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candidates for public office, you are opening a field that will lead to a great deal of trouble. I would oppose anything like that.
The CHAIRMAN. There certainly wouldn't be anything to limit the number of candidates.
Mr. Brown. I would certainly oppose that proposal. Where you now have one opponent, you would probably have 50.
The CHAIRMAN. And each candidate would be entitled to the same Government subsidy.
Mr. Brown. In Ohio we have recently amended the laws so as to make it more difficult, rather than easier, to get on the ballot. I recall—if the committee will bear with me—we used to have in Ohio a requirement if you had five signatures on a petition you could become a candidate for a party nomination. In other words, the nominating papers required five citizens who knew the candidate to certify he was à Republican or Democrat, as the case might be and that they would support him for the nomination. I recall quite vividly that we had a peculiar fellow in one of my counties who went to a very responsible politician in that particular county, as many often did for advice, as to whether he should run for the justice of the peace at Turtle Creek Township, and .the old gentleman said, “I never give such political advice. If I tell a man to run and he gets defeated, he always blames me for getting him into trouble. If I tell him not to run and he doesn't, he always says if it had not been for my advice he would have been President by this time. So, I never give advice as to whether or not a man should run for office."
The ambitious fellow decided he would be a candidate, and went out and had five people sign to certify him so he could qualify as a candidate. Then, he went back to the old politician and asked for further advice, saying, “I would like to ask one more question of you, if I may,
. I have $50 I can spend on election day. What would you think of me getting 10 men at $5 apiece to go out and electioneer for me?” The old gentleman says, “I never give advice on campaign expenditures, because if a man spends his money and doesn't get elected he always says I caused him to bankrupt himself, and if he does spend it and is elected he says he would have been elected without spending it. So, I never give such advice.” So, finally, the election was held and the candidate for justice of the peace, whose name was on the ballot, received three votes. He went back to old Uncle George and said, "Now, Uncle George, I asked you twice for your advice and you refused it to me, but you certainly can answer this question: I wish you would explain to me how come when I had five men to sign my nominating petition, and swear under oath they would vote for me, and I had 10 men hired at $5 a day to electioneer for me, and then voted for myself, I only got 3 votes?” Uncle George said, “Now, young man, you have asked me a question I can answer. The answer is the uncertainty of politics.” That is what your committee is up against.
Mr. Long. In defense of the political scientists, I must say mostly their recommendations have been restricted to allowing the franking privilege to the extent of one piece of mail to every registered voter in the district. I perhaps presented it
Mr. Brown (interposing). You mean they suggested a Member of Congress
Mr. Long. No; they mean to suggest that perhaps that should be extended to both incumbents in Congress and persons running against them.
Mr. Brown. Regardless of whether the campaign is on or not?
Mr. Long. No, sir; only during the time they are a candidate in an election, that perhaps all candidates for Federal office should be granted that privilege.
Mr. BROWN. Among some of the wisest and most successful politicians there has always been a sort of an unwritten law that the best time in the world to campaign is when you are not a candidate. You sometimes find it difficult, during a campaign, to be invited to address a Rotary Club or Kiwanis Club or some church social, but when you are not a candidate you can often be invited. So, I do not think that will work.
Mr. LONG. On this $5,000 limitation imposed upon any individual making contributions, do you feel if that were strictly enforced, $5,000 would be a reasonable figure?
Mr. BROWN. That is a Federal limitation. In our State it is two to five thousand, according to the office.
Mr. Long. I am speaking of the limitation upon contributions of $5,000.
Mr. BROWN. You mean the total amount one can contribute altogether?
Mr. LONG. Yes. Mr. Brown. Again, you run into the constitutional question as to whether or not Congress can regulate the right of an individual to give away his money, except for purposes within the jurisdiction of Congress over election matters.
Mr. LONG. Excluding the constitutional question, you do feel that the $5,000 is reasonable? That is one of the immediate problems we have.
Mr. BROWN. Yes, but that totals up pretty well when you consider a man's family, his secretary, the janitor, and other people that he can have contribute.
Mr. KEATING. It doesn't really mean anything when you consider the fellow with a big family and a lot of friends, but it does when it comes to the fellow who is a single man.
