Campaigns and Super PACs Essay

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.....political ads changed over the last 60 years? Please use examples from the 1960's, 1980's and 2000's to support your answer.

In the beginning when TV was first used in the United States by the public, political ads were scarce. In the 1940's and even through into the 1960's presidential candidates reached out to meet voters, shaking hands and holding town-hall debates. (Suggett) It was a commitment to vie for presidency. However, as time passed and the mid 1960's brought some changes, political candidates aimed to ramp things up.

There was a need to address the masses in a more convenient form and so Lyndon B. Johnson aired the "Daisy Girl" commercial, effectively becoming the most controversial political ad of the time, and one of the most memorable. (Fowler, et al.) From there, change came to political ads in the form of negative ads such as the 1980 presidential campaign where Carter and Reagan broadcasted commercials aimed at proving their opponent was unfit for the job. The 2000's continued this trend, however, marketing and commercials increased, both in quality and quantity. Memorable strategies included Gore's criticism of Bush's planned tax cuts and Bush's claim Gore administration would dent the budget surplus.

2. Has the US Supreme court case of Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission (2010) changed the landscape of interest group influence or is it largely the same as it was before?

The Citizens United ruling was released early in 2010 (January), and removed the union and corporate ban on producing financing electioneering and independent expenditures (Dunbar). It allowed unions and corporations to spend an unrestricted sum on ads as well as other political tools, making it easier to defeat individual candidates based on money and exposure. The decision was a 5-4 and while it made it easier to pay for the public sway of candidates, it still did not affect company and labor contributions, keeping such activity illegal. (Dowling and Miller)

Although contributions are illegal, that does not keep wealthy people from donating to super PACs and then these super PACs spend on political campaigns. Super PACs must report donations. However, there is less restriction for nonprofits and business leagues that can accept donations without disclosing too much information. (Smith and Powell) If it is not their primary activity, these groups can….....

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Works Cited

Baker, Frank W. Political Campaigns and Political Advertising: A Media Literacy Guide. Greenwood P, 2009.

Cigler, Allan J, et al. Interest Group Politics. CQ Press, 2015.

Dowling, Conor M, and Michael G. Miller. Super Pac!: Money, Elections, and Voters After Citizens United. Routledge, 2014.

Dunbar, John. "The 'Citizens United' Decision and Why It Matters." Center for Public Integrity, 18 Oct. 2012, Accessed 8 June 2017.

Fowler, Erika F, et al. Political Advertising in the United States. 2016.

Hasan, Mehdi. "Bernie Sanders is America's Most Popular Politician -- and He's Coming After Donald Trump." New Statesman | Britain's Current Affairs & Politics Magazine, 22 May 2017, Accessed 10 June 2017.

Holyoke, Thomas T. Interest Groups and Lobbying: Pursuing Political Interests in America. Westview P, 2014.

LICHTMAN, Allan J. "Who Rules America?" TheHill, 12 Aug. 2014, Accessed 9 June 2017.

Sanders, Bernard. Our Revolution: A Future to Believe in. Macmillan, 2016.

Smith, Melissa M, and Larry Powell. Dark Money, Super Pacs, and the 2012 Election. Lexington Books, 2014.

Suggett, Paul. "A Brief History of Political Advertising in the USA." The Balance, 7 Nov. 2016, Accessed 7 June 2017.

"U. S. Electoral College, Official - What is the Electoral College?" National Archives |, Accessed 8 June 2017.

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