Focus Point - Real Campaign Reform

Commentary by Pete du Pont

I'm Pete du Pont with the National Center for Policy Analysis. President Clinton is wrong about Bradley Smith. Clinton nominated Smith -- reluctantly -- to the Federal Election Commission. Republicans and Democrats each nominate three people to the commission. Smith's a Republican who, Clinton says, hates campaign reform.

Smith's critics have compared him to the unabomber and the Klan. Why? Because he challenges conventional wisdom, and backs it up with impeccable research; for example, saying higher spending doesn't automatically translate into victory. Or that campaign contributions affect very few votes in the legislature.

He says typical reform proposals inherently favor political elites and the status quo; that they'd have an undemocratic effect; that they're based on the idea if we take away the corrupting influences of money, lobbyists and public opinion -- that's you -- then lawmakers would produce good, wise and fair legislation. Sure they would.

And Smith's totally un-p.c., saying negative advertising that's relevant can serve the people well. And spending less only reduces communication.

This is the kind of guy we need.

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