Reform in the Future
This concluding chapter considers the future of public funding in American elections, arguing that there is little reason to believe that public funding will cease to exist any time soon. Nevertheless, the chapter examines four realities that public funding advocates must confront. First, the fiscal difficulties that many states and municipalities faced in the “Great Recession” meant that some public funding programs were placed on the fiscal chopping block. Second, the direct partial programs of the 1980s and 1990s are not likely to expand elsewhere. Third, while the Court has not banned the provision of direct subsidies to candidates, its decisions in Davis and McComish have created some additional rules for the game. And finally, recent federal court decisions beyond McComish have dramatically altered the regulatory landscape altogether.
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