Issue Bulletin #50
September 13, 1979
(Archived document, may contain errors)
RESTRICTING POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEES H.R. 4976 STATUS
On July 26, 1979, Congressmen David Obey (D-Wis.) and'Tom Railsback (R-Ill.) introduced The Campaign Contributions Reform Act of 1979, H.R. 4970, a bill to further limit the campaign contributions by non-party multi-candidate political action committees (PAC's) to candidates for election to the House of Representatives. The bill has been referred to the House Admini- stration Committee, which has jurisdiction over election matters. However, the sponsors are seeking a ruling from the Rules Commit- tee allowing the bill as a floor amendment to the Federal Election commission authorization bill scheduled for floor consideration the week of September 17-21. H.R. 4970 currently has more than one hundred co-sponsors.
H.R. 4970 is the latest in a series of proposals to effect substantive changes in the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 as amended in 1974 and 1976. It is a follow-up to H.R. 1, a bill providing for taxpayer financing of House elections, which the House Administration Committee failed to report on a 8-17 vote earlier this year. Most of the sponsors of H.R. 4970 previously sponsored H.R. 1, and H.R. 1 was only the most recent attempt to pass taxpayer financing of House elections.
During the first session (1977) of the 95th Congress, both houses of Congress turned serious attention to federal financing of congressional races. President Carter, Speaker of the House "Tip" O'Neil (D-Mass.), and Senate Majority Leader Robert Byrd (D-W.V.) all expressed support for the idea. on June 24, 1977, the Senate Rules Committee reported a bill, S. 926, providing for federal financing of Senate general elections only. A provision of the original bill providing government financing of primary elections was deleted in committee. S. 926, as reported, estab- lished a campaign spending ceiling of $250,000 plus 10 cents multiplied by each state's voting-age population. major party candidates would have automatically received 25 percent of their spending ceiling in federal funds, and in addition, would have been eligible for matching funds on all individual contributions of $100 or less up to the spending limit. Only contributions received within fourteen months of the general election would have been matchable.
The bill further provided that candidates accepting federal financing would have been limited to spending only $35,000 of their own money in their campaigns. If 'a candidate exceeded the personal or total spending limit, his rival would have been eligible for up to 62.5 percent more than the spending limit in matching funds. Third party candidates would not have been eligible for automatic grants but could have received matching funds if they raised $100,000 or 10 percent of the spending limit through individual contributions of $100 or less. Money to finance S. 926 would have come from the Presidential Election Campaign Fund. When the bill came to the floor of the Senate, Republicans and Southern Democrats initiated a filibuster which survived three cloture votes and finally succeeded in killing the bill.
In October of 1977, public financing of House elections was revived after 155 Democrat members signed a letter asking that a bill be reported. An unnumbered bill was introduced into the House Administratio'n Committee for markup on October 25. The bill provided up to $25,000 in matching public funds for major party candidates who agreed to limit general election campaign spending to $125,000 plus $25,000 for fund raising costs. Only private contributions of $100 or less would have been matched. If a candidate exceeded the limit, his rival would have been eligible for up to $50,000 more in matching funds. The bill also provided $25,000 per candidate in federal grants for a district- wide mailing to be used between July 1 and two weeks before the election. The grant counted against the spending total.
Third party and independent candidates would receive money only retroactively. To qualify for matching funds, they had to receive at least 5 percent of'the vote. Like the Senate plan, the bill was to be financed from the Presidential Election Campaign Fund. But the bill was killed when the committee voted to accept an amendment by Congressman Mendel Davis (D-S.C.) to extend federal financing to primaries as well. The amendment would have increased the cost to the government dramatically.
In 1978, during the second session of the 95th Congress, the Democrat leadership made two attempts to bring federal financing of House campaigns directly to the floor of the House. In March, the public financing proposal was attached to a controversial bill (H.R. 11315) lowering the limits on spending by parties and political action committees. By a 198-209 vote, the House refused to approve the rule that would have allowed floor consideration of the bill. Republican members voted unanimously against the rule, 0-140; Southern Democrats also voted against the rule 35-49; Northern Democrats favored the rule, 163-20.
Two major changes were made in the bill after the March defeat. The effective date was pushed back from 1978 to 1980, and the spending limits were raised from $125,000 plus $25,000 for fund raising costs to $150,000 plus $30,000 for fund raising. The rest of the bill remained the same.
