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Authors

Jason Cohen

Document Type

Article

Media Type

Text

Abstract

This paper addresses the propensity of large donors to make financial contributions to competing candidates or party organizations during the same election cycle--for example, giving money to both Bush and Kerry during the 2004 presidential race. This practice, here termed "'bet-hedging," is analyzed in strategic and game-theoretic terms. The paper explores the prevalence of bet-hedging, the possible motivations behind the practice, and the informational concerns surrounding it. Bet-hedging, above all other donation practices, carries a unique implication of ex post favor-seeking. A donor who prefers one side over the other at least partially cancels out its own contribution by hedging its bets. The generosity of a donor who has no preference can only be motivated by a desire for increased influence over the winning party or, at a minimum, the hope of escaping retaliation for failing to support the eventual victor. The paper thus contends that bet-hedging can (constitutionally) and, though it is a tougher question, should (normatively) be regulated under the Buckley v. Valeo and McConnell v. FECframeworks.

First Page

271

Last Page

330

Publication Date

5-1-2006

Department

Other

ISSN

0734-1490

Language

eng

Publisher

Northern Illinois University Law Review

Included in

Law Commons

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