Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Shocker: Supreme Court Wrong on Effects of Money on Access

Congress to constituents: “Show me the money” "Matea Gold reports today on the first ever randomized field experiment to assess the influence of campaign contributions on legislators’ behavior."


"Moreover, the study findings directly undermine the logic behind numerous Supreme Court decisions on campaign finance, including Citizens United. In that case, the Court reasoned that because corporate election spending cannot be given directly to legislators, it would not facilitate influence with them. But the study authors note that the donor emails ‘did not state that the attendees had given to the legislator considering the request, merely that the attendees were ‘campaign donors’ in general. The results therefore support reformers’ assertions that campaign contributions may facilitate influence with a legislator even if not given to that particular legislator.’ In other words, simply alluding to the prospect of a donation was enough get legislators’ attention."

Here's an interview with the study authors, A new experiment shows how money buys access to Congress

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