Thursday, September 07, 2006
Too much speech!
Prop 89, the Free Speech Reduction Act of 2006, seeks to further limit contributions to candidates, and place limits on individuals' abilities to spend money to say things even if not contributing to a candidate. As a sidenote, it also requires corporations to provide compulsory campaign donations to candidates in a manner determined solely by the state. (This provision is also known as "public financing paid for through a corporate tax," but differs from state-forced speech in no meaningful way.)
By my framing above, you might be able to guess that I don't like the idea. Did I mention that certain nonprofits are exempt from the restrictions placed on every other individual and group in the state? You know, like unions, and in particular, the one that put this on the ballot? Ahem:
Burger Admits that when it comes to ballot measures, Prop 89 does not hold unions to the same limitations.Riiiight.
Deborah Anne Burger: "We didn't feel that it was actually necessary."
Essentially, the point here is to shift communication from the candidates themselves to a press which we all pretend provides fair and complete coverage. After all, when The Chron publishes another Democratic Party press release, that's not campaigning, that's just reporting. I'm a little concerned about putting control of public information in the hands of newspaper editors, though.
Public financing provides a certain amount of money, but if your opponent spends more than that (by not taking public financing), then the government will give you even more money to cover the difference. Oh, and whoever wins will get taxpayer money to help cover expenses once in office, too.
The one thing that could make campaign season more annoying will happen: We'd have to pay for it ourselves. Yay. I think I'm going to give an emphatic NO endorsement on Prop 89.
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