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Funding Presidential Elections, Outline Example

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Outline

As of July 2012, the two main political parties had raised a combined total of over $1 Billion for the presidential campaign. The cost of running for president of the U.S. grows more expensive every year, and the candidates and their parties are constantly looking for new ways to raise money. Recent changes to the law now allow organizations to raise unlimited amounts of money from anonymous sources, thereby increasing the likelihood that these anonymous donors will be able to exert influence and power over candidates. With so much money coming from these powerful, anonymous sources, the voices of regular people are in danger of being entirely forgotten. The only way to save the political system from being controlled by the rich and powerful is to eliminate this form of private fundraising and establish a system of public funding for all candidates.

I. The History of Public Funding

  1. 1907 – President Theodore Roosevelt proposes public funding and the elimination of private contributions
  2. 1966- Congress enacts first public funding legislation
  3. 1971- Election Revenue Act establishes direct funding for presidential candidates; limits spending and eliminates private contributions to candidates who accept public funding

II. How Public Funding Works

  1. Eligibility- public funding is available to candidates nominated by recognized political parties
  2. Candidates in primaries may request matching funds to private contributions up to $250 of each private contribution
  3. Candidates in general elections may accept public funding for their campaigns, but must refuse private contributions

III. Public Funding Proposal

  1. Presidential campaigns typically choose private contributions over public funding because they can raise more money privately
  2. Candidates end up spending more time campaigning and fundraising than they do actually governing
  3. Eliminating private funding of presidential elections will level the playing field for all candidates

IV. Conclusion

With political campaigns becoming increasingly expensive, those candidates who can raise the most money have an advantage over other candidates, and the rich and powerful have too much influence over the political process. This is in direct opposition to the spirit of a free and democratic society. The only way to ensure that every voter has an equal voice in politics is to eliminate private funding of presidential campaigns. When candidates no longer have to spend all their time raising money, and are no longer beholden to the rich and powerful, they can devote their energies to important matters of public policy. This is the key to returning our nation to the true spirit of democracy.

References

Federal Election Commission (FEC).  Public funding of presidential elections. Congressional Digest. 91(1). January 2012.

Karl, Stark. Public funding for state elections. Policy Studies Journal. 36(4). November 2008.

Miller, Michael G. After the GAO report: what do we know about public election funding? Election Law Journal: Rules, Politics, and Policy. 10(3). September 2011.

Pace, Joseph Michael. Public funding of presidential campaigns and elections: Is there a viable future? Presidential Studies Quarterly. 24(1). Winter 1994.

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