1997 年 12 巻 p. 145-157,287
During the past decade, the U. S. Congress has considered many proposals for campaign finance reform. One of the most prominent issues raised by contemporary campaign practices is the contribution of political action committees (PACs) and the substantial reliance of federal election candidates on PACs as a source of funding. The Congress watchdog body, Common Cause, has accused of PACs for its undue influence over the electoral process and the public policy.
This article summarizes the issues of campaign finance reform focusing on PACs and analyzes the former Common Cause's president Wertheimer's reform proposal. His proposal intends to curtail the influence of special-interest money, to create a competitive electoral process and to help restore the public confidence in the U. S. political system. We can characterize it as a neo-progressive grass-roots model. This grass-roots model disregards the explosion of groups and the new pluralism of the U. S. political system beginning 1970s, so can't see the positive role of PACs in the U. S. political system. The real reform proposal must take into account the positive role of PACs and its relation to the political party seriously. In the last section, this article summarizes the professor Sabato's another reform proposal characterized as a party-centered model and analyzes its merits and implications for the future of the U. S. campaign finance reform.