Mark Tapscott makes the case for why “McCain-Feingold was a mistake” in today’s Examiner editorial.
Something almost without precedent in America will happen Thursday. That’s the day when McCain-Feingold — aka the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 — will officially silence broadcast advertising that contains criticism of members of Congress seeking re-election in November. Before 2006, American election campaigns traditionally began in earnest after Labor Day. Unless McCain-Feingold is repealed, Labor Day will henceforth mark the point in the campaign when congressional incumbents can sit back and cruise, free of those pesky negative TV and radio spots. It is the most effective incumbent protection act possible, short of abolishing the elections themselves.
By election day, it should be clear to all reasonable persons that McCain-Feingold was a serious mistake and, like Prohibition, ought to be repealed. But proponents of campaign finance reform have always been right about one thing — there is an incredible amount of money in politics and voters should know who it is coming from and to whom it is going. Thus, McCain-Feingold should not simply be repealed; it ought to be replaced with a new law that uses transparency in campaign finance rather than censorship in political expression.
The sunlight of transparency is the best disinfectant in government and politics, far better than imposing censorship on those who have something to say to their fellow citizens about members of Congress and their records.
Can I get an Amen?