[1] Copyright 1996 by Thomas F. Burke, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Wellesley College. Ph.D. 1996, Political Science, University of California-Berkeley; B.A. 1988, Mass Communications, University of Minnesota. I wish to thank Jonathan Bernstein, Bruce Cain, Paul Edwards, Daniel Lowenstein, Hanna Pitkin, Nelson Polsby and Dennis Thompson for their helpful comments on earlier drafts of this paper.

[2]424 U.S. 1 (1975).

[3]First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti 435 U.S. 765 (1978); Citizens Against Rent Control v. Berkeley 454 U.S. 290 (1980); California Medical Association v. Federal Elections Commission 453 U.S. 182 (1982); Federal Elections Commission v. National Right to Work Committee 459 U.S. 197 (1982); Federal Elections Commission v. National Conservative Political Action Committee 470 U.S. 480 (1985); Massachusetts Citizens For Life 479 U.S. 238 (1986); Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce 494 U.S. 652 (1990); and Colorado Republican Campaign Committee v. Federal Elections Commission 116 S.Ct. 2309 (1996).

[4]Skelley Wright, "Money and the Pollution of Politics: Is the First Amendment an Obstacle to Political Equality?" Columbia Law Review 82:609 (1982).

[5]See Antonin Scalia's dissent in Austin, 479 U.S. 679 (1990).

[6]Frank J. Sorauf, "Caught in a Political Thicket: The Supreme Court and Campaign Finance" Constitutional Commentary 3:97 (1986). See also two wide-ranging critiques of the Court's corruption standard: Jonathan Bernstein, "Goo Goo Terror," Institute of Governmental Studies Working Paper 95-22, Institute of Governmental Studies, University of California-Berkeley (1995); and Ron Schmidt, Jr., "Defining Corruption: Plunkitt to Buckley and Beyond," Institute of Governmental Studies Working Paper 95-21, Institute of Governmental Studies, University of California-Berkeley (1995).

[7]The Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd ed., v.3 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1989), 972-4.

[8]See James C. Scott, Comparative Political Corruption (New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1972) 3-5. For a full discussion of the ways in which corruption has been defined in political science, see Political Corruption: Readings in Comparative Analysis, Arnold J. Heidenheimer, ed. (New Jersey: Transaction Books, 1970) 3-8. This book contains (in shortened form) a vast number of essays and articles by comparative and American political scientists on corruption. One attempt to consolidate the various definitions into one coherent scheme is John G. Peters and Susan Welch, "Political Corruption in America: A Search for Definitions and a Theory, or If Political Corruption Is in the Mainstream of American Politics Why Is It Not in the Mainstream of American Politics Research?" American Political Science Review 72:974 (1978).

[9]This is the approach taken, for example, by Joseph Nye, who defines corruption as "behavior which deviates from the formal duties of a public role because of private-regarding (personal, close family, private clique) pecuniary or status gains; or violates rules against the exercise of certain types of private-regarding influence." Joseph S. Nye, "Corruption and Political Development: A Cost-Benefit Analysis" in Political Corruption: Readings in Comparative Analysis, 566-7.

[10]This is a point Dan Lowenstein makes in his article "Political Bribery and the Intermediate Theory of Politics," UCLA Law Review (1985) 32:784. Lowenstein discusses the problem of defining corruption at 798-804.

[11]Heidenheimer takes a modified public opinion approach: He considers the opinions of both public officials and mass public opinion. See Political Corruption: Readings in Comparative Analysis, 3-28.

[12]James Scott, Comparative Political Corruption, 4.

[13]Frank Sorauf reviewed this debate in "The Public Interest Reconsidered," The Journal of Politics (1957) 19:616-639. Sorauf criticizes the term as "subject and imprecise" and calls various definitions of it "illogical" (633). Sorauf argues that that outcomes of public policymaking cannot be judged by a public interest standard. Nevertheless, Sorauf says there is a public interest in the process by which policies are created. Thus Sorauf identifies the public interest with the "process of group accommodation" (638). This leaves some ground for pluralists like Sorauf to use a public interest concept in evaluating campaign finance procedures. Robert Dahl similarly finds the "common good" in "practices, arrangements, institutions, and processes that . . .promote the well-being of ourselves and others . . ." (Dahl, Democracy and Its Critics (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1989), 307. Like Sorauf, Dahl's discussion of practices that promote the common good suggests that Dahl could employ a public interest concept in evaluating issues of campaign finance.

