Ray La Raja

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    Campaign finance laws may be making political polarization worse by encouraging ‘purist’ donors.

Campaign finance laws may be making political polarization worse by encouraging ‘purist’ donors.

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Many Americans have become increasingly concerned over the role of money in politics, and back more populist approaches to reducing political donations. Raymond J. La Raja and Brian F. Schaffner, authors of Campaign Finance and Political Polarization: When Purists Prevail, argue that populist approaches such as imposing low contribution limits on parties, distort the campaign finance system in ways […]

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    Campaign finance laws that make small donations public may lead to fewer people contributing and to smaller donations.

Campaign finance laws that make small donations public may lead to fewer people contributing and to smaller donations.

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In the American states, campaign finance laws require disclosure of private information for contributors at relatively low thresholds ranging from $1 to $300. The Internet has made it relatively easy to publicize such information in a way that changes the social context for political participation. Ray La Raja looks at how public disclosure of campaign contributions affects citizens’ willingness […]

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    Being backed by extended party networks can mean a greater chance of electoral success for a Congressional challenger.

Being backed by extended party networks can mean a greater chance of electoral success for a Congressional challenger.

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Political parties play a central role in democracies, helping to mediate between citizens and governing elites by running candidates for office who promise to pursue policy programs.  But what if “the party” is really more of a collection of interest groups than a traditional party organization?  Using data from US congressional elections and campaign finance, Bruce Desmarais, Ray La […]

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