[Question] Campaign finance reform as an EA priority?

Has any­one done an EA-style anal­y­sis of US cam­paign fi­nance re­form?

Ear­lier this year, the House passed a bill (HR 1) that seemed promis­ing. It quickly got blocked in the Se­nate, where it has 47 Demo­cratic votes but seems like McCon­nell is keep­ing Repub­li­cans al­igned against it.

Lawrence Les­sig ges­tures to why cam­paign fi­nance re­form is lev­er­aged on Joe Ro­gan (around 21:30):


Now, al­most ev­ery­body re­al­izes that un­til we fix this bro­ken Congress, noth­ing else can hap­pen.
So it’s not like this is the most im­por­tant is­sue out there – you can think of cli­mate change or health­care or jobs or com­pet­i­tive mar­kets – you can think of those as the im­por­tant is­sues.
But what peo­ple are in­creas­ingly see­ing is that this is the first is­sue. If we don’t fix this, we don’t fix any­thing.

Given that HR 1 got through the House, could be tractable. Definitely im­pact­ful.

You could imag­ine con­vinc­ing 4 Repub­li­can sen­a­tors that their fund­ing needs would be fully met for let’s say the next 4 races if they pass good cam­paign fi­nance re­form (per­haps HR 1 v2). This could push it through the Se­nate for a to­tal spend of ~$200m (4 sen­a­tors * 4 elec­tions * $12m/​elec­tion).

Not cheap, but prob­a­bly a good buy for the im­pact this would have if done well: cam­paign fi­nance re­form ⇒ more func­tional & rep­re­sen­ta­tive US fed­eral govt ⇒ sen­si­ble policy work can be done fed­er­ally in ba­si­cally ev­ery area we care about.

(Not sure if Trump would veto, per­haps bet­ter to do this once he’s out of office.)

Could imag­ine get­ting Lawrence Les­sig to ar­chi­tect it; I bet he’d be down.

I haven’t thought about this su­per closely and it’s definitely com­pli­cated ter­ri­tory, but I haven’t run into any­thing that im­me­di­ately dis­qual­ifies it.

Has any­one poked into this more thor­oughly?

Looks like Open Phil thought a bit about it in 2013 (1, 2) and came away some­what bear­ish, but that was just a quick look & was well be­fore things thawed (i.e. be­fore Pelosi was get­ting com­pre­hen­sive cam­paign fi­nance re­form through the House).