[14]Lillian BeVier "Money & Politics: A Perspective on the First Amendment and Campaign Finance Reform," California Law Review 73:1045 (1985) at 1082. BeVier is quoting from Buckley 424 U.S. at 26.

[15]Paul S. Edwards, "Defining Political Corruption: The Supreme Court's Role," The BYU Journal of Public Law 10:1 (1996) at 3.

[16]"But while the quid pro quo is the nub of the matter, it is perhaps not the totality of it." Sorauf, "Caught in the Constitutional Thicket," 103.

[17]"To the extent that large contributions are given to secure a political quid pro quo from current and potential office holders, the integrity of our system of representative democracy is undermined." Buckley, 27.

[18]Buckley, 27.

[19]435 U.S. 765 (1978).

[20]435 U.S. 788 n.26 (1978).

[21]FEC v. NRWC 459 U.S. 197 (1982).

[22]FEC v. NCPAC 470 U.S. 497 (1984).

[23]470 U.S. 498.

[24]479 U.S. 238.

[25]479 U.S. 259.

[26]479 U.S. 258.

[27]This is what Justice Stevens, who wrote a concurring opinion, would do, at least for corporate contributions. See Austin 494 U.S. 652 at 678.

[28]Austin 494 U.S. 659-60. In the latest Supreme Court campaign finance case, Colorado Republican Campaign Committee v. FEC, Justice Breyer's plurality opinion steers clear of the distortion standard of corruption, but does not clearly embrace either the quid pro quo or monetary influence standards. The case involved FECA limits on party expenditures in congressional elections. Breyer's opinion considers only the narrow question of whether independent, uncoordinated party expenditures can be constitutionally limited. Following the logic of Buckley, Breyer argues that the lack of coordination between the candidate and the spender in an independent contribution limits the danger of corruption. See CRCC v. FEC 116 S.Ct. 2317.

29424 U.S. 48-49.

[30]424 U.S. 48-49.

[31]It is important to remember that Marshall limits his principle to "the unique legal and economic characteristics of corporations." See Austin 494 U.S. 652 at 660.

[32]Such convictions have become far more common recently; see Daniel H. Lowenstein, "When Is a Campaign Contribution a Bribe?" Midwest Political Science Association, Chicago, Illinois, April 1996. This article update's Lowenstein's earlier article on bribery law, Lowenstein, "Political Bribery and the Intermediate Theory of Politics," UCLA Law Review 32:784 (1985). For a general review of bribery and campaign finance law, see Lowenstein, Election Law: Cases and Materials (Durham, N.C.: Carolina Academic Press), 1996.

[33]Indeed, Justice Thomas has recently made this argument. See CRCC v. FEC 116 S.Ct. 2328-2329.

[34]424 U.S. 47.

[35]Supra notes 18, 19 and 20.

[36]Of course the contribution limits are partly justified on the other ground given in Buckley, the appearance of corruption. The Court has, however, not given much consideration to this second interest, perhaps because it seems so open-ended: just about everything that happens in Washington may appear corrupt to somebody. In practice the Court has often invoked the "appearance of corruption" standard, but has not given it any independent weight.

Dennis Thompson makes a strong argument in favor of the appearance standard. Because "citizens cannot easily collect the evidence they need to judge the motives of politicians in particular circumstances," representatives "must avoid acting under conditions that give rise to a reasonable belief of wrongdoing." Thompson says that when representatives fail this standard "they do not merely appear to do wrong, they do wrong." See Dennis Thompson, Ethics in Congress: From Individual To Institutional Corruption (Washington DC: The Brookings Institution, 1995), 126.

[37]Thompson makes this point as well: "There is . . .no good reason to believe that connections that are proximate and explicit are any more corrupt than connections that are indirect and implicit." Thompson, Ethics in Congress, 112.

