Voting with Dollars: A New Paradigm for Campaign Finance

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Yale University Press, Oct 1, 2008 - Political Science - 320 pages
divdivIn this provocative book, two leading law professors challenge the existing campaign reform agenda and present a new initiative that avoids the mistakes of the past.

Bruce Ackerman and Ian Ayres build on the example of the secret ballot and propose a system of “secret donation booths” for campaign contributions. They unveil a plan in which the government provides each voter with a special credit card account containing fifty “Patriot dollars” for presidential elections. To use this money, citizens go to their local ATM machine and anonymously send their Patriot dollars to their favorite candidates or political organizations. Americans are free to make additional contributions, but they must also give these gifts anonymously. Because candidates cannot identify who provided the funds, it will be much harder for big contributors to buy political influence. And the need for politicians to compete for the Patriot dollars will give much more power to the people.

Ackerman and Ayres work out the operating details of their plan, anticipate problems, design safeguards, suggest overseers, and show how their proposals satisfy the most stringent constitutional requirements. They conclude with a model statute that could serve as the basis of a serious congressional effort to restore Americans’ faith in democratic politics./DIV/DIV

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Part II The paradigm in practice
The Model Statute with Danton Berube
Appendix a The Stabilization Algorithm
Appendix b The Secrecy Algorithm
Appendix c Designing Contribution Limits
Appendix d Costs of Administration

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About the author (2008)

Bruce Ackerman is Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science, Yale University, and the author or coauthor of more than fifteen books on political philosophy, constitutional law, and public policy, including "Social Justice in the Liberal State, The Stakeholder Society, "and" Deliberation Day," all published by Yale University Press.

Ian Ayres, an econometrician and lawyer, is the William K. Townsend Professor at Yale Law School, and a professor at Yale's School of Management. He is a regular commentator on public radio's "Marketplace "and a columnist for" Forbes "magazine. He is currently the editor of the "Journal of Law, Economics and Organization," and has written eight books and more than a hundred articles.

"From the Hardcover edition.

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