The New Price Of American Politics Analysis

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In the article “The New Price of American Politics”, James Bennet looks at the views of both scholar Jim Bopp Jr. and former FEC Commissioner Trevor Potter. Bopp favors more money and larger donations in campaign politics, and argues that corporations, billionaires, and outside groups should not be prevented from embracing their freedom of speech when it comes to campaigning. He believes that fewer, bigger donations may eventually allow for politicians to spend more time with voters. Bopp fights to knock down laws and regulations which keep money from entering politics, and believes that the campaign finance system shuts out some groups from expressing their support financially for candidates. Meanwhile, Potter, one of the leading lawyers behind …show more content…
McCain-Feingold set out to ban soft money and to regulate certain political advertisements. However, Bopp took this as a way to protect incumbents and to shut political parties out of campaigning. Potter believes, however, that the mindset that “Congress is entirely self-serving” by conservatives on the Supreme Court is keeping restrictions from being placed on contributions. In part due to Citizens United, laws have been passed which allow for money to be raised and spent in campaigns like never before. Super PACs, which formed as a result of the ruling, can raise and spend campaign money without disclosing their sources. Super PACs may be useful for candidates to raise unlimited contributions, which Bopp argues is needed for an accountable and transparent finance system, and to create advertisements, which criticize opponents, that candidates are not responsible for. Potter, unlike Bopp, does not support this. Potter believes that the ruling allows for campaigns and “outside operatives” to, although they may not directly coordinate with one another, whatever this may constitute, communicate with one another through the …show more content…
In a reading we read earlier in the year, David Mayhew in Congress: The Electoral Connection argued that a “Capitol Hill office normally prepares two form letters to send out to constituent letter writers-one for the pros and one (not directly contradictory) for the antis”. Although it took House members, on average, $1,689,580 to win a seat in Congress in 2012 and Senators, on average, $10,476,451, according to Federal Elections Commission data on the 2012 election, members of Congress will continue to seek more money. I do not believe that just because a Congress-member has more money due to large contributions from a few individuals that they will attempt to appeal to all constituents, regardless of whether their socioeconomic class contributed to a campaign. Members of Congress will continue to kiss-up to the wealthy to gain their votes, while continuing to send two forms of the same constituent letter to attempt to gain votes. The message is not going to be “pertinent” to voters, as Bopp suggests, but rather the same message twisted to appeal to all potential voters. Politicians will not stop wanting money, and will continue to do all in their power to gain as much as

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