Please don't think me a hypocrite, but despite being a proud, dyed-in-the-wool corporate type, I have penned a con law piece. In my defense, I came up on the story honestly, while doing empirical work in securities. And it's just an essay! Hopefully it won't cost me too much in corporate street cred.
Here's the abstract:
The Supreme Court recently held that campaign contributions under $5200 do not create a “cognizable risk of corruption.” It was wrong. This Essay describes a nexus of timely contributions and special-interest legislation. In the most noteworthy case, a CEO made a first-time $1000 donation to a member of Congress. The next day that representative introduced a securities bill tailored to the interests of the CEO’s firm.
Armed with this real-world account of how small-dollar campaign contributions coincided with favorable legislative action, the Essay reads McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission with a critical eye. In McCutcheon the Supreme Court assumed that small-dollar donations do not pose a risk of corruption, and accordingly struck down aggregate contribution limits on the theory that the base limit of $5200 provides enough of a bulwark against corruption. This Essay suggests otherwise. The fact that the price of corruption is lower than commonly understood has fundamental repercussions for campaign finance law.
Tell me what you think!
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