Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Miserable Failure: Campaign finance reform has failed. The trouble it has caused is worse than what us critics had predicted.

The McCain-Feingold bill has not slowed the flow of money into politics. "Independent" groups are getting all the dough instead of the candidates. While these groups, known as 527s, are getting rich off the soft money ban, they are not being held accountable the way an elected official or political candidate would.

Instead of recognizing the problem for what it is, the presidential candidates are calling for more censorship. Kerry reportedly is trying to pull a critical book off the shelves. Bush wants to shut down 527s altogether.

While the likes of MoveOn.org, The Media Fund, and the Swift Boat veterans haven't contributed anything meaningful to this campaign, they do have a right to free speech. Normally the marketplace of ideas would minimize the impact these people have. But because federal law limits other types of speech, more money is flowing into these people's pockets. And because their speech will be banned 60 days before the election, the money is flowing there in a hurry.

These groups run more negative ads and lie more than candidates usually do. McCain-Feingold has only increased their power.


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