You gotta give the campaign finance "reformers" some credit — they never give up and have a lot of chutzpah.
Less than 48 hours after America elected its next President and Congress, the campaign finance "reform" community was already after our not-yet-official leaders to "fix," yet again, the federal campaign finance system. Even more surprising is that, in the midst of a global economic crisis and facing record federal deficits, what the "reformers" think America needs right now is to spend even more taxpayer money to finance campaigns.
Specifically, the "reform" groups — including the Brennan Center for Justice, the Campaign Legal Center, Common Cause, Democracy 21, the League of Women Voters, Public Citizen and U.S. PIRG — want Americans to ante up not only to "repair the presidential public financing system," but also "to create a new public financing system for congressional races."
The "reformers" tellingly don’t say how much this will cost the American taxpayers, but it’s clear that the price tag will have to be high.
After all, the new President-elect opted out of the current public financing system because he could raise, and therefore spend, a lot more money getting out his message if he fended for himself. So the answer from the "reformers" is to offer even more taxpayer money.
According to the Politico, the "reformers" want to raise the spending limits for publicly financed presidential campaigns "to reflect the modern-day costs of running for office." Based on this year’s presidential race, the cost of that "reform" could easily run into the hundreds of millions of dollars.
And, don’t forget that the "reformers" also want to open up a entirely new taxpayer tab for any congressional candidate, too.
The Politico story says the "reformers" expect that their proposals will be introduced at the start of the new Congress. I sure hope our elected leaders who just won their offices without needing the taxpayers to foot the bill realize that can, and should, happen again.