Thursday, March 04, 2004
The Federal Elections Commission has released data showing that after the passage of the "Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act" or BCRA, Senate candidates have raised a whopping 72% more than before the new law went into effect.
How could this happen? Well, maybe because the law passed by these very same Senators INCREASED rather than decreasing the size of the contributions that they could accept from the largest of donors.
House candidates, on the whole, have only raised 12% more than they were raising before BCRA. This is probably because House candidates tend to rely more on smaller donors, and rely more heavily on support from large groups of small donors organized in political action committees. The limits on what those groups can give or accept did not change in BCRA. Much of this PAC money is still coming from big donors, who can give up to $5000 to a PAC, but some of it comes in small amounts from the rest of us. Now, those small amounts matter less, while the big checks add up to even more.
When looking at the Senate and House combined, overall fundraising is up 32%. How exactly did the politicians of both parties get away with calling this reform?