[38]Even in bribery law it is not absolutely clear that a public official must agree to a quid pro quo to be convicted. In McCormick v. United States (1991), the Supreme Court reversed a bribery conviction because the jury had been instructed that no quid pro quo was necessary to make a campaign contribution illegal. The Court concluded that to allow a conviction without evidence of an explicit trade would cast a shadow over everyday politics and make all legislators vulnerable to prosecution. McCormick v. United States, 500 U.S. 257 (1991). A later decision, Evans v. United States, 504 U.S. 255 (1992), has thrown some confusion on this holding, however. Some courts have interpreted bribery laws as prohibiting gifts that do not involve explicit quid pro quos. In U.S. v. Coyne, a county executive in New York State was convicted under the federal Hobbs Act for taking a $30,000 gift from a constituent. An appeals court concluded that the jury did not need evidence of an explicit quid pro quo as long as it concluded that Coyne "accepted the $30,000 knowing that it was payment related to his using his influence as County Executive on (the constituent's) behalf as specific opportunities arose." (U.S. v. Coyne 4 F.3d 100, 111 (2nd. Cir. 1993)). This example involved a gift rather than a campaign contribution, and Lowenstein argues that courts may correctly choose to invoke the more explicit quid pro quo standard in campaign finance cases. But in this as in many other aspects of bribery statutes, the law is unclear. Lowenstein concludes that the lack of clarity and stability in bribery law reflects confusion over what exactly should be considered corrupt--the same problem the Supreme Court has had in the campaign finance cases. See Lowenstein, "When is a Campaign Contribution a Bribe?"

[39]For instance the Court might, if it more straightforwardly embraced the "monetary influence" conception of corruption, uphold a law regulating independent expenditures in candidate elections.

[40]A related question is whether campaign contributions actually do influence representatives. The short answer, drawn from a growing body of evidence, is that contributions do influence representatives, but less than many suppose. Political scientists have produced a welter a studies on this question but are only beginning to answer it. Most of the studies have attempted to measure the influence of PAC contributions on votes on the floor. While the results are mixed, most of the studies find only small effects. Contributions seem to go to representatives already inclined--by ideology or constituency--to support the contributor. But floor voting is only the tip of the iceberg of legislative activity.

There is little investigation of how contributions influence behavior in committee, where most legislating (and deliberating) gets done, though one study, by Hall and Wayman, found significant effects on legislators' level of activity on behalf of contributors (Richard Hall and Frank W. Wayman, "Buying Time: Moneyed Interests and the Mobilizations of Bias in Congressional Committees," American Political Science Review (1990) 3:797-820.) Similarly there is a paucity of research on how contributions influence representatives' willingness to meet with constituents or intervene for them in administrative disputes (ala the Keating affair). On the access issue see Laura I. Langbein, "Money and Access: Some Empirical Evidence," The Journal of Politics (1986) 48:1052-1062. On floor voting see Henry W. Chappell, "Campaign Contributions and Voting on the Cargo Preference Bill: A Comparison of Simultaneous Models," Public Choice (1981) 36:301-312; Chappell, "Campaign Contributions and Congressional Voting: A Simultaneous Probit-Tobit Model," Review of Economics and Statistics (1982) 62:77-83; Garey Durden and Jonathan Silberman, "Determining Legislative Preferences on the Minimum Wage: An Economic Approach," Journal of Political Economy 84:317-329; Diana Evans, "PAC Contributions and Roll-Call Voting: Conditional Power," Interest Group Politics, 2nd ed., edited by Allan J. Cigler and Burdett A. Loomis. (Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly, 1986); John P. Frendreis and Richard Waterman, "PAC Contributions and Legislative Behavior: Senate Voting on Trucking Deregulation," Social Science Quarterly (1986) 66:401-412; Janet M. Grenzke,"PACS and the Congressional Supermarket: The Currency is Complex," American Journal of Political Science (1989) 33:1-24; James B. Kau and James B. Rubin, Congressmen, Constituents and Contributors: Determinants of Roll Call Voting in the House of Representatives (Boston: Martinus Nijhoff, 1982); Jean R. Schroedel, "Campaign Contributions and Legislative Outcomes" Western Political Quarterly (1986) 39:371-389; William P. Welch, "Campaign Contributions and Legislative Voting: Milk Money and Dairy Price Supports," Western Political Quarterly (1982) 35:478-495; Allen Wilhite and John Theilmann, "Labor PAC contributions and labor legislation: A simultaneous logit approach," Public Choice (1987) 53:267-76; John R. Wright, "PACS, Contributions, and Roll Calls: An Organizational Perspective." American Political Science Review (1985) 79:400-414; and Wright, "Contributions, Lobbying and Committee Voting in the U.S. House of Representatives," American Political Science Review (1990) 84:417-438.