On July 19, 1978, during floor consideration of the FEC fiscal 1979 appropriations bill, a motion was made to end debate. Supporters of government financing sought to defeat the motion in order to permit drafting of an alternative rule that would have allowed a House vote on the revised government financing bill. The motion carried 213-196, with the majority, therefore, voting against government financing of House elections. Republicans supported the rule 106-30; Southern Democrats 62-22; but Northern Democrats opposed the rule 45-144.
H.R. 1 limited overall expenditures by a candidate to $150,000 for a general election campaign, plus 20 percent ($30,000) for fund-raising costs, and 10 percent ($15,000) for one mailing within the district, for a total of $195,000. To this total, a candidate could contribute and/or loan $25,000 of his personal funds or those of his immediate family. In addition, a candidate could receive matching public funds up to a total of $60,000 for individual contributions of $100 or less. A bill calling for similar public financing for Senate campaigns was introduced in the Senate but was abandoned when H.R. 1 failed in the House Administration Committee.
Aside from public financing, H.R. 11315 must be regarded as the father of the current H.R. 4790. H.R. 11315 was so controver- sial that the public financing rider attached to it received little attention. The bill incorporated almost all of the provi- sions of H.R. 4970 in that it proposed cutting in half non-party PAC contributions from $10,000 to $5,000 in an election year. But, in addition, H.R. 11315 proposed severe restrictions on the contributions of party PAC's, and this was the provision that the House Republicans, whose party PAC's were better financed than those of the Democrats, objected to so stenuously. H.R. 4970 attempts to eliminate that controversy by proposing restrictions on contributions of non-party PAC's only.
The bill has three major provisions:
1) It would cut in half the amount individual non-party PAC's could contribute to individual House candidates in each two-year election cycle. Currently, a PAC may contribute $5,000 during a primary contest, $5,000 during the general-election period, and, for a runoff, an additional $5,000. Under H.R. 4970, an individu- al PAC could contribute to an individual candidate an aggregate of $5,000 with respect to a general election and a primary elec- tion relating to such general election. A PAC could contribute an additional $2,500 to a candidate involved in any run-off election. For special elections, candidates would receive the same aggregate $7,500 for the primary, general, and run-off elections relating to the special election.
2) H.R. 4970 provides that the total amount of contributions a candidate could accept from all non-party PAC's would be limited to $50,000 per general or special election and any primary relat- ing to such a general or special election. Currently, there is no limit on the amount candidates can accept from PAC's.
3) The bill would prohibit the extension of more than $1,000 credit for over 30 days "for goods or services relating to adver- tising on broadcasting stations, in newspapers or magazines, by direct-mail (including direct mail fund solicitations) or other similar types of general public political advertising."
(Referring to tables in appendix.)
Table A demonstrates that the average total contributions to candidates for the House increased more than 100 percent between the 1972 and 1978 elections - from $51,752 in 1972 to $111,232 in 1978. Yet, with a 52.9 percent price increase between 1972 and 1978 (using the implicit price deflator of the GNP calculated by the Joint Economic Committee), a candidate in 1978 had only $72,983 in 1972 dollars with which to purchase goods and services for his campaign, an increase of only 41 percent. In other words, the rate of inflation outpaced the rate of increase in campaign contributions between 1972 and 1978.
of the four sources of contributions, PAC contributions were the only source to increase substantially - almost fourfold without an inflation consideration - between 1972 and 1978. Political parties have become the weak sister in contributions to campaigns while individual contributions have remained as the .most important source of campaign contributions. Since 1974, candidates' contributions and loans to their own campaigns have increased significantly although they still are less than 10 percent of contribution sources.
