The award for the stupidest ‘reform’ idea goes to…

Common Cause!

I’ve worked for the Center for Competitive Politics since December, and in that time I’ve heard some wacky “reform” ideas.

But the post today from Nader Habibi, the Henry J. Leir Professor in Economics of Middle East at Brandeis University’s Crown Center for Middle East Studies, takes the cake.

Prof. Habibi offers this gem today on the Common Cause blog: Fifty Percent Response Time: A Reform Proposal for Political Advertisement.

The [r]adio and television stations must be required to offer a 50% response time to an opposite view immediately after broadcasting a political advertisement at the advertiser’s expense. In other words if a candidate needs a 60 second time slot on a TV program he must pay for a 90 second slot and allow his opponent a 30 second response time. A similar rule will also apply to print media.

Wow. It’s interesting to note that there’s not a word of caution in the post that such a proposal, forcing people to pay for the air time of their opponents, is completely at odds with the First Amendment.

It really is a delight, though, to watch this train wreck of an argument featuring such ridiculous contortions (for every issue with more than one candidate or interest group, a public poll will determine who gets to respond with half time).

Stupidest. Idea. Ever.