Nearly everyone says they support “campaign finance reform.” But people don’t agree on what that reform should be. And when you consider that any so-called reform will be written by the career politicians themselves, well, it’s easy to get discouraged.
Moreover, if lightning strikes and a reform is passed that doesn’t just increase the advantages for incumbents, the incumbents could still thwart the reform through the Federal Election Commission. The FEC is very political. It’s comprised by an equal number of Republicans and Democrats. Anytime both parties flagrantly break the laws, as they did in the 1996 campaign, career politicians get a free pass.
Meanwhile, the FEC illegally harasses groups that run issue ads discussing the records of congressmen. A federal judge fined the agency for such conduct. Interesting, isn’t it, that the FEC lawlessly assaults groups that career politicians don’t like, but can’t manage to enforce the laws that are on the books.
But the problem is deeper than one renegade agency. It’s career politicians in Congress who talk reform but seek to block information that might hurt them politically. Why should Congress have any power at all to muzzle groups or individuals, even if they do call for an incumbent to be defeated? The First Amendment that guarantees free speech specifically tells Congress to butt out.
Freedom of speech means the freedom to say even those things that the people in power don’t like. This is America.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.