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Saturday, October 11, 2014

Campaign Financing



With the 2014 elections looming ominously in the near distance—November 4, in case you’ve been hibernating—the subject of campaign financing is front and center once again.

I’m not sure it is as big a problem as those on the left and right would have us believe. There are rich people on both sides of the political spectrum handing our huge piles of Benjamins. There is a pretty good chance that, in the nationwide aggregate, it pretty much evens out.

Anonymity, an idea that pops up from time to time, has been exhumed and examined once again. What if we made all campaign contributions and independent expenditures anonymous — and made sure they stayed anonymous?

First of all, I don’t think it is possible. People will find some way to make sure the object(s) of their largess are aware of who they owe. Second, as I foreshadowed above, I don’t think money is the real problem. Besides, money is speech and speech should remain as free as the Constitution made it.
Money means so much because our election seasons are so long. They essentially stretch from one election to the next. There is no time out.  

So, limit campaign lengths--no campaigning of any kind, stealth or otherwise, until three weeks before a primary or election day. Levy stiff fines for sneaking in campaign actions.

Then you need to turn off your TV and disable your telephone for a mere three weeks.
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