I’m Just Not That Interested in McCutcheon

I can’t manage to work up much ardor about the recent Supreme Court decision governing individual political contributions one way or another. If you’re looking for commentary on it I found these remarks by Robert VerBruggen at RealClearPolicy as good as any.

I’m not particularly libertarian when it comes to political contributions, lobbying, and political influence, generally. If I were king, I’d restrict paid political advertising on television severely, limit individual political contributions, prohibit contributions by non-individuals, prohibit lobbying any representatives other than your own, and other measures with an eye towards de-professionalizing politics. I have no illusions that anybody but I support such an idea.

4 comments… add one
  • steve

    Add to your list that all contributions must be transparent. Free speech doesnt mean hidden speech. Then, all Congress critters and Senators should have to participate in a website where they have to list where their spouses, children and siblings work, with crosslinks to donations made by any of those companies so that it becomes obvious to everyone without investigative journalism.


  • PD Shaw

    Campaign finance is one area that I’ve noticed that I’ve become much more libertarian since participating in the Blogoverse, probably because of it. Very few people change their political framework that easily; there are far more people unfamiliar with the position of others; and most arguments that rely upon campaign finance are simply ad hominem. It is considered the epitome of political persuasion that the Koch brothers contributed to a Republican. Boring, Sidney, Boring.

  • ...

    My own proposal for campaign finance reform is that people can donate as much as they want to a candidate, so long as two strictures are met. First, the contribution must be made public immediately. Second, you can only donate to candidates whom you can vote. I hate hate HATE having outside money flow into an election.

    Unfortunately I have no idea what to do about third-party advertising, though perhaps some similar rules could apply.

  • Andy

    I have a hard time getting worked up about it too. A couple of opinions:

    1. I think the effect of money is overrated for elections. There’s only so much advertising can do to put lipstick on a pig. The main problem with money is lobbying after someone is elected.

    2. I’ve become more libertarian on this issue. The reason is that someone has to decide what is and isn’t political content allowed/not allowed during an election. I don’t really trust anyone with that kind of power. Also, the restrictions we put in place haven’t done much IMO to get money out of politics.

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