Tuesday’s interview with Reince Priebus generated the usual hand wringing on the left when campaign contribution limits come up. (The transcript of the interview is here.)
The last vestige of the ill-fated post-Watergate attempt to control money in politics should fall like the dead tree it is sometime in the next few years, and Priebus was just pointing out that contribution limits distort politics but don’t keep money out of it. I also like to point out to folks that it was Barack Obama who dealt the death blow to public financing of campaigns with his 2008 presidential campaign decision to reject spending limits. “Do as we say, not as our leader did” is the argument of the left, but the First Amendment is clear and the 40 year frolic and detour from its clear admonition should be overturned and buried.
The reprisal issues Priebus rightly brought up –and they extend far beyond the Mozilla case– will fade away if people can give to candidates and parties and then expect them to act as principled individuals or coherent entities. Far from corrupting government, getting back to direct funding of candidates and parties as opposed to cause funding and independent expenditures will greatly assist the healthy functioning of the Republic.
By the way, unions have an equal right to contribute to candidates and parties, just not the right to lift their members money without their members’ permission –another issue that awaits the Court’s remedy.