New at Reason

Jacob Sullum pays tribute to the brilliant new political finance laws that will fix everything.

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    Why not apply the same standard to individual donors, lifting the restrictions imposed in 1974 while continuing to require disclosure of who gets what from whom?

    Because disclosure would be a restriction on speech, and therefore unconstitutional under the first amendment. Freedom of speech requires anonymous speech, lest the speaker fear retaliation from attacking the establishment.

    That being said, donation disclosure without other restriction would be a vast improvement over the abomination we have now.

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    I confess that I've never understood Reason's desire to allow those with money unfettered access to influence government while at the same time bemoaning the size and power of government in general.

    What exactly do you think is going to happen to the scope of government if you allow more and more money to be poured into it.

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    What exactly do you think is going to happen to the scope of government if you allow more and more money to be poured into it.


    I've never understood how anyone could be so tree stump stupid as to believe that any amount of regulation could stem the flow of money being poured into government. Allowing money to flow freely through non-establishment channels is our best hope of reducing the scope of government.

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    Okay, but if no regulation can stop the free flow of money into government, who cares if there are regulations in place? Just donate/bribe to your heart's content anyway.

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    Dadgum italics

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    What exactly do you think is going to happen to the scope of government if you allow more and more money to be poured into it.

    Except that these laws DONT stop money from being poured into it. Do you think the Republicans or Democrats are any less funded with these laws? THEY ARE BREAKING ALL THE RECORDS FOR FUNDING WITH THESE LAWS!!!

    These laws are designed to give a complicated set of laws that can be arbitrarily enforced to crack down on third parties and grass roots, to the benefit of the major parties and the big corporations.

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    I confess that I've never understood Reason's desire to allow those with money unfettered access to influence government while at the same time bemoaning the size and power of government in general.

    Apparently you prefer a world where the government is large and powerful and citizens are not allowed to influence it?

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    I'd prefer citizens be allowed to influence government by vote, not money. Because a few people have almost all the money.

  • Robert||

    There's one solution to this but it'd be costly. That's to commandeer so much more in resources for elections that donations would become superfluous. I mean for the last 3 months before any election, allow any federal candidate use of the GPO & free mailing to the tune of 10 times whatever the current record is, and require radio & TV stations to give them each 10 times the record in air time. Give them civil service workers and access to a motor pool too.

    That done, it would be clear that any donation to a federal candidate's campaign would be a bribe, because they'd have no need for money to assist campaigns. That'd shut up the campaign finance reformers.

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    Back in 1968, when campaign laws were few or non-existent (I don't know if there were or were not ANY campaign finance laws in 1968) a guy named Eugene McCarthy ran against a sitting president of his own party. As I understand, one rich liberal bankrolled McCarthy's campaign.

    The fact of the matter is that interests are diverse, and there are plenty of rich liberals to back liberal candidates. Indeed, there are enough rich liberals to back several liberal candidates, and if there were no campaign finance laws, Dennis Kucinich (excuse me if I misspelled his name)would get plenty of money right up to the nomination (of course, most of it would come from rich republicans)

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    OK, it would make sense to discuss or debate with someone who showed up and actually offered criticism of the article. But argue with Dan T trolling? Why?

  • Brian Sorgatz||

    Let's all go to the lobbyists
    Let's all go to the lobbyists
    Let's all go to the lobbyists
    And suck on that big teat

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