Click here to check out
The Chicago Ron Paul 2008 Meetup Group!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

cato: eugene mccarthy was right about campaign finance

The late Eugene McCarthy was not only strongly antiwar, but he also correctly viewed campaign finance laws as a scam that protected establishment politicians at the expense of small-time challengers. His 1968 campaign would not have gotten off the ground under today's campaign finance laws. He scared the shit out of the establishment, and Congress subsequently passed legislation in 1970 (vetoed) and 1971 (signed) which drastically restricted private contributions to candidates. The Cato Institute has a good commentary today entitled A Free Speech Kind of Thing about this very issue, written by John Samples. Here's an excerpt:
In our time the men who supported McCarthy's 1968 effort would be liable for the crime of contributing too much money to a political campaign. Not surprisingly we have many fewer upstart campaigns like McCarthy's and 98 percent of incumbents win their bids to be re-elected to Congress.

McCarthy himself believed that campaign finance restrictions complicated the lives of candidates and their supporters, increased the influence of special interests, and ultimately made lawbreakers out of people seeking to exercise their right to political association. Most of such laws, he said, violated the Constitution while upholding the privileged status of the major parties. His opposition to campaign finance law was, he explained near the end of his life, a "free speech kind of thing."

Indeed it was. Contrarian and principled. A Gene McCarthy kind of thing.
Read the rest.


Post a Comment

<< Home