Soft Money and Hard Choices: Why Political Parties Might Legislate Against Soft Money Donations
June 19, 2009
Public Choice, Vol. 123, Nos. 3-4, pp. 411-438, 2005
In contrast to the bulk of the campaign finance literature that highlights political action committee (PAC) contributions and single donations, this paper emphasizes soft money and the rationale for dual contributions. Employing a formal model of unregulated contributions and political access, we show that donors will rationally choose to contribute to both political parties. While the parties accept these dual contributions, they lead to an imbalance between the benefits of contributions and the costs of providing access. This race to acquire unlimited soft money leads to a situation where the parties agree to campaign finance reform legislation.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 35
Keywords: campaign finance, campaign finance reform, campaign funding, political funding, party funding, party finance, donations, political donations, access, political access, dual contributions, politcal action committee, soft money, campaign finance legislation
Date posted: June 22, 2009