[41]Lowenstein, "On Campaign Finance Reform: The Root of All Evil is Deeply Rooted," Hofstra Law Review 18:301 (1989) at 302.

[42]Lowenstein, "On Campaign Finance Reform," 301.

[43]See pages above.

[44]Martin Shapiro, "Corruption, Freedom and Equality," Hofstra Law Review 18:385 (1989) at 386.

[45]Thompson, Ethics in Congress: From Individual to Institutional Corruption (Washington DC: The Brookings Institution, 1995), 28. The only alternative is logrolling, but recent research suggests that logrolling is both more difficult and more rare than is commonly supposed. Keith Krehbiel, Information and Legislative Organization (Ann Arbor, University of Michigan Press, 1991). Of 29 case studies of legislation considered in Congress between 1945 and 1970, Joseph Bessette found only four examples of logrolling. And even in those cases logrolling turned out to be only a small part of the story, with deliberation on the merits also playing an important role. Bessette even argues that the case the often held up as the paradigmatic instance of logrolling, the creation of the food stamp program, was more a matter of deliberation. Joseph Bessette, The Mild Voice of Reason: Deliberative Democracy and American National Government (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994), 67-99.

[46]Thompson, Ethics in Congress, 28.

[47]Thompson, Ethics in Congress, 20. Thompson calls this the independence principle. In his earlier writings Thompson calls it the principle of autonomy; see Thompson, Political Ethics and Public Office (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1987). The argument is also outlined in Thompson, "Mediated Corruption: The Case of the Keating Five, American Political Science Review (1993) 87:2:369.

[48]Thompson, Ethics in Congress, 21.

[49]Ibid., 66.

[50]Ibid., 117.

[51]Bruce Cain, "Moralism and Realism in Campaign Finance Reform," (University of Chicago Legal Forum 1995:111 at 120.

Cain also claims that the deliberative theory "rests on the rationalist's faith that right reasons can be found for actions, and that political discourse will lead to the discovery of commonly acknowledged truth." (Cain, 120) The first charge is true only in the modest sense the deliberative theory demands that representatives give reasons for their actions and that debate focus on the adequacy of those reasons (See the discussion of Cass Sunstein's "republic of reasons," supra fn. 52). As to the second charge, that deliberative theorists naively believe that debate will lead to consensus, nothing in deliberative theory necessitates this belief. If people are completely immune to persuasion, than of course deliberation is futile. But as long as debate is capable of moving people, than the fact of plurality is quite compatible with deliberative theory. Hanna Pitkin eloquently expresses the deliberative view of democracy:

Political life is not merely the making of arbitrary choices, nor merely the resultant of bargaining between separate, private wants. It is always a combination of bargaining and compromise where there are irresolute and conflicting commitments, and common deliberation about public policy, to which facts and rational arguments are relevant. (Pitkin, The Concept of Representation (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1972), 212.)

Some versions of republican theory do seem incompatible with plurality. But as Frank Michaelman has argued, republican theory at its best depends on the diversity of views "that citizens bring to the debate of the commonwealth." Michaelman seeks to resolve the tension between republicanism and plurality in his article "Law's Republic", The Yale Law Journal (1988) 97:1493.

[52]Cain, 122. Strictly speaking, the proceduralist representative is not really a delegate but a "rational actor." She is not committed to the norm of following the views of her constituency but simply to saving her own skin--or, as the economists like to say, maximizing her utility--whatever that involves. Normally one of the best ways to get reelected is to follow the opinion of one's constituency, so there is often a happy marriage between the delegate role and rationality, but a divorce is always possible. In a system with uncontrolled campaign contributions, for example, it may be rational for a representative to dismiss the views of a majority of her district when they conflict with the desires of a generous contributor.

[53]Cain argues that "By littering the intellectual landscape with irrelevant issues, moral/idealists obstruct the path to a full, open discussion of the public's views about the proper distribution of power and influence." Cain, 112.

[54]Cain, 120.

[55]Thompson, Ethics in Congress, 19.

[56]This point is made by Joseph Bessette in The Mild Voice of Reason: Deliberative Democracy and American National Government (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994), quoting from the Federalist Papers, 27.

