The conservative movement lost its lion today. William F. Buckley Jr. best known as a dogged defender of free markets and as a scourge against communism passed away today at the age of 82.
Buckley never shied from controversy and, for better and for worse, he always took a stand. So, while we will leave to others more erudite than us to comment on Buckley’s legacy, we are called to comment on what we know best.
William F. Buckley Jr., brother to Buckley v. Valeo lead petitioner Senator James L. Buckley, recognized the perils of overreaching campaign finance regulation.
Writing in his National Review, which itself was once the subject of an FEC investigation, Buckley advised that "the way to go is to lift all limits on individual political contributions but to give instant public notice of these donations-to the Internet within 24 hours that John H. Yahoo yesterday gave $ 100,000 to Sen. Ecksyte. That way everybody, including the voters, is there to notice incipient hanky-panky. The opponent of Sen. Ecksyte is at liberty to ask, in public debate, just what is it that Mr. Yahoo wants Ecksyte to do for Yahoo, when he goes back to the Senate after reelection."
About "McCain-Feingold," Buckley wrote "what they [the legislature] want to do is to fine-tune the way people spend money in politics, and make sure that, in doing so, they better the prospects of incumbents."