Sometimes you just can’t reel in the big one. One of my favorite citizen legislators is former Congressman Matt Salmon, now running for governor of Arizona. Matt is a former congressman not because he was defeated, but because he pledged to limit his time in Congress to three terms and kept that promise.Â Salmon always stood up for what he believed in, even if it meant opposing his own party. He was one of a small group of legislators who fought the good fight to stop runaway pork-barrel spending. Always, he tried to do the right thing, not the expedient thing. He still does.
In 1998, Arizona voters passed the Clean Election Act, which provides for taxpayer funding of political campaigns. Candidates get the taxpayer funds if they agree to spending limits and to do without any private contributions. But, they don’t have to take public funding if they don’t want to.
And Congressman Salmon doesn’t want to.Â He’s always worked to prevent government handouts of our tax dollars, especially to spread opinions folks may not agree with. He wants Arizona voters to support his campaign individually and voluntarily not through forced taxation. It’s a principled decision, but just the same, students at the University of Arizona felt it was necessary to stage a little protest about it. One of their signs said, SOMETHING SMELLS FISHY: DIRTY SALMON.
Well, I’ve been known to make a bad pun or two about the congressman’s moniker, so I can’t really complain about that angle of it. But while there IS something fishy going on here, it has nothing to do with Salmon.
This is Common Sense.Â I’m Paul Jacob.