Mr. Brown. Certainly. They can buy more tickets to the political dinner—as the son-in-law, the daughter-in-law, and the children all buy. In other words, you have a situation that is difficult to try to limit.
Mr. KEATING. Unless you limit the $5,000 to every man and every relative to the third degree of consanguinity.
Mr. Brown. That's right. Of course, you run up against the citizen’s constitutional right. Mr. Boggs here, for instance, is a rich man and he wants to contribute to his party. He can also contribute to the finance committee of each State, and he may contribute to local candidates. How are you going to limit his right as to where he shall contribute, especially if he doesn't give his money directly to the national party and he doesn't give directly to a candidate for public office? You might possibly limit the amount an individual can give, and the law tries to do that, but I don't know whether you can plug all those loopholes. Again, I revert back to what I said in the beginning. This committee has a terrific problem on its hands. Other committees and other Congresses and other legislative bodies have
struggled with this problem for years. I do not think anyone can expect this committee to come up with a perfect answer or solution to solve this problem completely for all time to come. If you do, you will be supermen.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much, Mr. Brown. You have been very helpful to the committee and we appreciate your coming down.
I wonder if Mr. Smith and Mr. Brown are present? (Mr. Smith and Mr. Brown come forward.)
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Smith, I believe you were chairman of the Volunteers for Stevenson, and Mr. Brown was counsel for the Volunteers for Stevenson?
Mr. SMITH. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Suppose both of you give the stenographer your names and your places of residence.
Mr. SMITH. My name is Hermon D. Smith; my residence is Lake Forest, Ill., and I was chairman of the Volunteers for Stevenson.
Mr. Brown. My name is John Paulding Brown, Washington, D. C. I was counsel for the National Volunteers for Stevenson.
Mr. SMITH. Mr. Chairman, would like for me to make a few observations?
The CHAIRMAN. Yes, we would appreciate having a statement from you.
STATEMENTS OF HERMON D. SMITH, CHAIRMAN OF VOLUNTEERS
FOR STEVENSON, AND JOHN PAULDING BROWN, COUNSEL FOR VOLUNTEERS FOR STEVENSON
Mr. SMITH. First of all, I would like to say I appreciated your very courteous invitation to appear. I felt wholly as an amateur in this position, when invited. I took the job as an amateur, and nothing in the outcome of the election changed my amateur status.
I would say that a reasonable approach to this problem is to first determine what your objective is, and then to try and work out the best way to achieve that objective.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Smith, are you a businessman?
Mr. SMITH. Yes, I am in the insurance business. I am an insurance broker. I might say by way of explanation that I worked for Governor Stevenson in the 1948 campaign in a volunteer capacity. I am a close friend of his, and he invited me to do this job, largely on the basis of the experience I had had with the independent group in the State campaign in 1948. Since my experience is primarily limited to the presidential election, I cannot be of much use on the subject of congressional elections.
I think a limitation on total campaign expenditures is very advisable. In the first place, the outcome of an election should not be determined by who has the most money. In the second place, there is always the possibility of improper influence resulting from large contributions from sources seeking favors. That is controlled, perhaps, more by the limitation on single contributions than on total expenditures, but that also has a bearing on it. In the third place, it seems to me campaign expenditures are essentially nonproductive as regarding the national economy; they are a waste of time and money to a great extent and, therefore, it is desirable to limit them, from that point of view as well.
Although a limitation, of course, seems desirable, it is important
a that the expenditures permitted be sufficient to give the voter the opportunity of hearing the views of all candidates, and particularly that a little-known candidate should not be at a disadvantage due to overstringent restrictions on expenditures of time and money.
Now, as has been pointed out, the present law provides no effective limitation on total expenditures or on what size of contributions should be had from a single source due to the possibility of multiple contributions by various members of the family and various committees. That has been well covered by Congressman Brown, and I assume it would be a waste of your time if I elaborated on the various methods of evasion of the law.
Mr. McCULLOCH. Do you have any suggestions as to how that situation might be practically handled ?
Mr. Smith. I have. I am coming to that in just a second.
The CHAIRMAN. Suppose we let him finish his statement and then come to the questions.
