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One of the new Democratic House majority’s top priorities is so-called campaign finance reform legislation. Contrary to the claims of its supporters, campaign finance reform legislation does not limit the influence of powerful special interests. Instead, it violates the First Amendment and burdens those seeking real change in government.
The First Amendment of the Constitution forbids Congress from interfering in any way with any citizen’s ability to influence government policies. Spending money to support candidates and causes is one way individuals influence government policies. Therefore, laws limiting and regulating donations to campaigns and organizations that work to change government policies violate the First Amendment.

One very troubling aspect of campaign finance reform laws is forcing organizations involved in “electioneering” to hand over the names of their top donors to the federal government. Electioneering is broadly defined to include informing the public of candidates’ positions and records, even if the group in question focuses solely on advancing issues and ideas. Burdening these types of organizations will make it harder for individuals to learn the truth about candidates’ positions.

America has a long and distinguished tradition of anonymous political speech. Both the Federalist and the Anti-Federalist papers where published anonymously. As Justice John Marshall Harlan wrote in NAACP v. Alabama, where the Supreme Court upheld the NAACP’s right to keep its membership list confidential, “Inviolability of privacy in group association may in many circumstances be indispensable to preservation of freedom of association, particularly where a group espouses dissident beliefs.”

Supporters of groups with “dissident beliefs” have good reason to fear new disclosure laws. In 2014, the IRS had to pay 50,000 dollars to the National Organization for Marriage because an IRS employee leaked donors names to the organization’s opponents. Fortunately, the Trump administration has repealed the regulation forcing activist groups to disclose their donors to the IRS. Unfortunately, Congress seems poised to reinstate that rule.

In recent years, we have seen the rise of authoritarian political movements that think harassment and even violence against those with differing views are acceptable tactics. Can anyone doubt that activists in these movements would do all they could to obtain the lists of donors to groups that oppose their agenda? They may be able to obtain the lists either by hacking government databases or by having a sympathetic federal employee “accidentally” leak the names.

As long as businesses can profit by currying favor with politicians and bureaucrats who have the power to reward or punish them via subsidies and regulations, powerful interests will find a way to influence the political process. These special interests seek out and reward politicians who support policies favoring their interests. So foreign policy hawks can count on generous support from the military-industrial complex, supporters of corporatist health care systems like Obamacare can count on generous support from the health insurance-pharma complex, and apologists for the Federal Reserve can count on support from the big banks.

Special interests do not favor free-market capitalism. Instead, they favor a mixed economy where government protects the profits of large business interests. That is why big business is more likely to support a progressive or a “moderate” than a libertarian. Campaign finance and donor disclosure laws will make it harder for grassroots liberty activists to challenge the corporatist status quo. Those wishing to get big money out of politics should work to get politics out of all aspects of the economy.

(Republished from The Ron Paul Institute by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Campaign Finance 
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  1. Miggle says:

    Dear Olly,

    Thanks for this.

    I knew Olly Gark would come up with an idea of some kind.

    Now let me make a few suggestions.

    1. Government donation to each candidate of sufficient funds to run his or her election campaign. Campaign finance reform! Yes!

    2. Bring back the death penalty, but only for persons elected to Congress convicted of having stood for office a second time, aiming for a second term.

    On that point, learn the meaning of the word Democracy, and its very concept, invented by the ancient Athenians who as well as their General Assembly had their Senate, to which members were elected by lot. Election by lot means, in a Democracy, a member once elected is never elected again.

    A question for you. How many butchers, bakers and candlestick-makers are sitting in Congress at present? Government of the people, by the people? Ha! Ha!

    Give us Democracy, not the rule of the Garks!

    Another suggestion. Read the chapter Nincompoop in Israel Shamir’s book Galilee Flowers, where it is explained in detail why only nincompoops are allowed to be elected to Congress.

    • Replies: @Miggle
    , @Miggle
  2. Miggle says:
    @Miggle

    Also, please consider http://www.unz.com/proberts/americans-need-a-congress-that-represents-americans by Dr Roberts, who, if I understand rightly, deals very well with the issue you have raised.

  3. Tony says:

    Yo Paulie, That libertarian thing aint happening any more.

  4. renfro says:

    Campaign finance and donor disclosure laws will make it harder for grassroots liberty activists to challenge the corporatist status quo. Those wishing to get big money out of politics should work to get politics out of all aspects of the economy

    The stupidity of that statement makes my head explode.

  5. Spending money to support candidates and causes is one way individuals influence government policies. Therefore, laws limiting and regulating donations to campaigns and organizations that work to change government policies violate the First Amendment.

    I had not realized that the first amendment handed the government to the rich. I have been such a fool. What I had thought was graft and corruption was just our constitution in action.

    Seriously. The left wants to burn your contributors house. That’s why they want your contributors identity. I’m no lefty but I too want to know who owns my congressman. Pretending that money is speech only complicates the problem. Crack down on arson.

  6. Miggle says:
    @Miggle

    But your Ron Paul Institute site, with it’s rejection of grAmerican predation on other countries, it’s support for Julian Assange etc., is great. Most of the time you are right, sometimes you go Goppy.

  7. Ron is good on foreign policy most of the time. But thats it. Period. This is probably one of the dumbest things I ever read.
    I guess Rons solution to politicians being whores to the highest bidder is that all of us dumb goyims should just become billionaires so we can try to outbid the billionaires? Free market capitalism?

    His son is no less of a hypocrite.

    Sen. Rand Paul Heading to Canada for Surgery
    https://www.thedailybeast.com/sen-rand-paul-heading-to-canada-for-surgery

    So Rand is saying that Canada has better doctors than the US? No private doctors in the US system good enough for ol Rand? I thought our system produced the best results Rand? Public healthcare systems degrade quality of medical care don’t they Rand? This hospital he is going to functions under that system, and he finds it preferable to his US options. I guess higher cost and freedumb doesn’t equal better results after all. So Rand is full of shit and a hypocrite of the highest order.

    Whores. Sad!

    • Replies: @Miggle
  8. Miggle says:
    @redmudhooch

    It’s just possible, though, trying to be fair to him, that this is part of Rand Paul’s study of the adequacies and deficiencies of the U.S. hospital system with its Pinochetesque predation, uniquely vicious and held in contempt in every other country in the world.

    American politicians have never done anything about it, apart from Obamacare which is itself hated by many, particularly by the likes of Rand Paul or others of the Goppy Party. Why? Why the essential viciousness and snakiness of the U.S. political system, all for Capitalism by which is meant predatory Capitalism? Why has Congress not united to fix this monstrous, glaring problem instead of ignoring it or denying it for decades and decades?

    It may be that Rand Paul is actually studying this subject and decided to do it at first hand, personally comparing the hospital system in a non-vicious country with that in the vicious country. If so, perhaps he should be congratulated for going to Canada for an operation.

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