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Mr. WILLIAMS. I do not know the answer to that. I came in after the organization had been going, and I know nothing about the matter before that.
Mr. McCULLOCH. Do you know whether or not a report was made in any State, pursuant to State law, of the receipts and disbursements of the Citizens for Eisenhower, prior to the convention?
Mr. WILLIAMS. I cannot answer that; I do not know.
Mr. McCULLOCH. Do you have an opinion as to whether or not that committee in the future should be required, by Federal law, to make a report to some Federal agency of receipts and disbursements?
Mr. WILLIAMS. I see no objection to it.
Mr. WILLIAMS. I think possibly it might be. I think it goes back to my previous statement, that we were pretty busy trying to get this man elected and not trying to be technical, and we have not had occasion to think too much about that question.
I think that a far greater value in an answer, than just a curbstone opinion of my own, would be again to come back for consideration of that question and other subjects after an opportunity has been had to study the matters. But just as an offhand opinion, I think that possibly the public interest would be served by having such a report.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much, Mr. Williams. We appreciate your coming.
Mr. WILLIAMS. Thank you.
STATEMENT OF JAMES K. POLLOCK, PROFESSOR, POLITICAL
SCIENCE, UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
The CHAIRMAN. We have one further witness, Professor Pollock of the University of Michigan. Will you kindly state your name and occupation, for the benefit of the record ?
Dr. POLLOCK. James K. Pollock, professor of political science at the University of Michigan.
The CHAIRMAN. We will be very glad to hear you.
Dr. POLLOCK. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and members of the committee.
I am glad to be of any possible assistance to this committee in its effort to bring improvements in the important field of campaign expenditures. Although you did not give me very much time for reflection, I was able over the week end to look over rather hurriedly the several shelves of material which I have collected over the last 30 years on the subject of campaign expenditures.
Ånd in focusing my mind once more on this great problem, I am still convinced that it is one of the great unsolved problems of democracy.
Interestingly enough, I have found in looking over the books I wrote on the subject some 20 years ago, and in my previous testimony before senatorial and congressional committees during these intervening years, that the situation has not changed very much, nor have we made very much progress in improving our legislation either at the Federal level or at the State level. We have, however, had numerous investigating committees in the House and in the Senate, and I have looked over and studied all of these reports at one time or another for the past 30 years. Discouragingly enough, one finds in these
reports of investigating committees a constant repetition of many of the same ideas and recommendations, arrived at by various committees at various times, and then never acted upon by Congress.
Today, therefore, at the conclusion of another of our great presidential campaigns, the Congress of the United States has at least as great an obligation as it has had at any time during the past 25 years to place this subject of the regulation of campaign expenditures in a favorite position, where the Congress will be able to provide another landmark of constructive legislation.
I have tried to be rather philosophical about legislation as a professor of political science, as one has to be. One has to have a sort of geographical sense of time, that with the passage of time, certain things that have been obvious over a long period will eventually be generally recognized.
I feel that it is not merely or principally a question of what to do. Feasible remedies and improvements in the law have been proposed for 25 years. The question is-is Congress interested? Can it find the time to do something effective in a field which affects the very foundation of clean politics. After all these years I should think Congress would feel a little contrite about its long period of inaction.
Without being informed too much of the purpose of your committee, and being quite aware of the lateness of the hour, and the imminence of a new. Congress, I am not sure how much your committee will be able to do by investigating de novo important aspects of the field which have engaged the attention of previous committees. In any case, however, I am glad now, as I have always been for many years, to assist this committee, or any other committee of the Congress, in trying to bring improvement in what is obviously a very deplorable and even dangerous situation in our great democracy.
One of the best records in this field was made in 1931 by a senatorial committee headed by Senator Nye. This testimony on remedial legislation is still available and bears rereading. Between that time and 1950, there were several other committees in both the House and the Senate which took up the matter of improving the laws regulating campaign funds, and in these various reports are found important recommendations, most of which have never been given legislative enactment. I find that in 1950, a committee of this House, headed by Congressman Mike Mansfield, prepared a report which is something of an model, at least so far as its committee recommendations are concerned. In fact, these recommendations are so good and so complete and have been made so recently that I think this committee would do well to adopt most of them in the report which you, I assume, intend to prepare. At any rate, I am prepared to endorse these recommendations found
Ι on pages 21 to 26 of the Mansfield report, with the possible exception of points 8 and 13, and with the addition of certain other observations, which I am prepared to make, if the committee is interested.
It would perhaps, therefore, save the committee's time if they per, mitted me to endorse the carefully worded and significant recommendations presented to this House by the Mansfield committee 2 years ago. I find in searching my thoughts on the subject today in our present setting, I still feel that the most important point requiring attention is the fixing of responsibility for political campaign expenditures.
Furthermore, I still believe, as I have testified on many occasions over the years, the second most important point is to provide adequate publicity of campaign expenditures. Third, I think close attention must be given to a provision for more effective enforcement of all the laws regulating campaign expenditures.
Under these general points, I am prepared to answer specific questions, if the members of the committee so desire. I think that the situation to day is more urgency to consideration of the suggestion frequently made over the years, either to democratize our party campaign funds or to bring about assistance by the State in defraying the very large and legitimate costs of campaigning.
Finaly, there are many aspects of our whole election system which might be given careful and thorough consideration, because of their bearing upon the proper functioning of our democratic system.
