Saturday, January 23, 2010
I have never given a dime to a candidate running for political office. And I never will.
When I ran for city government I didn't take a dime in donations. I, of course, lost. However, in the race I was in, no amount of money would have made a difference, and I didn't run to win, just to raise awareness of the issues.
The reality is that money corrupts nearly everything, but it holds a special place in its heart for politics. And we can be clear on one thing: from a Constitutional point of view, there is absolutely no doubt that the Framers of the Constitution never intended money to be protected as "speech." Jefferson and Washington would have vehemently - if not violently - opposed such nonsense. Adams and Madison are a little tougher to gauge. Franklin never would have taken a donation, but he certainly wouldn't have opposed someone buying him a drink over which to "discuss" legislation.
From a purely practical point of view, here's a good question: if I can give a candidate $10K and you can give him $10K, and then we can form a "corporation" and give him a million, then how is that not double-dipping and circumventing restrictions in the first place? How can the "corporation" fully represent the views of its employees and its stockholders when there is certain to be disagreements? If you can't give a politician $90K in cash to vote on a bill, but you can give him an equal amount "for his re-election campaign," how have we not completely abandoned rational thought.
Judicial activism or not, money has become "free speech" - irony of ironies - and nothing is going to change that or control that. Thus, it simply becomes more of an imperative for voters to be well informed in the area of policy, as well as argumentative strategies used to manipulate them.
Never gave a dime. Never accepted a dime. Never will. And now I will just continue to vote my conscience.