Saturday, August 11, 2012

Unintended consequences

Over the years, various reforms have been introduced in attempts to make American politics be more democratic. For example, primary voting was introduced during the Progressive Era as a way of broadening popular participation in the election process by registered voters selecting their Party's candidate. The unintended effect was to increase the expense of running for office, increasing the demand for political donations.

There have been a series of reforms and attempted reforms to regulate political donations. One mechanism has been to limit the size of donations; lots of small donations being held to be less susceptible to undue influence than fewer, larger donations.

This has also had unintended consequences (via).
Putting Presidents on the rubber chicken treadmill

The time spent by Presidents raking in all those small donations is escalating. 

Which fundraiser is this again?

Turning the US President into an ever greater prisoner of the fundraising circuit is perhaps not clever.


  1. More fund raisers in under 4 years than the last 5 POTUSes put together managed in 32.
    He's probably managed more days on the golf course as well.

    1. That's not quite what the data says--it does not include 1st and 2nd years, and no second term data. Granted, 3rd and 4th years of first term are the busy years for Presidential fundraising, but one would have to have the other data to be sure.