Thursday, March 17, 2005

Alleluia! CFR is once again dead in Wisconsin!

Senator Ellis' SB-46 campaign finance reform bill was voted down yesterday.

There are many reasons to oppose campaign finance reform in general and let us look at some things about this bill. The Appleton Post Crescent writes on this today and unless other otherwise noted all quotes come from this source.

The PC's analysis seems focused on the part of the legislation that creates a fund for candidates to counter [scarey music]special interest[/scarey music] advertising against candidates.

The centerpiece of the legislation was a new method to fund public grants to candidates and a new mechanism to give them money if they face a barrage of ads by special interest groups or opponents who exceed state-imposed spending caps.

Some complained the legislation did not adequately fund those grants to make them effective. Others said the legislation would not withstand scrutiny in court because they believed it infringed upon the First Amendment free speech rights of independent groups running campaign ads.

Once again a terrible misunderstanding of "special interest groups" is demonstrated. Special interest groups whether you agree with them or disagree are composed of people united to push a common agenda, stomp on special interests and you stomp on people! What is that old saying "E pluribus Unum". What does that mean? Apparently some in our government are working overtime to divide us. The solution to special interests is for those opposed to those interests to organize and push their message.

20 State Senators voted against the bill eight Republicans and 12 Democrats. The Democrats quoted in the article predictably enough complain the bill did not spend enough. The opposed Republicans quoted believed the bill is contrary to free speech and voted against it.

I have blogged on this topic before and believe the vision of Senator Ellis puts the decision of who runs and who does not run for office in the hands of government. That is simply a chilling vision.