This 13-minute video introduces students to the Watergate break-in and connects it to the subsequent campaign finance scandal. The video documents how, despite campaign finance regulations created in the wake of Watergate, the United States is once again experiencing the same unregulated flow of campaign cash that helped give rise to the issues in the 1970s.
The lesson plan delves into what, if anything, should be done about the prevalence of money in politics and its impact on campaign advertising. The number and types of campaign advertisements draw frequent criticism during campaign season, but candidates and their campaigns usually choose to allocate more than half of their campaign expenditures to various forms of advertising. With the increase of dollars flowing into politics over the last decade, the quantity of political advertising has skyrocketed. Students will explore the potential effects of the increase in campaign ads and compare advertising by campaign committees with that from Super PACs.