Soft Money: It?S Elimination From Governmental Campaigns

1522 words - 7 pages


Soft Money: It’s Elimination from Governmental Campaigns

     The current use of soft money in the US Governmental elections is phenomenal. The majority of candidates funding comes from soft money donations. Congress has attempted to close these funding loop holes; however they have had little success. Soft money violates standards set by congress by utilizing the loop hole found in the Federal Election Commission’s laws of Federal Campaigns. This practice of campaign funding should be eliminated from all governmental elections.
     In 1907 it was considered illegal for any corporation to spend money in connection with a federal election. ...view middle of the document...

The way the money flows is basically from the corporation or union to the political party which the donator favors. The spending of soft money is usually controlled by the political parties; however it is done in great coordination with the candidate. Aside from unions and corporations special interest groups have been large supporters of soft money. These groups band together for a candidates such as groups for, textiles, tobacco, and liquor. The textile giant Fruit of the Loom, successfully lobbied a campaign which stopped an extension of NAFTA benefits to Caribbean and Central American nations. Joseph E. Seagram and Sons stayed off public hearings on their airing of TV and radio liquor ads, because their big contributions bought them "protection(Soft Money)." The Oil production industry battled the Senate to prevent new laws which would end the low royalties it pays for drilling on public property(Drilling). To fight this battle they contributed a total of $26 million dollars to the Republican Party, who doesn’t favor the Senate on the drilling bill(Drilling). It is examples such as this that show precise reasons why soft money should be eliminated. In December 1998, Money magazine estimated that the federal government spends $48 billion dollars a year on unnecessary special interest issues(Political Parties). A large sum considering the issues are “unnecessary.” This just goes to show the American public that large groups with money can sway federal elections through campaign contributions.
     If any American is wondering weather the problem of soft money is getting any better, the answer is, it’s not. While not really exploited until 1988, the use of soft money has literally exploded in the past few elections. In 1992, soft money contributions totaled $86 million dollars, and then jumped to $101 million in 1996(Campaign Finance). According to figures released by the Federal Election Commission, the Republican Party and its campaign committees raised $86.4 million in soft money between January 1, 1999 and March 31st, 2000. That's a staggering 93 percent increase over the same period in the 1995-1996 election cycle. Democrats did almost as well, raising $77 million for its party committees, about 94 percent above the 1995-1996 figures. This total up to $163.4 million dollars in soft money raised for the 2000 Presidential Election (Political Parties). This simply shows the startling increase in soft money contributions. Former DNC fundraiser Johnny Chung said about the business of campaigns that "the White House is like a subway - you have to put in coins to open the gates. (Political Parties)" Funding through soft money is turning into a perpetual campaign practice that has begun to dominate Federal Elections. In fact, it has become a debate of not who practices these means of funding, but a debate of who gets more from it. Democrats argue that Republicans have long been the main beneficiaries...

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