Pitney and Johnson on Local Political Donations

The influence of wealthy donors on local elections is the subject of an article in Sunday’s Whittier Daily News. The article focuses on the growing influence of independent groups because of restrictions on donating directly to campaigns. Pitney said:

“The big donors are just as powerful as when they used to donate directly to the campaigns,” said Jack Pitney, a politics professor at Claremont McKenna College. “People will always find a way around regulations.”

Additionally he said:

For Jack Pitney, stringent campaign contribution rules only make it more difficult for average citizens to participate in politics.

“The first thing people who want to form a committee have to do is hire a lawyer to make sure they comply with the rules,” said Pitney, who favors disclosure of contributors but no limits on contributions.

Doug Johnson also has something to say on the subject:

That view is echoed by Doug Johnson, a campaign consultant and fellow at the Rose Institute.

“The only way you can limit the influence of independent expenditure groups is to eliminate candidate contribution limits,” said Johnson. “That way it forces the candidate to be accountable for what the groups say and do.”

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