POLI 360 – Lecture 16
o Total spending has increased in presidential and congressional elections.
o More money used to be spent on presidential nomination campaigns than in the
general election because candidates can use public funding in the general election.
This is no longer true because candidates can raise more money on their own than
they would receive from public funding.
o Parties fund national conventions.
o Types of Party Expenditures
1. Direct Expenditures: money given to candidates by parties.
2. Coordinated Expenditures: money given to candidates for polls, ads, etc.
by the parties. These amounts of money are limited, but this type of
expenditure does give parties more control over where the candidates
spend the parties’ funds.
3. Soft Money: money that can be spent on party-building activities.
Basically any money that is not spent on federal campaigns, including
issue advocacy ads.
Soft money was created indirectly when public funding was
relegated to preferable sections of campaigning, such as ads and
direct mail, leaving few funds for party building. The 1979
Buckley v. Valeo decision exempted federal funds from being
spent on party building activities. o Democrats were more dependent on soft money than Republicans because
Democrats had fewer individual donors.
o The BCRA banned most soft money.
o Political Action Committees (PACs): political groups that fundraise and spend
money to influence different elections.
o Types of PACs
Sponsored PACs: set up by labor unions, trade associations, or
Nonconnected PACs: no sponsoring organizations; usually conservative
Leadership PACs: set up by incumbent congresspeople to distribute
funds to other candidates. These types of PACs create alliances, which are
highly valued by congresspeople looking to move up in the leadership.
o People can donate as much money as they like to PACs.
o Most PAC money goes to congressional