Focus Point - Insider Campaign Reform

Commentary by Pete du Pont

I'm Pete du Pont with the National Center for Policy Analysis. If you want a cogent analysis of the so-called campaign reform now the craze in congress, how about asking somebody whose job it is to study it: Bradley Smith, who's actually a member of the Federal Election Commission, in a new book called "Unfree Speech," Smith says McCain-Feingold type reforms are wrongheaded.

Smith takes the perfectly sensible position that money is good for politics and more money would be better. His arguments are constitutional (restricting campaign contributions restrict free speech); legal (there's no evidence money corrupts the legislative process); and sensible (special interests are always better at getting around regulations than grassroots movements are.)

Smith (who by the way was appointed by Bill Clinton only under duress), makes the argument I've made: That the only fair, constitutional system is immediate reporting of all donations. Then let the people decide if politicians have been corrupted. Any other legislation might as well be called the anti-constitutional freedom-impaired special interest incumbent-protection act.

Those are my ideas, and at the NCPA we know ideas can change the world. I'm Pete du Pont. Next time, burden hours.