This concept aims to reduce the amount of contributions given to a political party running for office.
Essentially, this is a move to make the political playing field fair.Current Proposals for ReformOne method is to give each participating candidate a predetermined amount of money. In order to qualify for this privilege, the candidate must have a considerable level of support first. This can be shown by collecting a specified number of signatures or by receiving a certain amount of contributions. If they are to receive this type of public funding, the candidates will not be allowed to accept outside donations or use their personal finances.
This process of financing campaigns is already being practiced in the state legislatures of Maine, Arizona, and Connecticut. If no public contributions are allowed, this would result to a system of “Clean Money” elections nationwide.Another method allows the candidates to raise funds from private donors, but a corresponding amount will be provided for the first chunk of donations. For instance, the government can give out one dollar for every $250 contributed by a donor.
This system is currently in place in the U.S. presidential primaries.Criticisms on Campaign Finance ReformOpposing views maintain that this campaign finance reform tramples upon the right to free speech, as it violates the First Amendment. They believe that people should have the right to publish their political views. This is in accord with the assumption that the laws enacting this reform governing campaign finances are in conflict with the constitutional right to free speech.
Many opponents argue that changes to campaign finance laws can produce harmful, as well as unintended consequences. One example is that disclosure requirements may cause prospective contributors to avoid giving financial support to challengers, consequently resulting to incumbents having greater contributions.Others also assert that money can never be separated from political influence. I feel that this has become painfully true in the 2004 elections in the battle between “Swift Boat Veterans for the Truth” and “Moveon.org”.
These two groups spent around $400 million in the 2004 elections bashing their candidate's opponents, Sen. John Kerry and Pres. George W. Bush, respectively.In conclusion, my personal opinion is that the Campaign Finance Reform is an affront towards our freedom of speech.
Politically speaking, the American public needs to know everything they can about the abilities of a candidate. If only politicians running for office could leave out unnecessary personal details and stick to the pertinent issues, a lot less money would be spent.