Focus Point - Stopping John McCainCommentary by Pete du Pont
March 27, 2001
I'm Pete du Pont with the National Center for Policy Analysis. Seeing John McCain at work trying to pass his campaign spending "reform" -- I put the word in quotation marks -- I'm reminded of the song title, "How can I miss you if you won't go away?"
Mostly, I like McCain. He's a reasonably reliable conservative vote. He served his country with honor. He's a maverick, and every party could use a dash of that.
But his campaign reform plan is wrong, it's unconstitutional. The Supreme Court has ruled that donating money to a candidate of a political party is speech. We protect free speech with the First Amendment. And while you can argue about how far the amendment ought to stretch sometimes -- flag burning, say, or obscenity -- it's clear that political speech is the most important thing it's there to protect.
Finally, defeating this proposal keeps us out of the courts, because if it passes, everybody from the Sierra Club to the NRA is going to sue to kill it.
Those are my ideas, and at the NCPA we know ideas can change the world. I'm Pete du Pont. Next time, tax protection.