05 Mar Do Political Donations by Corporations, Unions, and NGO influence the overall Political Determinations?
The corporate donation means any financial contribution made by a corporation or business entity to another organization that furthers the contributor’s objectives. In the US, corporations/business entities have been prohibited from making expenditures to influence federal elections. Similar limitations exist in many state elections and have been upheld by the US Supreme Court. The Federal Election Commission states that labor unions and corporations are outlawed from contributing to political candidates. This limitation applies to both for-profit and NGO/nonprofit corporations. On the other hand, it says, a person individually can contribute up to $2,500 to a specific political candidate.
Corporations may make donations to PACs; however, they usually have strict limits on their ability to advocate on behalf of specific political parties or even to coordinate their actions with campaigns executed by political candidates. PACs are subject to exposure requirements at the state and federal levels. The ability of businesses to employ in such independent expenses has been subject to debate. After the Supreme Court declared the First Amendment issue on Corporate donations they say, donations are closely tracked by government authorities which include the Center for Responsive Politics.
There is a general understanding that the effects of money are diverse, subtle, and hard to pin down, but many pathways of influence can be laid out. Most of which are based on opinions about the best available evidence, short of accurate data. However, at some point, quantitative evidence is reasonably certain.
Proponents of regulations of political donations by corporations argue that corporate donations result in corrupting democracy. There is little question that the vast sums flowing into candidates’ campaign coffers weaken democracy. Ungoverned campaign contributions invite nightmare circumstances in which those at the pinnacle of society purchase the power required to preserve the yawning inequities of the status quo. Business administrators seem to have realized that secret political donations carry real risks to businesses and their shareholders. Congressional election cycle held in 2014, political spending funded by anonymous donors to 501(c) nonprofits — corporations, unions, and others (one can’t tell) — amounted to $173 million. That was about 25 percent more than four years earlier.
Opponents of this issue say that businesses don’t give their money away for anything. There is a belief (rarely made explicit) that large campaign donations buy political access and favorable consideration in policy development and legislation. The Federal Election Commission provides for anonymous cash donations of $50 or less to be made without limit. An outcome of this donation-driven approach to politics is that many areas of open political debate between and within major parties are in policy areas that the wealthy people don’t bother to care about, issues that interest society as a whole, like same-sex marriage or abortion, or represent divisions between corporate interests.
Proponents to the concerned topic believe that donating to political parties is a personal choice. This allows for politicians on short-term election cycles in the US, like those who serve in the House of Representatives, to have a greater say in Washington. PAC or Political Action committees support grants for a message to get out to the voter’s foot, helping to form people who are enthusiastic about specific issues and developments that need to happen for particular communities. Many people consider a political contribution being a check, cash or a credit card payment. However, currency is not the only form of a donation that is restrained. The value of a donated item also includes the contribution limits. The donation of service is also counted an in-kind contribution. Because of the federal reforms, politicians must engage with their voter base to discuss strategies and issues of real concern.
The decision regarding this concerned issue is not hard to make. Majority of votes can lead to sorting the problem. What do you think?