18 Hofstra L. Rev. 301 (1989-1990)
On Campaign Finance Reform: The Root of All Evil is Deeply Rooted

handle is hein.journals/hoflr18 and id is 311 raw text is: ON CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM: THE
Daniel Hays Lowenstein*
Alexander Heard, in his great treatise on campaign finance,
identifies money as a unique political resource because it can be con-
verted into many other political resources, as need may dictate.' This
observation is often invoked by reformers when skeptics of campaign
finance reform object that there is no justification for regulating the
use of money in politics more stringently than other resources, such
as celebrity, ownership of or access to the mass communications me-
dia, or even personal qualities such as good looks or articulateness.2
The reformer's response, in Heard's words, is that money is a uni-
versal, transferable unit infinitely more flexible in its uses than the
time, or ideas, or talent, or influence, or controlled votes that also
constitute contributions to politics.3
* Professor of Law, U.C.L.A.; A.B. Yale College, 1964; L.L.B. Harvard University,
2. See Levinson, Regulating Campaign Activity: The New Road to Contradiction?,
(Book Review), 83 MICH. L. REV. 939, 948-52 (1985) (discussing other resources which are
unevenly distributed and reviewing E. DREW, POLITICS AND MONEY: THE NEW ROAD TO COR-
RUPTION (1983)).
3. A. HEARD, supra note 1, at 90; see also D. ADAMANY & G. AGREE, POLITICAL
MONEY 3 (1975) (discussing the liquidity and flexibility of money as a political resource). In
fact, money can be used to achieve other, less flexible resources:
[M]oney can buy most non-economic political resources. It can pay canvassers, or
skilled campaign managers, or publicists, or researchers. It cannot endow a candi-
date with intelligence, but it can buy him a brain trust. It cannot change his voice
or face, but it can hire a make-up man, a voice coach, and a clever film editor.
Those with money can buy virtually any of the resources that other citizens give
Levinson makes no response to Heard's point. See Levinson, supra note 2. Many of Levin-
son's examples of anomalies that can result from campaign finance reform are ingenious, but
most of them seem to be either overdrawn or of little practical significance. Pointing to incon-
sistencies in the manner of the law school class discussion is not helpful in discussion of broad
reforms unless it can be shown that the inconsistencies have systemic significance. In this

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