[57]Federalist Papers #10 (New York: Mentor, 1961), 83. Of course Madison was not so naive as to believe that representatives would always deliberate in the public interest, but he thought this ideal would be more closely approached in an extended republic, where factions would have a difficult time gaining control over the government. Daniel Lowenstein, in a review of Cain's paper, also makes the point that Madison was no "proceduralist." Lowenstein, "Campaign Contributions and Corruption: Comments on Strauss and Cain," University of Chicago Law Forum 1995:163 at 177.

[58]Wood, The Radicalism of the American Revolution (New York: Vintage Books, 1993), 252, quoting from a letter by Madison to Edmund Randolph, April 8, 1787, in the Papers of Madison, IX, 384, 370.

Other historians who trace the influence of republicanism on the Framers include G. A. Pocock, The Machiavellian Moment: Florentine Political Thought and the Atlantic Republican Tradition (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1975); and Bernard Bailyn, The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution (Cambridge: Belknap Press, 1967).

Foremost among legal scholars who have embraced republicanism are Cass Sunstein and Frank Michaelman. See Sunstein, The Partial Constitution (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1993); and Michaelman, "Law's Republic", The Yale Law Journal (1988) 97:1493.

For a particularly forceful analysis of Madison's thinking by a political scientist, see James Q. Wilson, "Interests and Deliberation in the American Republic, or, Why James Madison Would Never Have Received the James Madison Award, in PS: Political Science and Politics (1990) 23:4:561.

[59]Wood documents this process in The Radicalism of the American Revolution, 255-305.

[60]Selznick, "Defining democracy up," The Public Interest (1995) 119:106. There is a huge literature on deliberative democracy in political theory. For some examples see James Fishkin, Democracy and Deliberation: New Directions for Democratic Reform (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1991); Joshua Cohen, "Deliberation and Democratic Legitimacy," in Alan Hamlin and Philip Pettit, eds., The Good Polity: Normative Analysis of the State (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1989); John W. Kingdon, "Politicians, Self-Interest, and Ideas, in Reconsidering the Democratic Public, eds. George E. Marcus and Russell L. Hanson (University Park, Penn.:Pennsylvania State University Press, 1993); Amy Gutmann, "The Disharmony of Democracy," in Democratic Community: Nomos XXXV, John W. Chapman and Ian Shapiro, eds. (New York: New York University Press, 1993), 126-160; and David Miller, "Deliberative Democracy and Social Choice," Political Studies (1992) 60:54-67.

[61]Bessette, The Mild Voice of Reason, footnotes on 251-2.

[62]See Sunstein, The Partial Constitution, 17-39.

63Martha Derthick and Paul Quirk, The Politics of Deregulation (Washington DC: The Brookings Institution, 1985).

[64]Fenno, Congressmen in Committees (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1991). Fenno's classic work on representation in practice is Home Style: House Members in Their Districts (New York: Harper Collins, 1978). For an updating of this book see Jonathan Bernstein, Adrienne Jamieson and Christine Trost, eds., Campaigning for Congress: Politicians at Home and in Washington (Berkeley, Cal.:Institute of Governmental Studies Press, 1995)

[65]Bessette, Mild Voice of Reason, 67-99.

[66]The most influential books in this tradition are Robert A. Dahl, A Preface To Democratic Theory (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1956); David B. Truman, The Governmental Process, 2nd ed. (Berkeley: Institute of Governmental Studies Press, reprinted 1993); and Arthur F. Bentley, The Process of Government (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1908).

[67]Cass Sunstein claims that what unifies pluralists is the notion that "laws should be understood not as a product of deliberation, but on the contrary as a kind of commodity, subject to the usual forces of supply and demand." Sunstein, The Partial Constitution (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1993), 24. Similarly, Frank Michaelman defines pluralism as "the deep mistrust of people's capacities to communicate persuasively to one another their diverse normative experiences . . .Pluralism, that is, doubts or denies our ability to communicate in ways that move each other's views on disputed normative issues toward felt (not merely strategic) agreement without deception, coercion, or other manipulation." (Michaelman, "Law's Republic", The Yale Law Journal (1988) 97:1493 at 1507.)

Whether this is characteristic of all pluralist thought is questionable. Nelson Polsby, who has done much to popularize the term "pluralism," maintains that pluralism is often caricatured by critics who argue against its most extravagant formulations--see Nelson W. Polsby, Community Power and Political Theory, 2nd ed. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1980). Polsby contends that on the issue of deliberation, pluralism is silent. (Polsby himself values deliberation, as is seen in his Consequences of Party Reform (New York: Oxford University Press, 1983)).