The sweeping 1974 Amendments to the Federal Election Campaign Act effected all the limitations on individual, PAC, and party contributions that are still law. Table A demonstrates that the 1974 Amendments (a major provision of which limited individual contributions to $1,000) have forced candidates to rely increas- ingly on PAC contributions and their own personal resources. H.R. 4970 is directly aimed at curbing candidate reliance on PAC contributions. Table B shows that 176 (13.3 percent) of the 1,322 candidates for the House in 1978 (primary, general, and special elections) exceeded H.R. 4970's ceiling of $50,000 in total non-party PAC contributions. Seventy-nine of the candidates were Republicans and 97 were Democrats. There were 140 winners and only 36 losers. In addition, of the 176 candidates, 105 were incumbents, 32 were challengers, and 39 were candidates for an open seat. Overall, Table B shows that Democrat incumbents were the largest single group benefiting from PAC contributions. challenging an incumbent is the most difficult election task. Only 19 challengers were successful in the 1978 House elections. And Table B shows that there were only 32 challengers among the 176 candidates who received more than $50,000 in total PAC contri- butions. Yet, 14 of the 19 successful challengers in 1978 were among those 32 candidates.
There were 58 open seats in the 1978 House elections. Five of those open seats were won by candidates running unopposed. Thus, there were 106 major candidates (for 53 seats) running for open seats. Table B shows that 39 of those candidates (38%) relied on total PAC contributions exceeding $50,000.
Thus, it can be seen that although incumbents were the largest group of candidates receiving more than $50,000 in total PAC contributions, successful challengers and open seat candidates were heavily dependent on total PAC contributions exceeding $50,000. Table C demonstrates that the average total PAC contri- butions to the three types of candidates increased significantly from 1976 to 1978. With challengers still the weakest group, the 1978 elections show that PAC's of all kinds put more money, on the average, into open seat races than in races involving incum- bents.
H.R. 4970 provides for a $5,000 limit in contributions by an individual PAC to an individual candidate in a normal two-year election cycle (excluding the relatively infrequent run-off and special elections). Table D shows that the prevailing pattern is for PAC's to contribute to candidates in amounts totaling $5,000 or less. Of the 38,143 aggregate PAC contributions to candidates in the 1978 House elections (an aggregate PAC contribution is the total amount an individual PAC gave to an individual candidate -regardless of how many contributions the PAC gave to total that amount), only 1.8 percent (677) amounted to more than $5,000. Thus, it would seem that the $5,000 ceiling on PAC contributions to individual candidates is a less significant provision of H.R. 4970 than the $50,000 ceiling on total PAC receipts by a candidate. Yet, the candidates who received more then $5,000 from the diffe- rent types of PAC's were the candidates whose political positions were most favorable to these PAC's and who, additionally, had plausible chances of victory. Table D shows that labor and trade association PAC's supported 232 and 361 candidates respectively with total contributions exceeding $5,000. Thus, these two types of PAC's would have been severely restricted by H.R. 4970 in 1978' while corporate PAC's, which supported only 23 candidates with total contributions exceeding $5,000, would have been only slight- ly affected.
Tables E and F show the political preferences in the 1978 elections of the four major types of PAC's: corporate, labor, independent (CSFC on the right, NCEC on the left), and trade associations. Independent PAC's, with no affiliation to any major institution or profession, had the least amounts of money. Overall, they supported Republican challengers and open-seat candidates by wide margins as compared to any other types of candidates. And, interestingly, independent PAC's contributed 41 percent of their funds to Republican challenges - although this amounted to average total contributions of only $3,275 to this group. Thus, the Republican version of that perennially under- financed candidate, the challenger, received special emphasis from independent PAC's in 1978.
All corporate PAC's gave the largest percentage of their contributions to Democrat incumbents in 1978, but the largest average total contributions went to Republican open seat candidates followed closely by Republican incumbents. During the 1977-78 election cycle, there were 821 corporate PAC's in existence, more than any other type of PAC. Trade associations had 543 PAC's, labor had 281 PAC's, and 254 PAC's were independent. Yet, corpor- ate PAC's were still third to labor and trade association PAC's in contributions to 1978 House candidates. In 1977-78, corporate PAC's contributed $9.5 million to House candidates, labor PAC's contributed $9.9 million, trade association PAC's contributed $11.2 million, and independent PAC's contributed $2.5 million.
Labor PAC's supported Democrats almost exclusively in the 1979 House elections. And almost two-thirds of their money went to Democrat incumbents - although Democrat open seat candidates received the largest average total contributions from labor PAC's.
Of the four major types of PAC's, trade association PAC's spread their money most evenly among the different types of candidates. Incumbent Democrats received more than a third of trade association PAC money, followed by incumbent Republicans. Yet, open seat Republicans received the largest average total contributions from trade association PAC's. Open seat Democrat candidates were also well-financed by trade PAC's.