Mr. SMITH. I will just say that the present law acts as a mild deterrent, due to making large contributions more difficult to arrange and somewhat opprobrious as being a violation of the spirit of the law. Therefore, I come to the objective that seems to me to be appropriate and that is, namely, the limitation of expenditures.
I feel that the only effective means of limiting campaign expenditures is by placing a limit on the amount that can be spent in behalf of a candidate for a particular office during the period of his campaign.
Now, that is a very difficult thing to accomplish if you want to have that objective. It cannot be done in very fine detail with a very sharp knife. On the other hand, it probably isn't necessary that it be done with too much perfection and I would point out that by limiting certain sections of the expenditures, which are susceptible to limitation, perhaps, the over-all objective can be obtained with a reasonable satisfaction, even though there are certain areas where limitation is difficult.
I would say in this connection that I do not think publicity is sufficient as a deterrent. In order to obtain adequate publicity of all sorts of expenditures, the amount of information to be secured and supplied is so great that you add a limitation, rather than to retire it merely on publicity. It do not believe that would help to any great extent. You would have the red tape and reporting, and so forth, and it is my own opinion that if you are to accomplish the objective, you will not get there solely by relying on publicity.
If this aim is to be achieved, namely, a limitation on total expenditures of a candidate, if he is to be held responsible, he must have to have some method of controlling expenditures made in his behalf by unauthorized persons or committees. That is, of course, a difficult problem, but it would require some form of a clearinghouse, or fiscal agent, or something of that sort which the candidate would have some control.
I would point out that there are certain types of activities in his behalf which cannot be properly controlled. Mr. Brown pointed out normal activities of newspapers. For example, there should certainly be no interference, no violation, of the freedom of the press. There are also activities on a personal basis, personal correspondence from one person to another, conversations, and so forth, with which there should be no interference.
I think the main effort should be a limitation on the method of what I would call mass influence, because that has become the important factor in a campaign. Of course, as a part of that, the candidate would have to have some control over what committees were to spend money in his behalf, so there would be no money spent, which he thought was unspent, which would put him over his limit in any way. And in connection with that I think there should be a limit on the aggregate contributions from any one person, or committees approved by the candidate.
Instead of the present arrangement to have one person contribute to a number of committees, the individual contribution should be limited to a total figure, representing his contribution to all such committees.
Now, I made the observation that although it is impossible to cut this too fine, there are certain media which have become, by all means, the most important factors in campaigns and in the election of a candidate; namely, the media of mass influence, such as radio, television, and also newspaper advertising. So, it would be my thought that in addition to an over-all limitation, there be a specific limit on expenditures for radio and television, and perhaps a limitation on newspaper advertising, which is another important medium of mass influence.
I might made a special comment on radio and television, which seems to me have become not only an important factor from the point of influence, but by far the most important factor from the point of view of expenditures. I think there should be some consideration given to the arrangements by the broadcasting companies, under which there would be an equality, or approximate equality, as to the allocation of time to presidential candidates. I just want to repeat, my remarks are predicated primarily on the presidential campaign, which is where my experience has been.
I think this should not be too difficult to accomplish, because you have a relatively small number of networks—an arrangement by which there would be some preferred treatment for political broadcasters in political campaigns, in the sense that they should be entitled to good time spots, and should be treated equally in that respect, and perhaps should be given some preference in rates. And I think time should be made available to them more readily than is now the case. As I understand, in England, for example, which, of course, is not strictly comparable because there broadcasting is in effect a Government monopoly, there is an exactly equal allocation of time.
Mr. KEATING. Among all three of the parties, or just the two?
Mr. SMITH. Are there three parties? Is the Liberal Party functioning in England now? Mr. KEATING. Oh, yes. They still have 9 or 10 members.
Mr. SMITH. I do not know how they handle that, but I was talking to an English person just before I came up, and he commented that they did work out a definite allocation of time. That presents a problem. On the other hand, if the parties have to pay for that time, the little splinter parties are not going to constitute much of a problem. I think they should be offered an equal amount of time, on the condition they have to pay for it. For example, if the Prohibition Party. · wanted time and paid for it, all right. I think they should be entitled to it. But, as long as it is paid for by the parties or their candidates, you do not have a very serious problem on the allocation. I do think