“A Realistic Version of Campaign Finance Reform and Two Essential Steps Toward a Return to Effective Governance”

Richard Pierce has posted this draft on SSRN (forthcoming George Mason Law Review). Here is the abstract:

This essay is a contribution to a symposium on “The Administration of Democracy.” Professor Pierce argues in support of a system of campaign finance reform that would eliminate all limits on contributions to candidates and require all candidate campaigns and PACs to report promptly all contributions. He argues that such a system would respect freedom of speech, reduce the amount of irresponsible negative advertising and allow the members of the public to decide whether they want to vote for a candidate who accepts money from sources they dislike or distrust.

Professor Pierce also urges major changes to our methods of selecting candidates for office, the rules that determine whether a Bill can be considered on the floor of the House, and the rules for choosing the leadership of the House of Representatives. He explains why he believes that replacement of the use of primaries to choose candidates for office with a peer-based method, elimination of the “Hastert rule,” and changing the rules applicable to electing the leadership of the House are critical to our ability to continue to function as an effective Democracy.

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