On this point as on several others there appear to be a plurality of pluralisms. Sunstein and Michaelman seem to be particularly concerned with public choice approaches to politics, which can be seen as an outgrowth of pluralism but hardly encompass the sum of pluralist thought. In any case, Cain's approach--and the approach of the theorists he relies on, including Dahl--is to see politics as exclusively a matter of preference aggregation.

[68]Cain offers no evidence for his contention that the delegate model of representation is more widely accepted than the trustee model. I could locate only a few instances of polling on this question. In 1938 respondents were asked, "Do you believe that a Congressman should . . .vote on any question as the majority of his constituents desire, or vote according to his own judgement? 37% chose the delegate side, 54% the trustee side. (Roper Center Archives, accession number 0175920, survey sponsored by Fortune, August 1938.) A more recent survey asked "When your Representative in Congress votes on an issue, which should be more important--the way voters in your district feel about that issue, or the Representative's own principles and judgment about what is best for the country? 68% chose the delegate side, 24% the trustee side. (Roper Center Archives, accession number 0192631, survey sponsored by Time/CNN, February 10, 1993.) It is unclear whether this represents a time trend or a difference in question wording.

The vast majority of Americans probably haven't devoted much time to thinking about the delegate/trustee issue. Those who have often reject the formulation of a strict dichotomy between the two modes. When members of Congress were asked a delegate/trustee question, some rejected it as simplistic. "Who dreamed up these stupid questions?" asked one respondent. (Cited in Thompson, Legislative Ethics, 99.) Moreover, John Kingdon finds that the delegate/trustee dichotomy fails to capture the complex ways in which members of Congress think about and perform their jobs. (Kingdon, Congressmens' Voting Decisions, 3rd ed., (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1989).

Hanna Pitkin concludes that the dichotomy, which she prefers to call the "mandate-independence controversy," "poses a logically insoluble puzzle, asking us to choose between two elements that are both involved in the concept of representation." (Pitkin, The Concept of Representation (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1967), 165.) As Pitkin, Thompson and others have suggested, we might be better off in discussions of representation if we dropped the notion of a dichotomy between trustees and delegates entirely.

[69]Thompson is somewhat elusive on this point:

[T]he ideal legislator in a representative system does not pursue the public interest exclusively (whatever it may be). Such a legislator also has an ethical obligation to constituents that must be weighed against the obligation to a broader public. To find the balance between these obligations, even to decide whether they conflict, the legislator must consider the particular political circumstances at the time . . .Ethical obligations of these kinds are contingent on what is going on in the legislative process as a whole and may differ for different members and vary over time for all members." (Ethics in Congress, 70-71)

Elsewhere Thompson says that the deliberative principle "is consistent with conceptions of representation ranging from delegate to trustee." The principle requires only that representatives defend their views on public policy "in a public forum--and at the risk of political defeat." (Ethics in Congress, 114)


[R]eelection or party loyalty could also count as principled reasons, when they are consistent with . . .legislative deliberation." (Political Ethics and Public Office, 113)

Thompson does not specify how far this goes. At some point, presumably, the forces of constituency pressure, reelection anxiety, or party loyalty overwhelm the process of deliberation.

As these passages indicate, Thompson, like many other political theorists, is quite critical of the delegate/trustee dichotomy. See for example Thompson, "Representatives in the Welfare State," in Democracy and the Welfare State (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1995), 132-136.

[70]This is the crux of David Strauss's argument against the deliberative approach to the concept of corruption. See Strauss, "What is the Goal of Campaign Finance Reform?" University of Chicago Legal Forum 1995:141-161.

[71]Hanna Pitkin goes so far as to say that when representatives act as pure delegates they are no longer doing something that can be called representation. See Pitkin, The Concept of Representation, 210-211.

[72]This is a point that Lowenstein makes; see "Campaign Contributions and Corruption," 191.


Cain complains that Thompson's approach to corruption doesn't address many of the key issues in campaign finance, particularly the inequalities created in the election system by disparities in campaign contributions. (Cain, 122) But those who embrace corruption as an important concept in campaign finance law need not limit themselves to this one principle. The American campaign finance is flawed in many respects, and no one principle can capture all of them.

Indeed if Cain had merely argued that too much attention is given to issues of corruption in the popular debate over campaign finance and not enough to other concerns I would be in full agreement.