SharksWithLasers -- Seth Cooper

A CUTTING-EDGE BLOG FOR THE WORLD OF THE 21st CENTURY, Currently operated by Seth L. Cooper, a 27 year-old attorney in Seattle (sethlcooper at comcast dot net)

Monday, March 21, 2005

FUND ON CAMPAIGN FINANCE FUNNY BU$INE$$. "John Fund on the Trail" continues to be a must-read column at Opinion Journal. Today's installment is entitled "Astroturf Politics: How liberal foundations fooled Congress into passing McCain-Feingold." It's an outstanding journalistic effort by Fund, as he relates some very disturbing insights into forces supporting the passage of federal campaign finance reforms.

If Fund is even half-way correct, it is indeed very disconcerting to see how the political branches of the federal government can be led along to approve of such legislation, subsequently allowing the judicial branch to enshrine it as supreme law of the land. As Fund points out, a small cadre of left-of-center foundations and organizations proved particularly adept at pushing the legislation through:

...the results were spectacular. Not only did the effort succeed in bulldozing Congress and President Bush, but it might have played a role in persuading the Supreme Court, which had previously ruled against broad restrictions on political speech, to declare McCain-Feingold constitutional in 2003 on a 5-4 vote. "You will see that almost half the footnotes relied on by the Supreme Court in upholding the law are research funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts," Mr. Treglia boasted.


Zoinks! But this itself was not enough, as it took an Old Media/Legacy Media establishment to carry water for the proponents of the legislation. Says Fund:

...Washington media types overwhelmingly wanted McCain-Feingold to pass.


Pass that law did, although some legislators--like Sen. Mitch McConnell--mustered up enough courage to speak out. With a majority of the the Supreme Court signing off on the legislation's constitutionality, Big Money and Big Media combined to give us law that limits political speech. One would think that if the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution were to protect ANYTHING, it would be political speech. But that is clearly not the contingent reality.

Questions have arisen as to whether the FEC would try to crack down on polibloggers. It is unlikely, but should we ALWAYS trust the benevolence of bureaucrats?

(North Seattle--Green Lake, WA)

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