Subject: Contribution restriction information
Per your request, I have researched the likelihood of successfully increasing contested political races through prohibiting people who own shares in for-profit corporations from making any contributions to candidates and political parties in Massachusetts. The most pertinent information I located was found supporting your policy proposal is in an article titled “How Close Is Fundraising in Contested Elections in States with Low Contribution Limits?” by Thomas Stratmann, Department of Economics George Mason University, May 2009. I will summarize the key findings of this article and suggest that it be reviewed in its entirety for a comprehensive perspective on this challenging topic.
* It remains unclear whether limits more severely impact incumbents or challengers, because limits could also -- even at the same time -- constrain a challenger’s ability to mount an effective campaign.
* To determine who is more greatly constrained, one must therefore consider for whom the limits are most binding, that is, whether limits reduce incumbents’, challengers’, or both candidates’ fundraising abilities that, in some cases, limits help challengers.
* In 2006, in states with individual limits over $2,000, incumbents in this data set collected contributions of $172,000, on average, and challengers received $37,000. But in states with limits of $500 or less, incumbents collected on average $48,000 in contributions and challengers received $11,000. These averages show that contributions to both incumbents and challengers are lower in states with stricter limits, and that the ratio of incumbent-to-challenger contributions is similar in both high- and low-limit states (4.7 vs. 4.4).
* Stricter contribution limits close the fundraising gaps between incumbents and challengers by a statistically significant margin. Limits of $500 or less have the largest impact in closing the fundraising gap, followed $501-$1,000 and...