Emory Law Journal


Michael S. Kang


Hyperpartisanship dominates modern American politics and government, but today’s politics are strikingly different from the preceding period of American history, a Cold War Era when bipartisanship and ideological moderation predominated. Hyperpartisanship was not the salient dynamic in American politics when campaign finance law began, and as a result, campaign finance law developed under strikingly different assumptions about American politics than the current prevailing circumstances. Today’s campaign finance law, inherited from this preceding era, is thus mismatched to the campaign finance of today. Campaign finance law focuses on individual candidates as the central actors in fundraising and misses the role of parties in organizing the campaign finance landscape. It therefore both systematically underestimates the risk that parties pose in collectivizing the potential for campaign finance corruption and overestimates the First Amendment values promoted by modern campaign finance when the parties today focus so heavily on mobilizing their base and preaching to the choir.

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