumbents.
Candidates are not all to blame for this happening, though. A great deal of the problem can be attributed to the way the system is set up. Instead of candidates focusing on key interests, they instead focus on what will allow them to earn the most money. As Leslie Byrne, former representative from Virginia, was told when coming into Congress by a fellow member, "always lean to the green” (Lessig, 2010). For member...


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...nce. New Haven: Yale University Press.
“BUCKLEY v. VALEO." The Oyez Project. IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. Retrieved from http://www.oyez.org/cases/1970-1979/1975/1975_75_436/.
Edwards, Jan and Molly Morgan (2004). “Abolish Corporate Personhood”. Reclaim democracy Organization. Retrieved from http://reclaimdemocracy.org/abolish-corporate-personhood/.
Issacharoff, Samuel and Jeremy Peterman (2013). "Special Interests After Citizens United: Access, Replacement, and Interest Group Response to Legal Change.” New York University Law and Economics Working Papers. Retrieved from http://lsr.nellco.org/nyu_lewp/328.
Lessig, Lawrence (2010). “Neo-Progressives.” The Huffington Post. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lawrence-lessig/neoprogressives_b_704715.html.
Lessig, Lawrence (2013). Lester Land: The Corruption of Congress and How to End It. TED Conferences.



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