The Sensible Knave

"I do not see that we are further along today than where Hume left us. The Humean predicament is the human predicament." - W.V.O. Quine

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Limiting Campaign Contributions

In this week's post, Richard Posner opines on campaign finance reform, and makes this important remark:
Limiting campaign advertising, whether directly or indirectly, operates as a subsidy to newspapers and other news media, which report on political campaigns. The less political advertising there is, the more dependent the public is on the media.
What is more important is that this subsidy is, in a sense, passed along to the candidates preferred by media outlets. After all, how does a glowing op-ed piece serve a candidate less well than an advertisement or infomercial bought by a loyal campaign contributor? The fact of the matter is that many parties are in a position to make nonpecuniary campaign contributions. Unlimited monetary campaign contributions, on the other hand, serve to level the playing field for those who do not own or manage information capital.

First Amendment rights should not favor those with the gift of self-expression over those who need help with articulating their messages. As long as we have broad freedom of the press, as we should, campaign contribution limits would do just that,