USA Today: Money, influence are here to stay: Opposing view (In the News)

David Keating

Money and influence are never going to disappear from campaigns, and shouldn’t. Even if people couldn’t give to campaigns, big employers, big labor, celebrities and big media would all gain influence. Those with money would just find another way to influence government. They might instead look to buy media outlets, which are exempt from all campaign speech laws. Indeed, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos already bought The Washington Post.

As Churchill was trying to tell us, the alternatives are often worse. For example, some have expressed valid concerns about foreigners influencing our campaigns. There are indications the DNC emails may have been stolen by Russians. The Russians may well want to use them to influence the presidential race. But would that justify a ban on news coverage of emails hacked by other nations? Of course not.

Likewise, many of the cures touted for money in politics would restrict campaign speech by citizens. Yet none of the emails currently causing controversy implicates independent campaign speech.

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