VENUE CHANGE: Effects of campaign financing to be discussed at CPP event Feb. 26

The newly released book Game Changers: How Dark Money and Super PACs are Transforming U.S. Campaigns will be the focus of talk Feb. 26 at Ripon College. The talk is sponsored by the Center for Politics and the People and will begin at 6 p.m. in Room 104 of Todd Wehr Hall. It is free and open to the public.

The authors are Henrik M. Schatzinger, associate professor and chair of politics and government, and Steven E. Martin, professor of communication and chair of the department.

The book provides an overview of the changes Citizens United brought to political campaigns and representation through a combination of rigorous academic research and trends from the ongoing campaign trail. A case is made that Super PACs and dark money groups are changing political campaigns because they influence the incentives and strategies the candidates and political parties use on top of the work they do independently of candidates.

There also are changes that extend beyond campaigns, such as how legislators represent their constituents, adjustments in the pressure donors put on lawmakers to approve the legislation in their favor, and the effect of the regulatory environment in favor of donors depending on actions taken by federal agencies to repeal existing laws.

Schatzinger teaches and conducts research on interest groups and money in politics. He is co-director of the Center for Politics and the People, which organizes numerous events to promote constructive political discourse. As a research analyst for the Campaign Finance Institute, he has examined how democracy can be strengthened through small donors and volunteers.

Martin has published book chapters and articles about Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s discourse about public unions, the labor movement’s use of visual rhetoric as counter-propaganda, and the controversies surrounding NFL players’ decisions to kneel during the national anthem.

He teaches courses on the First Amendment, political campaign communication, American public address, environmental communication, media and society, and public speaking.


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