The Center for Competitive Politics issued a press release and a letter to congressional leaders about today’s vote on repealing the presidential tax financing system:
“Presidential tax financing is an politico-religious construct of the Washington elite with no demonstrated benefits,” said CCP Chairman Bradley A. Smith, a former chairman of the Federal Election Commission. “In an era of austerity, this pet ideological project of self-anointed reformers needs to hit the chopping block.”
FEC Commissioner Don McGahn published an op-ed in the Washington Examiner urging abolishing the antiquated program:
The presidential public financing system is a fossil of the 1970s, and the sort of cumbersome regime that only an inside-the-beltway policy wonk could love. For example, to qualify for primary funding, you must raise more than $5,000 in 20 states (but only the first $250 per individual contributor counts).
Back in the 1970s, this may have signaled a broad base of presidential-level support; but today even some mayoral candidates do that in a day, probably even before lunch. Once deemed “eligible” by the Federal Election Commission (FEC), you must agree to both national and separate state-by-state spending limits. You also must agree to a “voluntary” audit by the FEC (past audits have included fascinating topics such as whether running television ads in Boston, Massachusetts, counts against New Hampshire spending limits).