The Therapy Sessions
Friday, December 12, 2003
What part of "Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech" didn't they understand? Key Parts of Campaign Finance Law Upheld
WASHINGTON - A divided Supreme Court upheld the broadest restrictions on campaign donations in nearly 30 years Wednesday, ruling the nation is better off with limits on the financial influence of deep-pocket donors even if money never can be divorced from politics.
Rooting out corruption, or even the appearance of it, justifies limitations on the free speech and free spending of contributors, candidates and political parties, the court said in a 5-4 decision.
This law is a disaster. It protects incumbents and makes it harder to get rid of them (soft money donations tend to be targeted at districts where incumbents face a challenge).
And it will confuse the political landscape, as candidates turn to special interest groups to get their message out, instead of just telling people directly on the televison. The speical interest groups now have to do so without mentioning a candidate's name.
What exactly does this mean?
Under those limits, groups such as the Sierra Club or the National Rifle Association may run ads about specific candidates within 60 days of a general election only if the ads were paid for with money from donors whose identities have been disclosed to the Federal Election Commission.
Are these people unaware that money is fungible? It doesn't tell us where it came from! All kinds of avenues of corruption are opened up here.
And the most damning evidence of all! The Inquirer likes it, but predicts that many more "reforms" will be needed.
I hate TV ads as much as anyone, but this is ridiculous.