Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

The United States Supreme Court decided, 5-4, against Arizona’s “clean elections” law. In two challenges to the law, Arizona Free Enterprise Club’s Freedom Club PAC v. Bennett and McComish v. Bennett, the Court ruled for freedom and against a bizarrely unfair form of “fairness.”

The idea behind Arizona’s law was to make money somehow “not count” by “leveling the playing field.” Arizona did this by giving taxpayer money to “clean elections candidates” to equal the voluntary donations obtained by privately funded competitors.

Chief Justice Roberts says the scheme goes “goes too far.” I would say: Way too far.

Roberts nicely argues that though “‘Leveling the playing field’ can sound like a good thing . . . in a democracy, campaigning for office is not a game.  It is a critically important form of speech.  The First Amendment embodies our choice as a Nation that, when it comes to such speech, the guiding principle is freedom — the ‘unfettered interchange of ideas’ — not whatever the State may view as fair.”

Now, I see why people don’t like the ugliness and “unfairness” inherent in “winner-takes-all” zero-sum contests like political campaigns. But the solution isn’t to hand public money to some favored candidates, effectively putting a finger on the scales. Instead, provide the public with greater choices, and let the people freely decide.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor


  1. Drik says:

    What a grand idea. Now all they have to do is to level the playing field so that incumbency does not create the same unlevel playing field adavantage as well. In fact, that seems to skew the results even more than just cash does. A lot more. So much so that our “elected” non-representing representatives get re-elected at a greater frequency than the members of USSR’s Politboro got re-appointed. And they had THAT job for life as long as they didn’t p’o’ one of the higher ups.

    Def: non-reprenting representatives_ the curious state that we have where a supposed elected official is somehow supposed to cleave to the concept of a republic whilst trying to be aware of and beholding to the wishes of the 750,000 people that they supposedly represent.

    “In the first place, it is to be remarked that, however small the republic may be, the representatives must be raised to a certain number, in order to guard against the cabals of a few; and that, however large it may be, they must be limited to a certain number, in order to guard against the confusion of a multitude….”By enlarging too much the number of electors, you render the representatives too little acquainted with all their local circumstances and lesser interests..”_ the Federalist #10

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