One corollary to the political-money obsession is the complaint that Federal Election Commission enforcement for alleged wrongdoers is too feeble. Critics say its bipartisan structure hampers its ability to regulate all this spending. But the commission’s structure is no accident. As the Center for Competitive Politics noted last year, it was part of the fallout from President Nixon’s partisan skullduggery. Nixon built an enemies list. The White House implemented a staff memo to “use the available federal machinery to screw our political enemies.”
Despite the ominous history, progressives insist campaign regulation requires a strongman. A fearless enforcer, imposing Congressional will. Someone who will take the law to its most speech-limiting extreme. And leave pesky constitutional concerns to others…
But power when regulating campaign speech is no virtue. Congress need not enact WTPA to see this model’s deleterious effects. Our democratic laboratories already created one.
Some political analysts, such as Paul Jacob, have suggested that it is in America’s best interest to actually decrease campaign funding regulations even further. According to Jacob, though the current system allows the potential for a group of wealthy donors to fund campaigns that would otherwise flop, the voters still ultimately decide on each candidacy.
On a similar note, Bradley Smith says that the best solution to the campaign finance debate is to simply embrace the higher spending. He says that in this case, “the cure is worse than the disease”. Before Buckley v. Valeo in 1976, the concept of regulating campaign finance was virtually non-existent. Smith argues that legislative responses to the increase in “big money” have done next to nothing to prevent it from continuing, therefore we are better off allowing money to send a mass message.