More than 70 years after President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s infamous court-packing scheme, advocates of government-financed campaigns are employing a similar tactic in their effort to enact government-financed elections in New Hampshire.
New Hampshire House Bill 0794 innocuously seeks to establish "a commission to study the feasibility of public funding of state election campaigns."
But as usual the devil is in the details. Section II(a) of the bill mandates that appointees to the commission must "have demonstrated support for a system of public funding of election campaigns."
After conducting its "study", the commission "shall report its findings and any recommendations for proposed legislation." The bill has reportedly already passed the New Hampshire House and now awaits Senate consideration.
If the Senate passes the bill and the commission conducts its study, the PR spin by government-financing advocates when the commission’s "report" is issued is predictable. Undoubtedly, they will have headlines touting, "Bipartisan Commission Recommends Public-Financing." While technically accurate, such a headline would be about as forthcoming as a headline declaring "Supreme Court upholds Washington minimum wage law" after Roosevelt announced his court-packing scheme.