Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

It’s an impasse worthy of Joseph Heller. The author of the comic novel Catch-22 provided us with the perfect term for a specific type of trap. In Heller’s story, you could only get out of the army if you were crazy — but if you asked to get out, that was proof of your sanity. Catch-22!

In Washington State, citizens may recall an elected official, but the recall effort must do two things: Prove to a court that the effort is not frivolous and abide by the state’s campaign finance laws.

Trouble is, for the court hearing you need an attorney. If your effort — like the current effort to recall controversial Pierce County Assessor-Treasurer Dale Washam — is popular enough to get pro bono work from a major law firm, too bad.

Bad? Well, the campaign finance regulation applies to attorneys, too — and, according to some bureaucrats, the campaign finance limit of $800 per person limits not merely citizen contributors, but volunteering lawyers as well. They may not contribute more than $800 worth of labor to the client!

So, a recall is technically possible. But practically, it is not.

Another typical pro-incumbency effect of campaign finance regulation.

In this case, the Institute for Justice has come to the rescue. They’ve sued: Farris et al. v. Seabrook et al. IJ has made it a mission to defend Americans thwarted by misguided campaign finance regulation.

Someone has to fight our Catch-22’s.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor


  1. Drik says:

    Silly wabbit.
    Government jobs are for lib/progs.

  2. Jay says:

    I normally agree with Dirk’s views, but here I don’t.

    Look how John McCain protected himself in the Arizona primary (last year) against a popular radio talk show host (I do not live in Arizona, but do have family there).

    And Rand Paul, the “darling” of the Tea party, who 5 months (May 2011; sworn in Jan 2011) files for re-election in 2016-so he can raise money to protect his self interest-I mean seat. And his father, a (self proclaimed) follower/believer in the Constitution, who just said eh will not run for re-election. After over 30 years in the House. While there are not term limits (unfortunately) spelled out, the papers I read in high school and college, the Founding Fathers felt it would be a citizen’s government, not career political creatures.

    The desire for power is at all levels and all political stripes.

  3. Drik says:

    Apreciate the acknowlegement, Jay. Because those folks do not claim the lib/prog label does not absolve them.

    Lincoln was crdited with telling a joke that asked how many legs a dog has. When the answer came back “4”, he said, “Suppose I call the tail a leg, then how many legs does a dog have?” The usual answer then was “5”. Lincoln then responded that the answer was still “4” because calling a tail a leg did not make it one.

    I submit that the longer a politician stays in office, the more they tend to take on lib/prog traits.

    (It’s Drik)

  4. Denny says:

    The real problem is that politicians and lawyers have a conspiricy to protect the income and power of lawyers in government. The Trial Lawyers Association are so powerful that they are able to keep an effective super-majority of lawyers in the Senate. Supreme Court Justice Scalia has publicaly said that there are too many lawyers. We need to stop financing law schools and start financing better medical schools. We have not enough physicians but too many lawyers.

  5. Drik says:

    The government is planning to fund some of the shortfall of the bedget by jacking down the rates that Medicare pays for the treatment by docs. The big plan was that this would be done after putting the private insurers out of business so there would be no other game in town. Ultimately this WILL help some costs because the existing docs will compete for the more remuneratively profitable remaining private insurance business. Prices will go down some, but many of the costs of treating patients are fixed. Cost of the building, staff, billing, malpractice insurance, etc. No way to bargain those down.
    At some point, the doctorilly inclined will ask what am I going to get for my 60+ hr work week, since they are usually talented folks who would succeed at anything that they do.
    First trade-off will be cutting off the treatment of the Medicare folks. Second will be shutting down practicing in the US and either relocating or doing something else. Third may well be that folks decide that racking up $150K of debt to go into a business that never pays enough to get out of debt is just not a good strategy.
    And then we will no longer have the best health-care system in the world.
    At least it will cure the Canooks and third world dictators from coming HERE to get treatment.

  6. MoreFreedom says:

    Drik and Jay, your commentary is entertaining, but off the subject.

    Jacob’s point is that campaign finance laws are more properly named incumbent protection laws. He’s right. Congress shall make no law abridging freedom of speech.

    Of course, one could take Kagen’s position, that the more corrupt a government is, the more it is justified in restricting individual freedoms, in the name of preventing corruption. But that’s a ridiculous position.

    I’m also against campaign contribution disclosure laws. If you contribute to someone, you’ll become the enemy of their competition – and the target of government agents to punish you for it.

    Many politicians are afraid of free speech – and they should be because they’d be exposed for the crooks they are. McCain is one – his wife has a government enforced monopoly on liquor distribution in Arizona.

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