The Crusade That Ate the Reform

In her article, The Crusade that Ate the Reform, Susan F. Rasky states that the Campaign Finance Legislation aims to specifically ban soft money contributions to national political parties. However, Rasky goes beyond the surface of this statement to explain what the law will actually accomplish in regards to changing campaign finance practices – subsidiaries continuing to furnish soft money, however they will do so as, “shadow parties” and put the money towards personal issue advocacy and independent expenditures on behalf of candidates.

The law will also raise the contribution limits of hard money that were set in 1974.These changes induced by the law may mean that accountants and organizations have to modify their personal practices, but the soft money will still be funneled into politics, one way or another. Rasky notes that attorney Steve Lucas calls the image of “shadow party” to mind when referring to the new ways subsidiaries can formulate their establishments to cater to the needs of their candidate.

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Furnishing soft money towards issue advocacy and independent expenditures breaks down into meaning that the political candidate can personally have advertisements against their opponents, rather than advertisements specific to their party. Also candidates may align themselves with the particular causes funded by “shadow party” entities, thus continually gleaning money raised for the “supposed” cause, not the candidate.In the end, while there should be no direct link between subsidiaries and political parties or candidates, the result is still the same. Money is being collected and channeled towards political means, only now they are being collected by non-profit organizations that support a candidate rather than national parties. As Rasky points out, the money that corrupts the core of democracy still remains the problem, only now it has a more elegant performance before it reaches the hands of the officials it supports.

Works CitedRasky, Susan F. “Campaign Finance: The Crusade That Ate the Reform.” Los Angeles Times 31May 2002: M1. Lexis-Nexis Academic.

27 May 2007 <>. 



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