Sunday, October 23, 2016

Campaign Finance_Youhanna

Campaign Finance helps a candidate to achieve their goals when it comes to spreading their ideas and their names to win. Sometimes money circulates and private donors contribute without exposing their names in order to unbalance the campaign. Some argue that being a private donor is their first amendment right, which guarantees freedom of speech and assembly, and therefore they think it is their freedom to do so. In the documentary, Big Sky, Big Money, the same argument was stated, as many of the people involved took sides of the argument and their opinion of Citizens United. First of all, the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) in 1971 had a set of requirements for candidates and parties, but the finance laws were hard to enforce. Then amendments were made in the Buckley v. Valeo Supreme court case, in which had limitations on expenditures and had limitations on contribution for a candidate. It set limit to the amount of money to spend on a campaign. Another set of amendments was McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Law (aka Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act) in which it was prohibited to spend non-federal funds in which is known as "soft money" and would not allow the issue ads in the public. The case Citizens United v. FEC, it was ruled that private companies should be able to support their candidate as they wish to do so under the first amendment, and therefore influence the campaign. They might not directly give the money to the candidate but they would influence the public by their ads, etc. The arguments for is that the private company, under the first amendment, has its every right to support the candidate they want. They should use their money to help the candidate in any way possible. The argument against includes the fact that money should be restricted and that the private companies create bias ideas about the other candidate they do not want to support, changing the view of the public.In my opinion, the private donors should state who they are in order to make the campaign finance more fair. They should not allow the "soft money" to be around and there should not be the false advertisements that were shown in the documentary Big Sky, Big Money and there should a better way of spending money. Donors should be known to the public and they should not just be a mailbox at a UPS store in Pennsylvania. These private companies that are donating to candidates influence the campaign greatly in just a few days, as we saw in the documentary, but with stricter laws the country can control the bias in campaigns. There should be limited amount of money to spend on a campaign because the campaign would be more fair. Citizens United v FEC was the created problem and should be fixed to allow our country to have its fair democracy.  

Political Finance - Dyar Othman

Support For Political Finance

Political finances should be our own choices. If it wasn't our choice to donate anonymously or help a political group financially, then why do we even have our first amendment right. The first amendment is incorporated in political finances because it gives us the freedom to do what we want and that includes supporting a campaign in whatever way we want. I highly support the Citizens United vs FEC, because it is the only thing helping us individuals who are part of corporations and unions to support our candidates.

Against Political Finance

I believe that political finance should be very limited because this could lead to unfair advantages. That's why I support the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act because I think we should limit committee from raising money for political groups. I also agree with the Buckley v. Valeo ruling, that there should be great limits to election spendings. This ties into the documentary, " Big Money, Big Sky," because the documenter explains are presents to us how corrupt political financing can be such as with the organization WTP.

My Actual Response

I truly believe that political financing should be limited, because it is what makes our government corrupt, by giving one side an extremely unfair advantage. Like in the documentary, we can see the supporters who share large portions of their money with political parties, also aim to aggressively take down the other party. I think there should be individual donations that are allowed, but when large corporations and anonymous organizations are involved, then there should be regulations.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Campaign Finance_Beltran

Less Strict Campaign Finance Laws:

The 1st Amendment allows people the freedom to press, assembly, and petition and limiting such issues is unconstitutional. In this sense, not allowing citizens to contribute to parties is like not permitting them to participate in the government and be part of their system. The case between Buckley vs.Valeo tried to limit the donating money from a specific individual but allowed corporates to donate from their treasuries to candidates wanting to be part of the political system in the United States of America. Many people may not be part of a corporate and therefore can not donate and can be seen as restricting a person's right to do what they want with their money. Because of this, the Biprstan Campaign Reform Act was created in order to regulate the financing of political campaigns that is viewed as a barrier for a person that wants to donate out of the kindness of their heart. This measure increased drastically the making of advocacy ads since the regulation of money being spent to directly aid a political party. People felt like this was not right, which in many ways it was, and the Citizens vs. FEC court case arouse stating the 1st Amendment is broken when corporations are limited on spending on candidates of their choosing. In the document called Big Sky, Big Money describes private non-profit organizations as bad and not just people willing to stand up for what they believe in a peaceful manner and with resources they earned.

More Strict Campaign Finance Laws:

Money has really dictated over whose voice is heard and whose is not. Overall, those with more money tend to be listened to and their ideas put on display despite major opposition. The case of Buckley vs. Valeo highlights how its limits on individuals with more than enough money to donate to specific candidates that they feel will represent the people as a whole better without keeping in mind that many others may disagree greatly. Even though the case only limits individuals, it does not limit big corporations that have more money than an individual that is seen as rich. Allowing such specific companies creates a bias on who really represents the people and not these individual monopolies. This issue was further brought to light during the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Law also known as the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act went on the regulate the financing of political campaigns. This step was very good in creating a better and fairer playing field for those trying to run as an advocate of the people of its state. Finally, this has led to the Citizens United versus the FEC case has caused a non-profit organization to continue to donate undocumented money because it is seen as going against the first Amendment of freedom of speech. The freedom of speech should just allow that, and not a form of writing off money going to support and facilitate inequality in the political system. An example of how unfair the money of outside sources causes for the chance of a person to be elected can be seen in the document called Big Sky, Big Money.


