Actually, the CFR is statutorily the responsibility of the bureaucrats.
Oh, you’re talking Campaign Finance Reform! I thought you meant the Code of Federal Regulations.
Anyhow, it isn’t so much how the money affects whether a Democrat or Republican wins, it’s how it affects who they spend their time with, how they view the world as a result, and how they have to worry about which backers to offend.
Yes, you do need to be in the same rough ballpark, moneywise, to compete. If only one candidate’s ads air, then in this media-saturated society, there might as well be just one candidate. What that ballpark is, I’m not sure. You can win being outspent 2-1, but almost never 10-1.
But I’d still put money on the candidate with the more money, all other things being equal. I bet studies have been done, and hopefully someone will be along with one in a minute, so we aren’t just speculating.
I remember one of the gubernatorial or senatorial races in VA in the mid-90s. (It may have been when Gilmore was running for governor.) The polls said the race was even until about 2 weeks to go, when the Democrat ran out of cash, and went off the air. Gilmore won comfortably.
But that’s just one example.
Anyway, money’s necessary. And you’ve got to raise it from someone. Rich people have more money than poor people, and corporations effectively have more money than both - because for them, spending this money is an investment that they anticipate a return on. (For most of us, it’s just money lost, if in a good cause.) What they’ll get is face time with the candidate, once s/he’s in office, and even politicians only have 24 hours in a day. And it’s a damned sight harder to cross those you spend time with, than those you don’t.
Which works out OK for most Republicans; the stream of money just makes most of them more pro-business than they started, which was pretty pro-business. But for Democrats and moderate Republicans, it’s a real problem: the money - the time spent with lobbyists to raise the money and in return for the money - pulls them to the right. The result is that, for Democrats and Republicans alike, the interests of the corporations - nonhuman creations - become more important than those of flesh-and-blood citizens.
IOW, money tilts the board away from the people and toward the corporate interests.
On the occasional well-publicized issue, the voters draw even with the corporate apparatchiks, and even win a few. But on many measures that few voters ever hear of, the corporations win without the voters ever knowing there’s been a battle.
Campaign finance reform made the news; but how much coverage was given to the provision that would have kept the prices of political TV ads at the rates paid by the TV stations’ best customers? You may have, and I did, but most people didn’t (oddly enough, it didn’t get much play on the news :rolleyes:), so it was defeated quietly, while the rest of the bill went through.
And that’s the way it is with most issues - they’re more like the TV provision than like the main thrust of the CFR bill. And the corporations win almost all of those.
And if you think they do well in Congress, you might check out your state legislature sometime.