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  2 What do you make of the phenomenon of outside interest groups this year putting on ads to influence elections?  
KATHLEEN HALL JAMIESON replies:

In the early 1980's there was a lot of concern about political action committees. And the same kinds of concerns are now being poised about issue advocacy advertising.

The campaign model that we work under assumes that advertising is a vehicle for the public to come to know the candidate who will represent them ultimately in office. And so although I may not vote for the candidate who wins, the campaign is a process of getting to know enough about that candidate, that I know what is going to happen when that candidate takes office.

Issue advocacy groups, political action committees, don't have that kind of accountability. And so they can come into a campaign environment and, for example, try to alter the issue terrain to issues that are not focal to the candidates and possibly not focal to the electorate. They also have the ability to come into that issue terrain unidentified. So you don't know who they are, or whose money is advocating this as a position. And as a result there is an unaccountable form of message that comes into the electoral context and rampages around in ways that can fundamentally alter what happens in the campaign.
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