I believe that as elections go for any type of leadership position should be given based on who and how a person is and their own drive to do well for those he or she will represent. I do not think that big corporations that may have no involvement at all with the individuals in the certain area should be allowed to aid with money that is only benefitting a candidate they want. The candidate that is getting no financial assistance is running against someone who has more by receiving handouts that they did not earn and in many ways did not want. The political system and how it runs has already had many issues were it seen as corrupt and invalid, this only reveals why it is thought as that way. Stricter Campaign Finance Laws will only demonstrate how truly a person is willing to run to become a leader with good intentions and keep in mind the overall good of the people and thier voice and opinions.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Campaign Finance_Zidan

  1. According to the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Law, regulation for financing political campaigns is crucial because it restricts people with money to manipulate the outcome. Just like in the documentary Big Sky, Big Money where in Montana outside groups contributed more than 70% of political media and it impacted the election greatly. The WTP picked out their favorite candidate that worked for their favor and made sure they win and as long as they have money, they are capable of doing so.
  2. Using money to support a candidate that you like should not be prohibited like how Citizens United v. FEC case argued that an individual cannot contribute to a political campaign unless they are apart of a larger corporation and it cannot be regulated because it goes against the first amendment. McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Law also argued the individuals should be regulated. As part of the first amendment, freedom of speech includes money contribution to what ever party or person you favor.
People should be able to donate as much as they want, including large company, to any party or indivisual they favor. Just because a person does not like it does not mean its unconstitutional, I believe that money brings people power and their power should not be regulated because others can't compete. Their money is earned and they should be able to spend it however way they want including financing political campaign.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Political Participation_Zidan

1. What are two reasons the voter turnouts are so low and explain?
Voter turnout vary based on a person's location to their age. Some people find it hard to register or too difficult because they don't try. Another reason is young people now don;t pay attention to politics or they think that them voting won't be a difference and what is more scary is that younger people are registering more and more as independent voters.
2.Why are the voter turn out decreasing?
There is a trend of decline of voter turn out since the 1960. People do not trust the government enough to pay attention to them and vote because people of all ages, mostly young people, believe that they don't make a big difference.
3.How did voters increase since the finding of our country?
In the beginning only white adult male had the right to vote but over the years changed as amendments were passed. For an example, the 15th amendment gave he right to all male African American adults to vote after a long war between the north and the south. Another example is the 19th amendment which gave the right to all adult women to vote and that increase the voter turnout because the women occupy half the american population.
4.What are two characteristic that increase the likely hood of voters?
One factor is the education level, the more educated a person is the more active or more informed of the political aspect of the country which make them more likely to vote because they care. Another factor is age, the older you are the more likely you would vote because they are more informed and they want to know what is going on because it affects them like social security and healthcare plans.
5.what are two ways to participate in politics?
One is running for office like running for president or local mayor. It can vary from presidency to senator or mayor of a small town. Another way is donate to the person you support running for office to show support.

Reflection Questions:
1. What are something that the government is doing to rebuilt the trust they have lost?
2. How can teens be more involved and more informed about politics?
3. Why do local campaigns matter so much?
4. How did young people become so dis involved with politics?

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Political Participation-Youhanna

Questions (Creation):
1. Explain some of the institutional barriers when it comes to reasons for low voter turnout.
Some institutional barriers include include registration, and it should be either eliminated or lowered by number so people find it easier. Also, the long ballots discourage people from voting because of a lot of props. Another is that there are too many elections and the type of election matters, and this bores people until the presidential election occurs. In addition, young people in their nature do not vote.
2. Explain the difference between voters in the US and voters in other industrialized nations, and why more people in industrialized nations vote more.
In other industrialized nations, like England, people have to vote or else they would face some sort of fine, and that is how almost 90% of people are voting. In US, it is your responsibility to vote, but you have the choice not to. So overall, industrialized nations vote more.
3. How can the government increase number of voters?
The government can increase the number of voters if the people trust the government more. More and more, the people feel that the government it lying to them. Also, the ballot is a big issue because of the how long it is; the ID voters laws also make people vote less, but if the government fix the ballots, then it should see a rise in voters. Finally, it should encourage young voters to vote.
4. Explain why young people do not vote and why older people do.
Young people do find politics interesting and they do not think that politics are important to our country. Older people feel like they should vote because they do care about the country more. That is why you see more laws passed for older people.
5. Explain what the 15th, 19th, 26th amendment are and how they affected the historical voting trends.
The 15th amendment gave black males the right to vote, and this increased the number of voters. The 19th amendment gave women the right to vote, so half of the population was added to the voting numbers, increasing the number of voters. Then the 26th amendment lowered the age restriction from 21 to 18 years of age, but this decreased the number of voters because young people do not vote and do not care about politics.
6. What are some characteristics of a likely voter?
The characteristics of a likely voter are the education level, income, age, and race. The more educated the person is the more likely they would be interested, and also the higher the income. Age matters because the older the person, the more interested they would be. Also, depending on the race of the person, the more they vote. For example, white people vote more than African-American.
7. Explain two other ways of participating in politics.
One way to participate in politics is to run for office, since it is a very simple process and very few requirement. Another is to join an interest group, which targets a very specific issue in government.
8. Explain how the media can affect voting behavior.
Media, which is how campaigns are covered, matters because the media can either encourage one candidate over another. They might even spread a certain lie, or sometimes fact, and it can change the perspective of the viewers about a certain candidate.

1. How can younger people, younger than the age of 18, be involved in politics?
2. How can the government rebuild trust in its people? Where did mistrust start in history?
3. How can a city promote a certain presidential candidate?
4. Can historical past affect the demographics and therefore affect the voters turnout?