Phase I of CCI’s
“Money and Elections in Iowa” study is complete!
Phase I is an extensive examination of who is giving money
to candidates for the Iowa Senate and Iowa House of Representatives.
This is the first time that Iowa campaign finance data
have been compiled in this way.
The three phase "Money and
Elections in Iowa" study is being conducted by Dr. Art Sanders
of Drake University. Sanders is a nationally-known and published political
scientist who has studied citizen politics, campaign finance issues
and the American political system for over two decades. He is the Chair
of the Department of Politics and International Relations at Drake University,
where he has been a faculty member since 1990.
Work on Phase II will begin in
early 2006. Phase II of the study will use case studies from recent
legislative sessions to examine how these campaign contributions may
have influenced specific pieces of legislation.
Phase I of the study
shows the unbalanced financing of our campaigns.
Here are some of the key findings:
• Winners almost always
have more money than losers. In only 13 races in the 2004 elections
did the winner raise less money than their opponent; and in only one
of those 13 races was there a substantial difference.
• Challengers need to raise large amounts of money to compete
- $100,000 to run for the Iowa Senate and $65,000 to run for the Iowa
• Members of both major political parties rely heavily on PACs,
not individuals in their districts – to fund their campaigns.
Nearly 60% of the money given to incumbents comes from PACs.
• PACs often make large contributions to incumbents facing weak
or no challenges, particularly incumbents who are in leadership positions.
• The smallest amount given to candidates comes from small individual
contributions – the kind of contribution most everyday Iowans
can afford to give.
• As the cost of campaigning continues to rise, so will candidates’
reliance on large contributions and PACs; meaning most Iowans, no
matter how well meaning, will never have the chance to competitively
run for office.
1. Host a house party!
Do you have 10 – 15 friends who should know more about
this study? Would those friends sponsor Phase II with a financial
gift? We will be setting up house parties across the state to build
support for Voter-Owned Elections and to raise money for Phase II
of the study. Contact Tyler at 515.255.0800 or firstname.lastname@example.org if
you are interested in hosting a house party.
2. Send letters to the editor. It is important that
Iowans know what is happening to our elections. Elections of state
officials are a public good, and the public is slowly being removed
from the financing of these campaigns. Cite facts from Phase I in
3. 2006 is an election year - be sure to tell candidates to
Support Voter-Owned Elections! Both major parties rely heavily
on PAC money and very large contributions. It is important that all
candidates know there is a reasonable solution so that candidates
can focus on the voters and not fundraisers – Voter Owned Elections.
CCI is dedicated to this effort
to balance the playing field of Iowa’s democracy; so that all
of our voices can be heard and so that our state is not weakened by
the polluting influence of big money.
For more information, please
contact Tyler Uetz at 515/255-0800 or email@example.com