Title of Oral/Poster Presentation

Of, By and For Utahns, Not New Yorkers; Analysis of an Amendment Proposal

Class

Article

Graduation Year

2017

College

College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Department

Political Science Department

Faculty Mentor

Damon Cann

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Abstract

If 2016 voters agree on anything, it’s a frustration with the influence of outside money on politics. Senator Bernie Sanders had surprising success in the Democratic primary because, in part, he appealed to voter cynicism with his relentless criticism of the “donor class” and “donor control of politicians.” President-Elect Donald Trump echoed this theme, telling GOP primary voters that he is “not controlled by…donors, special interests” unlike “politicians”. Whether you believe Trump or Sanders are “working for the people”, their success reflects a deep desire by voters to have their policy preferences placed ahead of campaign contributors.

In recent election cycles, New Yorkers have contributed more to Utah Senators than Utahns. So did Californians. Some might ask why campaign donors from NY or CA should have any financial influence who represents Utah in the U.S. Senate? Is there an institutional change that will better align the interests of politicians with their voters?

Obviously, the answer is not more billionaire self-funding candidates. Despite broad popular appeal for reform, efforts to reduce donor influence have stalled. However, what if only registered voters could donate to campaigns? What if an Article V Amendment, ratified by 34 states, made this “constitutional”? It won't solve all our electoral problems, but exactly what effect will it have?

This is our research project's objective. If such an amendment restricts campaign contributions to registered voters, what is the effect on campaigns and governance? How much money would Speaker Ryan raise if limited to registered voters in his Wisconsin CD? Would Utah Senators vote differently on certain issues if he could only raise money from Utahns? Working with my faculty sponsor, Dr. Damon Cann, we will present analysis of the potential effects of such a proposal on our political institutions.

Location

South Atrium

Start Date

4-13-2017 12:00 PM

End Date

4-13-2017 1:15 PM

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Apr 13th, 12:00 PM Apr 13th, 1:15 PM

Of, By and For Utahns, Not New Yorkers; Analysis of an Amendment Proposal

South Atrium

If 2016 voters agree on anything, it’s a frustration with the influence of outside money on politics. Senator Bernie Sanders had surprising success in the Democratic primary because, in part, he appealed to voter cynicism with his relentless criticism of the “donor class” and “donor control of politicians.” President-Elect Donald Trump echoed this theme, telling GOP primary voters that he is “not controlled by…donors, special interests” unlike “politicians”. Whether you believe Trump or Sanders are “working for the people”, their success reflects a deep desire by voters to have their policy preferences placed ahead of campaign contributors.

In recent election cycles, New Yorkers have contributed more to Utah Senators than Utahns. So did Californians. Some might ask why campaign donors from NY or CA should have any financial influence who represents Utah in the U.S. Senate? Is there an institutional change that will better align the interests of politicians with their voters?

Obviously, the answer is not more billionaire self-funding candidates. Despite broad popular appeal for reform, efforts to reduce donor influence have stalled. However, what if only registered voters could donate to campaigns? What if an Article V Amendment, ratified by 34 states, made this “constitutional”? It won't solve all our electoral problems, but exactly what effect will it have?

This is our research project's objective. If such an amendment restricts campaign contributions to registered voters, what is the effect on campaigns and governance? How much money would Speaker Ryan raise if limited to registered voters in his Wisconsin CD? Would Utah Senators vote differently on certain issues if he could only raise money from Utahns? Working with my faculty sponsor, Dr. Damon Cann, we will present analysis of the potential effects of such a proposal on our political institutions.