Cover

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Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. i-vi

Contents

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pp. vii-xii

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Preface to the Paperback Edition

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pp. xiii-xx

...Since I wrote this book in 2006, this nation has had four congressional and two presidential elections that have simply—and amply—demonstrated the flaws and dangers in our election system. These self-inflicted defects...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xxi-xxiv

...Because the interaction of money and politics is such a complex and often misunderstood process, writing this book with clarity and precision was difficult. Any and all comments, interpretations, and errors of fact contained within this book are entirely...

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1 The Folly of Reform

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pp. 1-14

...As I recall it, Thursday, April 6, 1972, was a picture-perfect spring day in Washington, DC. The cherry blossoms had just lost their dazzling brilliance, the many flower gardens scattered throughout the city were beginning to stir, and the air was fresh and mild. It was a wonderful moment to be alive and living in our nation’s capital...

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2 The Rise and Fall of Citizen Sovereignty

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pp. 15-20

...When the Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence, they understood that if they failed, they were signing their own death warrants— as King George had proclaimed. Today, when we see these great men memorialized in cold, remote, and lifeless...

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3 Rome: A Flawed Model

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pp. 21-24

...The Framers of the U.S. Constitution understood that the initial success of the Roman Republic in creating a formidable military force and culture was responsible for “the grandeur that was Rome.” But Rome’s eventual internal decay, caused by too restrictive a concept...

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4 Citizen Sovereignty: The Dearest Thing of All

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pp. 25-32

...All societies, primitive and advanced, rest on assumptions about the nature of government and the governed. These are sometimes codified in a nation’s most revered documents, but sometimes they are no more than truths voiced in songs and stories around...

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5 The Constitution and America’s First Political Campaign

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pp. 33-41

...To better understand what is at stake in the debate over campaign finance, let us look next to the history of elections in this country, beginning with what the Framers of our Constitution had to say on the subject. Article I, Section 4, of the Constitution reads as...

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6 American Democracy and Political Parties

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pp. 42-48

...America did not invent the concept of political parties. Crude forms existed even in ancient Greece and Rome. They are the inevitable consequence of various economic and social interests competing in the marketplace of ideas. In a totalitarian regime...

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7 What Is an Election, Anyway?

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pp. 49-53

...Few Americans can precisely define an election. The most important of all democratic institutions, it is perhaps the least understood. Simply stated, an election is a human creation designed to help a society peacefully select officials who will exercise the power to set the rules for everyone...

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8 Political Campaigns and Money

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pp. 54-61

...Political campaigns give life and meaning to elections. Without campaigns, the word “democracy” would be a sorry and meaningless abstraction. The democratic process would be ineffectual, indeed all but impossible. Campaigns present candidates to the public through speeches, commercials, rallies, and the like. They generate brochures...

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9 The Perceived Corruption of Money versus the Real Corruption of Power

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pp. 62-77

...The United States Capitol, not the White House, is the single most important government building in America. The Capitol is where the important work of our government is supposed to be done. Congress, the engine of our democracy, is housed within...

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10 We the Sovereigns, Not We the Subjects

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pp. 78-88

...Anyone alive on the day the Constitution was ratified would have understood the meaning and significance of James Monroe’s statement. The “miracle of Philadelphia” was still fresh in memory. The people were jealous of the rights they brought into the union...

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11 The Crux of the Problem

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pp. 89-97

...To address any problem there may be with money in politics, one must consider its utilitarian value as well as the fallible nature of humankind. Both of these factors are often used by reformers to support their arguments for prohibiting or restricting the flow...

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12 Supreme Court Mandates Run Amok

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pp. 98-120

...The central question this book seeks to address is whether, in passing and constitutionalizing campaign finance reform, Congress and the Supreme Court have substantially undermined what the Framers regarded as the God-given sovereignty of the people...

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13 Empirical Evidence

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pp. 121-136

...Back in 1789, America’s first Congress had 91 members—65 in the House and 26 in the Senate. Today there are 535 voting members of Congress: 435 in the House and 100 in the Senate, a 488 percent increase. In the intervening 216 years 11,743 individuals...

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14 Freedom of the Press

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pp. 137-143

...As we have seen, in crafting the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, the Framers made it crystal clear that Congress “shall make no law” restricting or interfering with four basic liberties: freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and freedom...

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15 Political Fund-Raising: The Current Reality

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pp. 144-161

...America’s competitive political process is at a crossroads. Its lifeblood, political fund-raising, is under siege. Technological, legislative, and market changes have emerged almost simultaneously to undermine political fund-raising and exponentially increase...

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16 The Twenty-eighth Amendment

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pp. 162-173

...In his Gettysburg Address, Abraham Lincoln equated what was happening in the Civil War with the founding of the nation. In this short, powerful speech, Lincoln was able to change the meaning of the Civil War. After Gettysburg, the war was no longer simply about...

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Epilogue

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pp. 174-178

...A final note, especially to the men and women of the press: if the people of America are ever to regain their right of free speech and citizen sovereignty, it will only be because the print and electronic media alert them to the truth of what has happened and...

Notes

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pp. 179-184

Bibliography

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pp. 185-192