Limiting political speech won’t create good government

In the latest Democracy Rising Newsletter, Tim Potts takes on two issues: redistricting and campaign finance. On redistricting I agree with him–we should not let those running for re-election draw the borders of their district–and I have also written on how Cerberus is keeping that reform in limbo.

On campaign finance limits, Potts takes to task Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl for vetoing a bill that would offer limits similar to federal election law. I will take Tim to task using the same rhetorical questions manner he favors:

  1. Is the federal government free from influence of special interests, thanks to campaign finance restrictions?
  2. Does Tim think that limiting political speech will provide for a better informed public, or serve the public in any way?
  3. Does Tim really believe that elections would be more competitive with campaign finance limits, even though all the evidence indicates that limits favor incumbents and result in less competitive elections?
  4. If campaign finance limits were such a good idea, why does every corrupt politician and big city political machine favor them?

So long as government gives taxpayer handouts to favored businesses, regulates all aspects of the economy, and consumes one-third of personal income in taxes, special interests will always find a way to influence politicians. The only way to “get money out of politics” is to limit the size and role of government.