Thursday, January 21, 2010

Making Political Speech More Free

Why it is good that the U.S. Supreme Court struck down yet another portion of McCain-Feingold "campaign finance reform," and why Tennessee is preparing to make it easier to campaign:

Many of the people who seek such strong regulations and restrictions on political donations are well-intentioned. They see how money can "corrupt" the political process-which it certainly can-and they would like to see that corruption curtailed. The best way, those people presume, to limit the corrupting influence of money in politics is to limit what entities can donate money to political campaigns, and further set limits on how much money individual people may give. That sounds great in theory, but in practice the people who believe that contribution limits are the only way to keep the system clean are simply asking for more "average joes and janes" to be excluded from the political process. When government overly limits what entities can give to campaigns, it also-perhaps inadvertandly-says to someone from an ordinary middle class home "we want you to vote, but we don't want you to run." Contribution limitations make politics even more of a rich man's game than it already is.

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