But Some are More Equal: Race, Exclusion, and Campaign Finance

Spencer Overton, But Some are More Equal: Race, Exclusion, and Campaign Finance, 80 Tex. L. Rev. 987 (2002).

Abstract:  Proposed campaign finance reforms and critiques of current campaign finance jurisprudence are incomplete because campaign finance reformers overlook social and historical realities related to race. This Article uses race as an analytical factor to develop a more comprehensive understanding of campaign finance. Past state-sanctioned discrimination has contributed to current racial disparities in property. Under the current campaign finance system, these disparities in property shape the racial distribution of political influence no less than poll taxes, literacy tests, or at-large electoral districts. Further, seemingly neutral campaign finance doctrine threatens to lead to future racial disparities in the political distribution of societal resources. The consideration of race also allows for an examination of other critical issues ignored by reformers, such as racially selective enforcement of campaign finance regulations and the adverse impact of some reform provisions on minority political participation.

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