Tables E and F taken together show that independent PAC's are substantially in the Republican camp while labor PAC's are almost exclusively in the Democrat camp. Corporate and trade PAC's both contribute more than one-third of their funds to incumbent Democrats and, adding incumbent Republicans, more than 60 percent to incumbents. Thus, these two types of PAC's contri- bute most of their funds to that type of candidate most likely to emerge victorious in elections: the incumbent. (Ninety-five percent of all House incumbents won re-election in 1978.) Yet, when there is a possibility of change, i.e., when a race presents a plausible challenger or open seat candidate, both trade and corporate PAC's favored Republican challengers and open seat candidates to their Democrat counterparts in the 1978 elections.
Tables H and I offer some statistics on the ten largest PAC's, in terms of contributions to candidates, during the 1977'-78 election cycle. The top ten include four trade PAC's and six union PAC's. By way of comparison, the two largest corporate PAC's are also included. Table H shows that Democrat candidates received almost twice the amount in total contributions from these ten largest PAC's than Republicans. The six labor PAC's favored Democrats almost exclusively, while three of the four trade PAC's favored Republicans - the American Dental Association being the only one of the four to contribute more to Democrats than Republicans.
Table I demonstrates the effect that H.R. 4970's $5,000 ceiling on contributions to individual candidates would have had on the activities of the ten largest PAC's during the 1977-78 election cycle. The ten largest PAC's contributed to a total of 2,956 candidates, an average of 295 each. of that total, 248 candidates received more than $5,000 in contributions, an average of 24 each. The American medical Association PAC gave more than $5,000 to the most candidates: 75, while the American Dental Association gave more than $5,000 to only two candidates. overall, less than 10 percent of the candidates favored by the top ten PAC's received more than $5,000 in contributions. Yet, again it must be assumed that such candidates were those whose election was most important to each PAC's interests and, in all probability, whose race was competitive. It must be concluded that H.R. 4970 would restrict the activities of these big PAC's in a significant way.CONCLUSION
In its 1976 Buckley vs. Valeo decision, the Supreme Court ruled that the provisions of the 1976 Amendments to the Federal Election Campaign Act providing for ceilings on the amount candi- dates for the House and Senate could spend on their campaigns was an unconstitutional restriction of free political speech. But the Court also said that the ceiling on campaign expenditures by presidential candidates was constitutional if presidential candi- dates accepted public financing. Earlier this year, H.R. 1 attempted to extend this quid pro quo (i.e., expenditures ceilings for public funds) to House elections by offering up to $60,000 in public funds in exchange for a ceiling of $195,000 in campaign expenditures.
H.R. 4970 offers no quid pro quo. It does establish a ceiling of $50,000 on the total amount a candidate can receive from non-party PAC's. If the bill had been law in the 1978 elections, there would have been 176 instances of PAC's being unable to contribute to the candidate of their choice. Whether the ceiling of $50,000 will pass the constitutional test of free political speech established in Buckley vs. Valeo is open to question.
Although incumbents were the largest group of candidates receiving more than $50,000 in PAC contributions, the tables of this paper have shown that challenger candidates (especially successful challengers) and open seat candidates were also depen- dent on such PAC contributions. A previous Issue Bulletin (see No. 37, "Taxpayer Financing of Elections: Government as a Special Interest," March 19, 1979) showed that H.R. l's expenditure ceiling of $195,000 for each candidate also would have severely hampered the campaigns of the same group: successful challengers and open seat candidates.
The problem of the "entrenched incumbent" has been hotly debated in recent years. Everyone seems to agree that incumbents, by virtue of their high vi-sibility and the perquisites of office, have enormous campaign advantages over challengers. But there has been much disagreement about what to do about the problem. As a group, incumbents attract more campaign money than their challengers. Supporters of further campaign restrictions like H.R. l's ceiling of $195,000 on candidate expenditures and H.R. 4970's $50,000 ceiling on PAC contributions to individual candi- dates claim that such ceilings will at least restrict the finan- cial advantages of incumbency and thereby provide for more equal election contests. Yet, the record shows that successful challen- gers always need substantial campaign treasuries in order to defeat incumbents and the two proposed ceilings would have severe- ly restricted the campaigns of successful challengers in the 1978 House elections. Incumbents might have even more advantages if challengers are prevented from spending as much money as they feel is necessary for victory.
The Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, its 1974 and 1976 Amendments, all the proposals of the last three years to further amend the Act, and the Federal Election Commission itself were all inspired by the notion that money is an evil influence in elections. Yet, no one has ever been able to demonstrate that the candidate with the most money is always assured of victory. Indeed, in the nineteen House races in the 1978 elections in which an incumbent was defeated, the successful challengers outspent the incumbents in eleven of the races but the losing incumbents outspent their challengers in eight. Similar results prevail for other kinds of competitive races. In addition, no one has heen able to show that money automatically makes a race competitive. In the 1978 House elections, fifty-eight candidates spent more than the $195,000 limit proposed by H.R. 1, but only thirty-five were winners. And twenty-two of these thirty-five were incumbents who enjoyed all the other advantages of incumben- cy in addition to the ability to raise large campaign treasuries. The h@story of federal campaign laws in the 1970s can be briefly summarized: In order to prevent corruption in elections and in order to inform the public about contributions to campaigns, Congress in 1971 passed the original Federal Election Campaign Act providing for detailed disclosure and reporting of all campaign contributions and expenditures. The Act also included a provision allowing corporations and labor unions to use their treasury funds to establish, administer, and solicit voluntary contributions to their own PAC's. Thus, PAC's were created in 1971.
The 1974 Amendments to the Act eliminated the wealthy contri- butor by restricting individual contributions to candidates to $1,000 per candidate per election. Non-Party PAC's were restric- ted to $5,000 per candidate per election. The Amendments provided for public filiancing of presidential campaigns and expenditure ceilings for presidential, House and Senate campaigns. In addi- tion, the 1974 Amendments limited the amount of money candidates could contribute to their own campaigns.
In Buckley vs. Valeo, the Supreme Court struck down the restrictions on House and Senate campaigns expenditures and the restriction on candidates' contributions to their own campaigns as unconstitutional restrictions of free political speech. But, as already mentioned, the Court let stand the quid 2ro quo for presidential campaigns.
In 1976, Congress passed further amendments to the Act bringing the law into conformity with the Supreme Court's deci- sion. By that time, trends in campaign financing were starting to emerge. The wealthy contributor was'gone. Candidates were forced to solicit contributions from a large number of small contributors, a very expensive process requiring professional fund-raisers. So, the direct-mail experts became an increasingly important element in campaigns. Corporations, labor unions, and trade associations began taking advantage of the provisions of the law allowing them to form PAC's. The PAC movement started to grow. Candidates began to turn to PAC's because they could receive $5,000 per election in PAC money versus only $1,000 maximum from individuals. In addition, PAC's began offering another service to candidates: professional staff assistance. PAC's found that the citizenry was thinking more and more about issues rather than candidates or political parties. PAC treasuries grew. Political party treasuries declined. Candidates found fund-raising increasingly more difficult and expensive. Because of this, candidates began reaching into their own pockets to fund their campaigns. With fund-raising difficult, the law seemed to favor candidates with available personal resources. And the Supreme Court's Buckley vs. Valeo ruling stated that it would be unconstitutional to restrict canaidate funding of their own campaigns.
Election law reformers tried to put a ceiling on individual campaign expenditures, but these were declared unconstitutional by the Court. Four times in two years (1977-79), reformers tried to pass a tradeoff, public financing for a ceiling on the expendi- tures of individual campaigns, but failed to get the various proposals through the House. The Supreme Court had ruled out restricting the use of a candidate's personal funds in his own campaign, so the reformers attempted.to restrict both party and non-party PAC's with H.R. 11315 in 1977 but also failed to win passage. The current bill, H.R. 4970, proposes to restrict non-party PAC's alone. Since 1976, only a further restriction on individual contributors has not been'proposed as a reform.
Two reports about the effects of the federal election laws of the 1970s have recently been completed. Both come to the same conclusion: elections are under-financed, not over-financed. Harvard's Institute of Politics, commissioned to study federal election law by the House Administration Committee, released its report at the beginning of the summer. The report found that federal election law has increased the influence of special interests in elections, but did not recommend that PAC's be limited. Instead, the report proposed that the individual contri- bution ceiling to candidates be raised from $1,000 to $3,000.
