Statement of David Keating Before the Committee on Elections and Ethics Michigan House of Representatives

December 3, 2013   •  By Joe Trotter   •    •  ,

The most important provision in the bill is its protection of Michiganders’ First Amendment rights to speak about issues at any time, but especially near an election, when citizens are more interested in learning about and debating government policies.

Considering the concerns raised above and the findings of the academic community, contribution limits infringe upon the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of speech, and legislative proposals to raise or lower existing contribution limits should be taken very seriously. These limits have not been shown to prevent corruption. Research shows they have no effect on the quality of governance, and in fact suggests the opposite: states with the highest governance ratings have no limits on the size or source of campaign contributions. In addition, contributions do not “buy politicians’ votes,” and thus do not have the “corrupting influence” many opponents of free speech imagine. By contrast, research shows politicians’ voting patterns are remarkably stable over time, regardless of who donates to their campaign.

Read full statement here…


Joe Trotter

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