Scott Tibbs

No, we do not need Free Speech Reform

By Scott Tibbs, January 29, 2020

A Washington Post editorial demanding "Campaign Finance Reform" (more accurately called Free Speech Reform) dishonestly claims the wealthy are now empowered in "campaign financing" because so-called "Super PACs" are "permitted to collect multimillion-dollar checks."

Of course, donations to federal campaigns are limited by federal law, as you can see on the FEC website. The reason Super PACs are allowed to collect more is they are only engaged in independent spending. PACs are not legally allowed to coordinate independent expenditures with campaigns.

The post-Watergate reforms limited contributions to candidates because of concern that large donations encourage corruption, and the Supreme Court upheld those limitations as a legitimate government interest. Huge donations to PACs that only engage in independent expenditures are a completely different issue, so tying limits on contributions to politicians to independent expenditures intentionally misleads the reader.

You see, politicians and statists hate free speech, so they want to limit it. The Washington Post, as a newspaper, gets to spend as much as it wants covering the news and advancing its own editorial point of view. The same goes for the rest of the news media. But the fact that some Americans are also spending money to influence public opinion and bypassing the gatekeepers in the Legacy Media is not acceptable, so their liberty must be restricted.

Do not believe the argument that this is about preventing corruption. This is about silencing or strictly limiting the reach of political messages not first approved by the Legacy Media. They hate Super PACs for the same reason they hate blogs, talk radio and social media: Unfettered speech threatens their monopoly.

We must reject this sinister agenda.

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