Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2394863
 


 



Party-Based Corruption and McCutcheon v. FEC


Michael S. Kang


Emory University School of Law

February 9, 2014

Northwestern Law Review Colloquy, Vol. 108, 2014, Forthcoming
Emory Legal Studies Research Paper No. 14-276

Abstract:     
This Essay presents a group-level theory of quid pro quo corruption and re-thinks under those terms the aggregate contribution limit challenged in McCutcheon v. FEC. Traditionally, quid pro quo corruption is understood as arising between a contributor and an individual candidate, but this understanding of quid pro quo corruption as limited to individual candidates, each isolated from one another, makes little sense given the pervasiveness of political parties in national politics and campaign finance. The aggregate limit plausibly addresses the risk of quid pro quo corruption, not only between the traditional dyad of contributor and individual candidate, but between contributor and his or her political party. Understanding the aggregate limit through this theory as a structural check on party-based, group-level corruption better captures the corruption worry about a contributor donating almost $4 million per federal election cycle than the anti-circumvention claims that pervaded the McCutcheon case. Although the group-level corruption contemplated here is less the corruption of a party than a concern about party-based corruption, the larger point is that national politics is mediated pervasively by partisan linkages — interconnecting individual candidates and officeholders — and these linkages belie an assumption that corruption is conceivable only at the level of the individual candidate.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 17

Keywords: political parties, campaign finance, contribution limit, McCutcheon

JEL Classification: K1, K19

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Date posted: February 13, 2014 ; Last revised: March 20, 2014

Suggested Citation

Kang, Michael S., Party-Based Corruption and McCutcheon v. FEC (February 9, 2014). Northwestern Law Review Colloquy, Vol. 108, 2014, Forthcoming ; Emory Legal Studies Research Paper No. 14-276. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2394863

Contact Information

Michael S. Kang (Contact Author)
Emory University School of Law ( email )
1301 Clifton Road
Atlanta, GA 30322
United States
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