First, with Friday being a holiday, I don't know how much posting I'll be doing over the weekend. So, things may go a little quiet as we head into the weekend.
Today's topic on Free Speech seems appropriate with Friday being the Fourth of July. By Free Speech, we are referring to campaign finance reform, since money spent on campaigns is considered a free speech issue.
The Buffalo News has an editorial about the Supreme Court striking down the so-called Millionaire's Amendment to the McCain Feingold campaign finance reform law.
The challenge to this amendment was brought by local candidate Jack Davis. It basically said if you're running against a millionaire like Davis who is throwing in huge sums of personal wealth into his race, you can raise money beyond the legal limits imposed in the law to even things out.
I've got mixed feelings on this. First, I don't like the idea of millionaires trying to buy elections which is more and more the trend. They're given the fancy title of "self-financing" their races but basically they've got more money than you and are going to use it to get votes.
It seems reasonable that some poor schmuck running against said millionaire should be able to raise more money to compete. But then again, why? So Jack Davis worked hard, earned his own money and wants to use it. And since he did that, you can now run back to big special interests like tobacco, unions, etc. and take more of their money to compete? No, I don't like that.
But then again, aren't these limits really having the opposite impact? After all, I think I'd like my candidate to be financed by one rich sugar daddy who he/she basically owes favors to rather than take smaller, but still sizable, contributions from hundreds of special interests who then want something in return. Plus, these limits have given rise to these 527's that basically have become political hit squads to attack candidates.
Then again, aren't these limits key to somehow regulating the special interest money. Take them away and all hell breaks loose. Plus, public financing seems more like welfare for politicians with no support than the right answer.
OK, it's one of those days where I've talked myself into knots. Maybe some of you can bring some clarity.