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Under the Influence? Interest Groups,
Lobbying, and Campaign Finance

Second in a Series of Baldy Center Conferences on the Law of Democracy

March 8-9, 2013 | SUNY Buffalo Law School

In recent years, there has been a great deal of attention to issues of money and politics in the Law and Democracy community and on election law and electoral politics blogs and list-servs. The developments in Supreme Court campaign finance jurisprudence over the past decade have put the spotlight on the Court's definition of political corruption as a barrier to the effective regulation of campaign spending. But until recently, there has been relatively little attention devoted to the interaction between lobbying and campaign finance practices and regulation. This conference is the first to focus on this interaction. It takes Richard Briffault’s 2008 article, Lobbying and Campaign Finance: Separate and Together, 19 STAN. L. & POL’Y REV. 105, and more recent work by the participants, as its point of departure.

The subject is pressing, not merely in the U.S., but also in Europe and in the development literature. It has significant implications for the negotiation and redefinition of the appropriate relations between markets and politics, which are of critical importance to contemporary domestic and global democratic governance.

The conference will pursue several crosscutting themes, including, but not limited to, the influence of outside money on state and local election contests and legislatures; the impact of the Supreme Court’s recent First Amendment decisions on state authority to regulate state and local campaign spending and lobbying activity; the incentives provided by the tax code for corporate political spending; and the promise and limits of disclosure.This is the second in a series of intense interdisciplinary workshop-style conferences on the “Law of Democracy” sponsored by the Baldy Center for Law & Social Policy. Professor Tokaji of Election Law Journal and Election Law @ Moritz is serving as a co-organizer.