Last week, Herbert Alexander, the country's leading authority on campaign financing, published his fifth quadrennial book on presidential campaign financing. Alexander found that the public financing of presidential campaigns had significantly cut the level of grass-roots 'participation in the 1976 presidential campaigns. This happened because limits on the use of campaign money and state-by-state ceilings on spending had fostered a new "cost-effective" means of campaigning. Grass-roots participation in campaigns was reduced as professional campaign managers turned to a broader use of television advertising, direct mail solicita- tions for money, and centralization of campaign operations.
Thomas R. Ascik Policy Analyst
The following tables were compiled at The Heritage Foundation from statistical tables published in FEC Disclosure Series No. 9, 1976 House of Representatives Campaigns, Receipts and Expenditures; and FEC Reports on Financial Activity-1977-78, Interim Reports No. 4 and 5, U.S. Senate and House Campaigns.Table A
Trends in Contributions to Candidates for the House - Average Contributions to Candidates by Source
1972 1974 1976 1978
Individuals $30,840 (59) $44,625 (73) $46,522 (59) $67,835 (61) Political parties 8,998 (17) 2,472 ( 4) 6,528 ( 8) 4,983 ( 4) PAC's 7,228 (14) 10,506 (17) 18,018 (23) 23,147 (25) Personal resources NA (10) 3,480 ( 5) 7,096 ( 9) 10,267 ( 9) Total $51,752 $61,084 $79,421 $111,232
(Numbers in parentheses are percentages of the totals.)
(Additional source this table: Institute of Politics' 1979 study of federal campaign laws.)Table B
There were 176 candidates for the House (primary, general, and special elections) who received more than $50,000 from non-party political action committees (PAC's) in the 1977-'1978 election cycle.
The following tables group the 176 candidates in various ways:
By Outcome of the Election
58 Republican winners 82 Democrat winners 14-0- winners
21 Republican losers 15 Democrat losers 5_6 losers
By Status of Candidate
31 Republican incumbents 74 Democrat incumbent 165- incumbents
25 Republican challengers 7 Democrat challengers T2 Challengers 23 Republican candidates for an open seat 16 Democrat candidates for an open seat T9 candidates for'an open seat
By Type of Race --Competitive or Non-Competitive
(Competitive - winning percentage of 55 percent or less; non-competitive winning percentage of 55 percent or greater)
38 Republican winners of a competitive race 33 Democrat winners of a competitive race 7-1 winners of a competitive race
41 Republican winners of a non-competitive race 64 Democrat winners of a non-competitive race 0_5 winners of a non-competitive race
Incumbents (31) 5 winners of a competitive race 23 winners of a non-competitive race 3 losers of a competitive race
Challengers (25) 11 winners of a competitive race 2 winners of a non-competitive race 10 losers of a competitive race 2 losers of a non-competitive race
Open-Seat Candidates (23) 4 winners of a competitive race 11 winners of a non-competitive race 2 winners of a special election 5 losers of a competitive race 1 losers of a non-competitive race
Incumbents (74) 17 winners of a competitive race 49 winners of a non-competitive race 4 losers of a competitive race 3 losers of a non-competitive race 1 loser in a primary
Challengers (7) 3 winners of a competitive race 1 winner of a non-competitive race 2 losers of a non-compe-titive race 1 loser of a primary
Open-Seat Candidates (16) 7 winners of a competitive race 5 winners of a non-competitive race 2 losers of a non-competitive race 1 loser in a primary
House General Elections in 1976 and 1978 Average Total PAC Contributions to Candidates by Type of Candidate -- Republican and Democrat Only
Incumbents $26,609 $38,074 Challengers 7,589 13,086 Open-seat candidates 19,786 40,095
