We’ve been making this point for years. Here, Ann of Althouse (she could use the traffic) asks: What will become of the “money in politics” issue after Hillary outspent Trump and, now in Georgia’s Sixth, the Democrat outspent the Republican winner? I could do worse than step aside for the Baroness Althouse:
I see that, just before he lost the election, Jon Ossoff complained (on NPR) that “money in politics is a major problem.” But Ossoff spent far more money than Handel. If he had won it would have bolstered the argument that more and more money must be donated because with enough money, victory can be bought.
Meanwhile, back the presidential election, Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton used vast piles of money scare off challengers, but each of them had a scrappy low-budget nemesis.
Jeb Bush and his super-PAC spent over $110 million and never got anywhere in the primaries. Trump spent the least of the 17 contenders for the GOP nomination.
In the general election, Hillary spent far more than Trump.
And Silicon Valley billionaire Meg Whitman instead of California governor Jerry Brown, etc. etc. For extra credit: find Laszlo Spatula’s comment on Ann’s blogge. Discuss amongst yourselves.
First Amendment is safe for now
The Move to Amend movement, championed by the likes of John Nichols, John Hendrick, and Mike McCabe, prattles on about “getting the money out of politics.” Sounds good until you realize that such sentiments led directly to the secret speech police and their pre-dawn battering rams.
Move to Amenders like to put up ballot referenda insisting that “money is not speech,” as the a 2011 advisory referendum in Madison declared. Money isn’t food, either. Or housing, or clothing, or travel, or newspaper advertisements. But money if required to obtain all of those.
The speech regulators want to overturn Citizens United 2010 and restore McCain-Feingold. As Floyd Abrams noted in his 2005 book, Speaking Freely :
McCain-Feingold even prohibited advertising a book in the run-up to 2004 presidential election. Why? Because the book featured the name and photo of Sen. John Kerry, its author.
Thank God, Move to Amend is dead. The election of a Republican Congress and Republican president killed it. The election of at least one house of the legislature or one governor in 45 of the 50 states killed it. The confirmation of Neil Gorsuch as the fifth conservative “leave(s) us with almost no chance of overturning Citizens United for a generation,” proponents of a constitutional amendment admit.
They have been pushing their own Article V constitutional convention through the Free and Fair Elections (SJR24) resolution introduced by Sen. Chris Larson (D-Milwaukee). “Unfortunately, SJR24 could not have come at a worse time,” admits a Bernie Sanders-affinity group called “Our Wisconsin Revolution.” (Our Wisconsin Revolution?!!!) Republicans instead put forward a parallel resolution (SJR18) that calls for a constitutionally required balanced federal budget.
Gelding the First Amendment to curb political speech, defending the secret John Doe speech police, shouting down campus speakers and defending the hecklers’ veto, playing the race card against reformers: that’s the record of our … acquaintances.