Presumbaly, this committee cannot go into such a broad field, but I would at least hope that as a result of your labors, you will be able once more to point out for the benefit of the Congress and the public the principal points requiring legislative attention. With these brief introductory remarks, then, I am pleased to entertain any questions in this field which the members of the committee desire to direct to me.
The CHAIRMAN. Dr. Pollock, we thank you very much. Any questions, Mr. Keating?
Mr. KEATING. No.
Mr. Long. Dr. Pollock, this is the most important point in this field, you feel, the necessity of fixing the responsibility for political expenditures. Have you given any attention to the question how, as a practical matter, that might be accomplished ?
Dr. POLLOCK. Yes. We have had a great many changes over the years, one of which is pointed out in the Mansfield committee report, which indicates that indiscriminate spending should not be permitted, and that each candidate or party should designate an agency whose authorization must be given to make expenditures in behalf of the candidate or party.
This, of course, is taken from the very effective and well-known British Corrupt Practices Act. In that country they have a much simpler situation, of course, but it has worked effectively. Britain in the seventies or eighties had a rather scandalous situation whereby all kinds of expenditures were made by all kinds of people, some of which were all right, and some of which were not, and to remedy that situation, this British act was passed.
I have dealt with that in my book called Money and Politics Abroad. That remedy has been effective and the British are entirely satisfied. From my observation of British elections in 1950 and in 1951, contrasted with American elections, the difference is very considerable. First of all, there is a much lower level of expenditures. And you find that the candidates and party agencies are very scrupulous in observing the limits set out in the law, and the result is that the indiscriminate use of money in British elections has simply disappeared under this effective law.
Mr. Long. Such a system would necessarily entail making it a violation of the law for any individual or political party agency to
expend money without the written authorization of the candidate or the authorized agent.
Dr. POLLOCK. Yes. And I should like to point out what you can do by Federal law would be to put a limitation on the amount, with companion legislation in the States, because obviously a very considerable field of political expenditure is outside Federal jurisdiction.
The CHAIRMAN. Some of the States do not even have corrupt practices acts.
Dr. POLLOCK. Yes; and in many others the statutes are not worth the paper they are written on. Most of them are utterly ineffective. I think over the years there has been, maybe, some general improvement in the tone, but I think generally they are ineffective.
Mr. KEATING. With respect to obeying them?
Dr. POLLOCK. Obeying them on the part of parties. On some of the aspects I wrote in 1926, and I think I can say that the situation is true today. I said:
In the first place, study has made it clear that the Federal laws regulating the subject of party financing are innocuous and of little value. Even the amendment in the consolidated laws of 1925 omitted the essential features of a good regulatory statute, and worst of all, it reaches only general elections, leaving the important field of a primary to the various States. Although the law is primarily a publicity law, it actually achieves little or no publicity in the matter of campaign receipts and expenditures.
Further, it is obvious that a vast amount of corrupt practices legislation in the States has resulted in eliminating the worst forms of political corruption, but that the publicity of campaign funds has not been brought about. These State laws are frequently brazenly violated and in many cases they contain provisions which are worse than dead-letter, because they encourage perjury. It has demonstrated that large sums are spent in elections, and that they have grown in recent years, but the increase with respect to former years is not dangerous, nor is it unjustifiable.
I wrote that in 1926, found at page 260 in my book, and I think that still applies today.
I might raise a little question about that last sentence, about the growth of expenditures. I personally do not feel that the size of the campaign expenditure is the matter of very grave concern. It is not the amount of the contribution, I mean it is not the amount of the expenditure that bothers me so much as where it comes from and what it goes for.
Those things, it seems to me, should be the subject of legislation rather than trying to limit in some unrealistic way the exact amount that could be expended by a candidate or the party.
The CHAIRMAN. What are some of the evils as to where the money comes from and what it goes for; what are some of the evils you have in mind ?
Dr. POLLOCK. I think from the point of view of sound public policy, as well as the reputation of the party and the candidate, it is bad to permit large contributions from a few sources.
I think it is bad to permit expenditure for exclusive employment of campaign workers.
I think those are two of the illustrations that I have in mind. We had back in the twenties the employment of something like 10,000 watchers in Pittsburgh in the Bear primary. I think the whole tendency of legislation should be toward making political workers voluntary. I think this last campaign has shown very real increase in the amount of voluntary workers, and I think that is commendable.
Also, an increase in the number of contributions rather than in size of individual contributions.
I am rather dubious about how far you should go in actually prohibiting some of those things. If my theory is correct that by proper publicity the people will take the corrective measures, if that theory is correct, then I think the smallest number of regulations of this sort you have the better. At least that is the way on which I have proceeded in my thinking.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much, Dr. Pollock.
Dr. POLLOCK. I would conclude with one further statement for the record, if I may, because I think the situation has not changed too much.
First, I think we have passed the first reading which consists of much investigation and reports.
I think we have passed also the second reading of talking and discussion. I think we are now ready for the third reading and the final passage of something to regulate this vast and important matter, not to produce a lot of regulations, but to really cooperate in coping with this problem of financing political parties. And as I say, we have, I think, now reached the third reading and final passage stage.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much. The committee will stand adjourned until 10 o'clock tomorrow.
(At 1:05 p. m., an adjournment was taken until 10 a. m. of the following day, Thursday, December 4, 1952.)