The Lonely Centrist

A place for reasoned debate about the issues of the day.

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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The Most Naive Man in America Strikes Again

The Centerman is stirred from winter hibernation by the fury of the most naive man in the world. One result of campaign finance reform is that political parties are prohibited from fully coordinating their efforts with their own candidates. So, once they hit the limits, they establish independent units within the party to carry on the campaign. The problem, of course, is that because the added party activity must be done independently of the party, and of the campaign, the candidate and party leaders cannot control the result. See here.

This has the country's most naive man blowing steam from his ears.

Meanwhile, Paul Ryan of the Campaign Legal Center adds some naive humor, suggesting that the parites should simply defund their independent units. But this misses the point. Parties have independent units because they want to win elections and support their candidates, and the law hinders them in doing so. Rather than call for parties to stop campaigning, Mr. Ryan should take the obvious step, and call for repeal of the law that limits the ability of parties to coordinate their messages with that of a candidate. After all, with parties no longer able to accept unregulated contributions, it is all regulated money, raised in small, and therefore "non-corrupting" amounts. Few would find "corruption," or even less so its "appearance," when a political party spends regulated, small contributions to coordinate activities with its own candidates.

But for the reform community represented by Messrs. Wertheimer and Ryan, this is the one sine qua non, the inconceivable - that any campaign finance regulation, no matter how harmful, can ever be repealed.

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