Second update from the ELJ Post Election Conference

Panel two covered campaign finance reform.  Good presentations from Tony Corrado (another liberal arts college prof!), Michael Toner, Michael Malbin, and Rick Hasen.

This was an interesting followup to the first panel, since the members of this panel, other than Toner, have all taken public positions in favor of public financing, and I think each of them had a hard time avoiding the behemoth of the Obama campaign and its negative impact on the public finance system.

Toner was an intriguing outlier, since he was a lawyer for the McCain campaign, but seemed most skeptical about any reform.

Malbin presented his provocative research on small donors, which has been the subject of heated debate on the EL listserv.

Hasen closed with a nice Powerpoint and a self-described “chicken little” moment.  He doesn’t see reform on the horizon mainly because the Obama White House has such a long list of email / internet contacts that he cannot see how reform will not be caught up in 2012 competition.  Wow.  2012 is here already!