Why do Democrats favor campaign finance “reform”?

The BCRA (Bipartisan Campaign [finance] Reform Act, a.k.a. “McCain-Feingold”) was passed with heavy Democrat support. The whole idea behind BCRA was ostensibly to limit the impact of large corporate donors on electoral campaigns. However, as Howard Nemerov explains, in practice BCRA did not lead to a large reduction in corporate donations — they merely shifted from the corporation itself to its employees, and (interestingly) the donation profiles of an employer and its employees appear to be strongly correlated.

What happened in practice is that, thanks to BCRA, Republican campaign donations barely kept up with inflation, while Democrat donations grew hand over fist. And somewhat counterintuitively, in terms of donations, Democrats became the party of big business.

“The law of unintended consequences” in action. Or were they truly unintended?


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