Identifier

etd-07092007-150143

Degree

Master of Mass Communication (MMC)

Department

Mass Communication

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

This thesis is a case study in how weak campaign finance laws and government oversight can undermine democracy in a local election. It does so by demonstrating how Louisiana campaign finance law enabled one wealthy businessman to play a major role in a mayoral election under the auspices of an issue-based political action committee. Through the examination of the Louisiana PAC BRNext, its financial activities, and its relationships, this study suggests that BRNext and its founder Lane Grigsby were able to violate the spirit of the law in each of these areas. BRNext was able to take advantage of the loophole-ridden and vague Louisiana campaign finance law, opening the electoral process up to the possibility for corruption. After discussing how this mayoral election illustrates the failure of Louisiana's legal frameworks to achieve core goals of campaign finance law, this study makes suggestions for adapting policy by taking into account new political actors and new routes for spending.

Date

2007

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Secure the entire work for patent and/or proprietary purposes for a period of one year. Student has submitted appropriate documentation which states: During this period the copyright owner also agrees not to exercise her/his ownership rights, including public use in works, without prior authorization from LSU. At the end of the one year period, either we or LSU may request an automatic extension for one additional year. At the end of the one year secure period (or its extension, if such is requested), the work will be released for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Emily Erickson

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