Activism Alert: Campaign Finance Regulation vs. Free Speech

by | Feb 6, 2002

The House Republican leadership announced that on Wednesday, February 13, 2002 campaign finance regulation legislation will be brought to the floor for a vote. A similar bill has already passed in the Senate and if passed by the House, this legislation threatens a fundamental freedom: the right to communicate one’s beliefs in order to influence […]

The House Republican leadership announced that on Wednesday, February 13, 2002 campaign finance regulation legislation will be brought to the floor for a vote. A similar bill has already passed in the Senate and if passed by the House, this legislation threatens a fundamental freedom: the right to communicate one’s beliefs in order to influence a political election. The Center for the Moral Defense of Capitalism is organizing a letter-writing campaign in opposition.

The proposed legislation (H.R. 380) makes the following major changes to our campaign financing system:

  1. Bans so-called “soft money” contributions to the national political parties. “Soft money” donations are a means of bypassing the federal limit on direct donations (“hard money”) to political candidates. “Soft money” allows an individual or corporation to donate an unlimited amount of money to a national political party.
  2. Prohibits federal officeholders and candidates from soliciting “soft money” in connection with Federal elections. Permits candidates to solicit up to $10,000 from an individual per year for a 501(c) tax-exempt specifically for voter registration close to Federal elections. Political advertisements falling under this definition could only be run using “hard” dollars and expenditures on these ads would have to be disclosed.
  3. Requires state and local parties to spend “hard money” on activities that influence Federal elections, except that state and local parties may spend a 50/50 mix of “hard” and “soft” money on voter registration and get-out-the-vote activity that does not mention a Federal candidate. No single “soft money” donor may give more than $10,000 per year to a state or local party for such purposes.
  4. Prohibits the use of corporate and union treasury money for broadcast communications that mention a Federal candidate with 60 days of a general election or 30 days of a primary and are targeted at the candidate’s electorate.
  5. Within 45 days of a primary or 60 days before a general election, requires broadcast television, cable or satellite providers to charge candidates and national committees of political parties the lowest amount they have charged any other advertiser during the preceding 180 days.

I encourage everyone to communicate their opposition to this bail by writing their member of congress. If passed, campaign-finance regulation will squelch our right to communicate our political beliefs and subject broadcast media outlets to the outright expropriation of their property. This bill is incompatible with freedom and must be opposed.

For more on Campaign Finance Reform visit
http://nolobby.com.

What To Do:
To e-mail your elected representatives, research congressional voting records and more, visit CMDC’s legislative Action Center at: http://capwiz.com/moraldefense/home/

Intellectual Ammunition:

Nicholas Provenzo is founder and Chairman of the Center for the Advancement of Capitalism.

The views expressed above represent those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors and publishers of Capitalism Magazine. Capitalism Magazine sometimes publishes articles we disagree with because we think the article provides information, or a contrasting point of view, that may be of value to our readers.

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