contributions on behalf of specific candidates and to creditrntheir campaign accounts for the amount of the contribution.rnThe firewall is similar to a blind trust and is constructed so thatrnfor an single contribution no person, other than the contributor,rnknows with certaint- both the name of the contributor andrnthe name of the recipient.rnOne uav of producing the firewall is with a special “contributionrnkit.” The kit would consist of a pair of attached en-rnclopcs. Each of the two envelopes would have imprinted onrnthe outside the same unique bar-coded serial number. Alsornprinted on the outside of each envelope would be the letter “R”rn(for Republican). “D” (for Democrat), or “()” (for other).rnThe first envelope would have an outside flap on which therncontributor would record onl the name of the recipient; in particular,rnneither the contributor’s name nor the amount of therncontribution would be recorded. (This enelopc could be constructedrnsimilari to those supplied bv credit card companies,rnwhich use the envelope flap to sell merchandise.) After fillingrnin the recipient’s name, the contributor would seal the form insidernthe envelope.rnIn tlic second envelope, the contributor would enclose arncheck in the amount of the contribution, but made out to thernBank. The contributor’s name could appear on the check, orrnon a separate form. Tliis cnelope would then be sealed, andrnwould contain nothing that could identifv the recipient. Indeed,rna check recei’ed with the recipient’s name on it would bernreturned to tlie contributor.rnTlic envelopes, still attached to each other, would be mailedrnor otherwise delivered to the Bank. Upon arrival, each envelopernpair would be separated bv a Bank cmplovec. The serial numjjcrrnwould be scanned into a computer. Then the enveloperncontaining the donation would be opened and the amount ofrnthe contribution entered into the computer. Finally, a receiptrnwould be prepared and mailed to the contributor. At the endrnof the da’, the contribution would be deposited into the Bank’srngeneral account.rnThe same emplovee would route the second sealed envelope,rncontaining the name of the recipient, to Section R, D, orrn(), depending on the letter stamped on the outside of the enxelopc.rnEnvelopes route to Section R, for example, would bernopened b a different bank employee, who would scan the envclope’srnserial number into a computer and enter the reeipientsrnname. A part’ functionary could be present to witnessrnthis operation to ensure that the unknown contribution fromrnthe unknown contributor is credited to the correct candidate.rnAt tlie end of the dav, after checking deposits and account creditsrnhad been reconciled, all envelopes would be shredded, andrnthe forms thcmscK’es could be shredded, or stored in a securernarea.rnyt this point in the process, besides the contributor, only therncomputer “knows” the name of the recipient in addition to thernname of the contributor or the dollar amount of his contribution.rnTlie contributor is able to prove only that he has made arngien contribution to the Bank—he has a receipt to this effect.rnI le cannot prox’c lie made a given contribution to anv particularrncandidate or part. Of course, he can claim to ha’e made arncontribution to a specific candidate, but so could anone elsernwith a receipt from the Bank.rnIndeed, specious claims should be encouraged. Legitimaterncontributors ma well attempt to inform the recipients of theirrncontributions. I lowever, the less certain the recipient can be ofrnthe contributor’s claim, the less likclv he is to be influenced byrnit. Consequently, an abundance of specious claims will havernthe effect of debasing all claims generally.rnA few housekeeijing rules are needed to minimizx’ cheating.rnTo prevent contributors from “marking” their contributions byrndonating an “odd” amount (such as $16,666.66), contributionsrnwould be accepted only in five-dollar multiples. More importantly,rnto prevent identification because a contribution is unusuallyrnlarge, a provision could be imposed whereby no singlerncontribution could comprise more than, say, 20 percent of arncandidate’s total receipts in any given accounting period. Contributionsrnin excess of 20 percent of total receipts would be carriedrnover automatically into the next accounting period, andrnthe 20 percent restriction again applied.rnAt the end of each accounting period, each candidate wouldrnreceive a report showing his account balance, but this report,rnwhich would be publicly available, would list neither the namesrnof the donors nor the amounts of individual contributions.rnCandidates would be free to spend all positive balances in theirrnaccounts on their campaigns.rnThis proposal offers arnfree-market solution tornthe problems raised by eampaignrneontributions and politicalrninfluence.rnTo deter a contributor from simply handing to the candidaternthe attached envelopes with a check enclosed—for the candidaternhimself to seal and mail—we would modify the process forrneontributions exceeding, sav, $100. (It is doubtful that a politicianrncan be “bought” for less than $100.) For these larger contributions,rnrather than specifying the name of the recipient inrnthe second envelope, the contributor would report his ownrnname, telephone number, and perhaps an identifying codernword. An employee of the Bank would then telephone the contributorrnto obtain the recipient’s name. An electronic menurnsystem would allow the contributor to use his telephone to keyrnin the name of the recipient after entering his code word.rnIs the firewall totally effecti’e? No. Just as current eampaignrnfinance law as well as proposed laws could not prevent an individualrnfrom slipping a suitcase full of cash to a candidate, therncurrent proposal also could not prevent this. While 1 have indicatedrnthat no new legislation would be needed to implementrnthis proposal, legislation to require the reporting of all campaignrnexpenditures could expose those cases in which eampaignrnexpenditures exceeded a candidate’s total receipts fromrnthe Bank, plus the campaign’s accounts payable, plus expendituresrnfrom the candidate’s personal resources. Such casesrnwould strongly suggest that the candidate had received eontributionsrnthat circumvented the Bank, and the threat of publicrndisclosure of this information by die Bank to voters would be arndeterrent.rnMARCH 1996/23rnrnrn