What to Do about Self-Funded Campaigns

Capitol Hill Briefing
April 21, 2008 12:30PM
B-354 Rayburn House Office Building
Featuring John Samples, Director, Center for Representative Government, Cato Institute, and Ilya Shapiro, Senior Fellow, Center for Constitutional Studies and Editor-in-Chief, Cato Supreme Court Review, Cato Institute.
On April 22, just as Pennsylvania Democrats go the polls in the last large primary before their nominating convention, the Supreme Court will hear yet another challenge to the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law: The Millionaires’ Amendment attempts to discourage congressional candidates from spending more than $350,000 of their own money on their election campaigns. It penalizes expenditures above that threshold by allowing increased contribution limits and unlimited coordinated party expenditures for the self-financing candidate’s opponent. Does this penalty unconstitutionally chill protected political speech, or is there a compelling governmental interest at stake? How does self-financing impact corruption or the concept of a level playing field? Please join Cato scholars John Samples and Ilya Shapiro for a lively exploration of the Millionaires’ Amendment and other election regulations affecting this campaign season.