Friday, April 22, 2005

Hearing Airs BCRA Criticism

Having spent most of my professional career in the campaign finance arena, these types of stories interest me a great deal. First, it appears obvious, as it should to any even moderate observer of politics, money will always find an outlet in campaigns. The fact that 527's came to prominence is not so surprising. Neither is it surprising that Congress will decide to take a look at the matter.

The problem facing Congress is two-fold. First, they must pass regulations aimed an governing the method in which they run for office. Because of the very nature of our government, Congress is the only body who can do this. Thus, not only does a conflict of interest exists, but the conflict is inherently structural.

Second, Congress must walk a fine line between laws designed to closely regulate campaign finance and crossing hte line into unconstitutional infringements on free speech.

As money becomes more prevalent and important in politics, perhaps only Congressman Doolittle has a solution that will solve everything--anything goes but you have to disclose everything. So the regulatory test of campaign finance will be the red-faced test or the smell test. Can a canddiate accept such funds and pass the smell test or embarassment test before the public.

Of course, such a regulatory formulation means that the public will have to become more sophisticated about campaign finance--a scenario unlikely to happen.

Hearing Airs BCRA Criticism

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