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According to the organization, Open Secrets.Org (created to distribute information about our government to the American people in an easy to understand manner), over 6 billion dollars was spent during the 2016 electoral season here in the US.
For an example of just how much money was spent by our members of Congress for re-election, please take a look at the 2012 data below, and open the link for a summary of the money spent in 2014 for the Congressional races and the 2016 Presidential Race!
|Average Winner Spent||$1,567,293||$11,474,077|
|Average Loser Spent||$496,637||$7,435,446|
Some argue that political campaign costs are simply out of control. That the high cost of running for office in the 21st Century essentially excludes many Americans from becoming political candidates because they do not have the wealth or access to the wealth necessary to effectively win an election. Others argue that good candidates, regardless of personal wealth, can still run for office because campaign donors are attracted to strong candidates. Also, some argue that the difference in where donors live indicate a growing divide in American society (see the chart below). Note though, that some charge that the money coming from campaign donors can have a corrupting influence on the candidate.
Please take a look at the following two websites that compile public information about elections in the US to develop a better informed understanding of how much it actually costs to run a campaign in the US today.
And please watch the following short videos regarding campaign finance reform.
1. What do you think about this debate?
2. Do you think that campaign finance reform is even necessary?
3. Is there any evidence to document that campaign money corrupts politicians?
4. Are some spending caps needed?
** Explain your answer (and remember to cite your sources) but note that I do ask that you do not focus your attention on the Supreme Court’s Citizens United Case