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The Fallacy of Campaign Finance Reform Hardcover – October 1, 2006

ISBN-13: 978-0226734507 ISBN-10: 0226734501 Edition: First Edition

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 328 pages
  • Publisher: University Of Chicago Press; First Edition edition (October 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226734501
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226734507
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #894,950 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"As the federal government's size and intrusiveness grow, so does its attempt to regulate—ration, really—political speech about the government's composition and behavior. John Samples sees the menace of this through the prism of political philosophy. This book is a lucid and urgently needed warning about a growing assault on the First Amendment and the entire Madisonian understanding of American politics."

(George F. Will)

"A thoughtful antidote to the exalted status accorded campaign finance reform."
(James E. Campbell Political Science Quarterly)

"A wonderful volume that debunks pretty much everything that one hears from modern 'good government goo-goos.' From his astute analysis of the seemingly eternal Progressive Movement to his citing of study after study that demonstrate that legal campaign contributions do not 'corrupt' the political process."
(William L. Anderson Public Choice)

About the Author

John Samples directs the Cato Institute’s Center for Representative Government and teaches in the government program at the Johns Hopkins University in Washington, D.C.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Terry Jennrich on January 19, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I love this book. Finally a scholar 'gets it right' on the topic of campaign reform. The net result of campaign reform in America in 2012 going back to the liberal sweep of the 1974 mid term elections(following in the wake of the watergate and other Nixon misteps) is the stupid Federal Elections Commission and the massive restrictions on contributions to public officals running for office. Campaign finance reform is a failure to date. The net result is that most congressmen and senators and some state legislators, joined by presidentaial candidates, spend most of their time [in or out of office] campaigning for dollars in order to have a chance to run a successful campaign for election. The author's argument is that restrictions deny you [the voter] choices of candidates that cannot raise the money from small donations and must spend all of their time fundraising instead of thinking about reform bills that would actually solve problems.
Real campaign reform would be : abolishing the Federal Elections Commission and permitting American citizens (not corporations, labor unions, or foreign citizens) to give any amount of money to the candidate of their choice. THe only requirement would be disclosure within 30 days of the donation if it exceeds one thousand dollars from any one person in any calander year. Expenditures need not be kept track of unless they were to be given to another candidate for office.
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1 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Ezra on March 14, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a horrible and boring Libertarian book. The analysis is painful to get through. Totally dry and boring
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