The New Soft Money

Date & Time: 06/18/2014 9:00 am - 06/18/2014 10:00 am

What: Press Conference on The New Soft Money: Outside Spending in Congressional Elections
Where: Zenger Room, National Press Club, 528 14th St. NW, Washington, DC 20045
When: 9:00 AM EDT
Who: Prof. Daniel Tokaji, Renata Strause, The Ohio State University, Moritz College of Law, Election Law @ Moritz

In the years since Citizens United, we have seen a torrent of outside money flood election campaigns. While there has been considerable attention to raw numbers, much less was known about the real-world effects of such spending — until now.

Professor Daniel Tokaji and Renata Strause of The Ohio State University have written the most comprehensive report to date on the impact of independent spending, as told by those in the best position to know. Based on over 40 interviews with political players across the ideological spectrum, their report The New Soft Money: Outside Spending in Congressional Elections, paints a vivid picture of how outside spending affects contemporary elections and politics. The report will be released at the press conference.

Those interviewed for the report include former Members of Congress, such as Senators George Allen, Kent Conrad, and Ben Nelson, and Representatives Mark Critz, Tim Holden, Steve LaTourette, and Joe Walsh. The report also includes information from interviews of recent congressional candidates, campaign staff, political operatives, legislative staff, and those working for outside groups.

The New Soft Money addresses these questions:

  • What kinds of outside groups engage in outside spending, and what are their objectives?
  • How has outside spending changed congressional campaigns, including candidates’ attempt to maintain message discipline?
  • Is independent spending used or perceived as a threat to congressional candidates who refuse to toe the line of outside groups?
  • Do outside groups and candidate campaigns cooperate? Do they engage in illegal coordination?

Professor Tokaji and Ms. Strause will address these and other questions arising from their research at the press conference, including the future of outside spending.

At 4:30 that afternoon, June 18, the Political Law Studies Initiative at George Washington Law School will host a panel discussion of The New Soft Money, featuring Don McGahn, Larry Noble, Brad Smith, Brian Svoboda, and the authors. No registration is required for the panel discussion.


Registration deadline has passed.