A recent article in the L.A. Times is practically bursting with all the things that advocates of campaign finance “reform” love to hear. Money is being “poured” into ballot initiatives, voters are being “confused” and “misled” by television advertising, and we are reminded that “often…the politician or proposition with the most money wins.” Public Campaign, in a blog post titled “Best Election Money Can Buy,” points to this article as proof that something must be done to curb the influence of “wealthy interests [who] are sparing no expense to buy a big bullhorn in the debate.”
Regrettably, the L.A. Times article is typical of campaign finance reporting, and Public Campaign’s response is typical of the “reform” community’s response. We view these sorts of stories and the responses they generate with a more skeptical eye. Even when the facts contained in such stories are accurate, the conclusions that are drawn from them by “reformers” are often marked by muddled thinking and sometimes down-right illogic.
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