April 9, 2009
Campaign Finance Reform
I cannot tell a lie. I am a bad progressive who doesn't believe in public financing of campaigns. I think it's a waste of money that doesn't really address the problem. The last thing we need is more ads when the nature of advertising has gradually been rotting our brains and our schools.
The problem is locked in place by Supreme legal precedence that any personal money spent on one's campaign is protected by the principle of free speech. The constrained freedom to contribute is also protected. Unfortunately, pandering speech enjoys equal protection not just under the law but by customary acceptance and approval. Such acceptance is close kin to people's approval of local pork.
Many years ago, I advocated in a letter to the Bee that half of all campaign contributions be allocated to local general funds. Another great idea would be requiring more open-ended, calm, and equal time access to be provided by all news media. We could limit campaigns to a month or 2, as in Europe.
Another campaign reform available to everyone is to never vote for anyone you see advertised on TV.