PAC Contributions to Candidates by Total Contribution Amount 1978 House Primary and General Elections
Number of Aggregate Number of Aggregate PAC contributions to PAC Contributions to Candidates Candidates
Type of PAC $ 1-5,000 $5,001 -
Corporation 16,540 23 Labor 7,577 232 Industry 2,027 34 Trade 10,609 361 Co-op 493 27 -Corporation w/o stock 220 0
Total-All PAC's 37,466 (98.2%) 677 (1.8%) Table E
Percentage of PAC Contribution Amounts by Types of Candidates-1978 House General Election Only
Corp. Labor Ind. Trade Incumbent Democrat 34.5% 64.6% 14.3% 35.3% Incumbent Republican 29.9 3.6 15.6 27.9
Challenger Democrat 1.2 16.4 3.2 1.5
Challenger Republican 16.8 .2 41.0 15.7
Open-Seat Democrat 5.4 15.0 5.0 7.3
Open-Seat Republican 12.3 .25 21.0 12.25
100% 100% 100% 100%
(Ind. Independent PAC)
Average PAC Contributions to Candidates by Type of Candidate 1978 House General Election Only
Corp- Labor Ind. Trade
Incumbent Democrat $ 7,924 $ 16,940 $ 942 $ 11,464
Incumbent Republican 13,434 11823 2,019 17,761
Challenger Democrat 588 8,896 443 1,035
Challenger Republican 4,674 62 3,275 6,202
Open-Seat Democrat 5,706 18,236 1,508 10,970
Open-Seat Republican 14,401 329 7,099 20,387
(Ind. - Independent PAC) Table G
House Elections 1978
Corporate PAC's alone contributed more than $50,000 to 7 candidates:
I Republican winner of a non-competitive race 1 Democrat winner of a non-competitive race 2 Republican winners of a competitive race 2 Republican losers of a competitive race 1 Democrat loser of a competitive race
Trade PAC's alone contributed more than $50,000 to 10 candidates:
2 Republican winners of a non-competitive race 2 Democrat winners of a non-competitive race 2 Republican winners of a competitive race 4 Republican losers of a competive race
Labor PAC's alone contributed more than $50,000 to 18 candidates:
7 Democrat winners of a competitive race 6 Democrat winners of a non-competitive race 1 Democrat loser of a competitive race 3 Democrat losers of a non-competitive race 1 Democrat loser of an open primaryTable H
The Ten Largest PAC's during the 1977-78 Election Cycle -- Total Contribu- tions to House Candidates by Party of Candidate-Primary and General Elections
To Dem. To Rep.
1. Am. Med. $ 421,175 $ 955,195 2. Realtors 328,400 5901,078 3. Nat. Auto 315,225 431,400 4. UAW 782,650 14,700 5. AFL-CIO 664,081 6,600 6. Steelworkers 390,530 4,300 7. Trans. Union 433,928 16,900 8. Machinists 352,588 10,000 9. Am. Dental 209,040 185,660 10. CWA 323,108 5,300
$ 4,220,725 (66%) $ 2,220,133 (34%)
1. Am. Med. Ass.; 2. National Ass. of Realtors; 3. National Automobile Dealers Ass.; 4. United Auto Workers; 5. AFL-CIO; 6. United Steelworkers; 7. United Transportation Union; 8. Machinists and Aerospace Workers; 9. Am. Dental Ass.; 10. Communications Workers of America (Total: 4 trade PAC's and 6 union PAC's) The Two Largest Corporate PAC's:
To Dem. To Rep.
International Paper Co. 37,116 78,544 Amoco 25,100 60,200Table I
Number of House Candidates Receiving More Than $5000 from the Ten Largest PAC'S in the 1978 House Election (Primary, General, and Special)
Total Candidates Total Candidates Receiving More Contributed To DI RI DC RC DO RO Than $5000
Am. Med. 8 32 0 13 9 13 75 407 Realtors 3 9 1 5 5 10 33 416 Nat. Auto 4 7 0 1 1 0 13 338 UAW 35 1 11 0 10 0 57 288 AFL-CIO 11 0 4 0 8 0 23 232 Steelworkers 2 0 2 0 7 0 11 196 Trans. Union 11 0 0 0 3 0 14 317 Machinists 2 0 1 0 4 0 7 241 Am. Dental 1 0 0 0 0 1 2 281 CWA 7 0 4 0 2 0 13 240
And the Two Largest Corporate PAC'S
Int. Paper 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 152 Amoco 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 160
DI - Democrat Incumbent RI - Republican Incumbent DC - Democrat Challenger RI - Republican Challenger DO - Democrat candidate for an open seat RO - Republican candidate for an open seat.