Good for Speech

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This letter by Michael Armstrong, reprinted from the Santa Fe New Mexican in Black Enterprise handily takes on many arguments put forth in opposition to full public financing of elections in a brief but effective summary of the many reasons we spend our days working for Clean Elections.

I like his arguments about how public financing protects and enhances free speech in particular:

The purpose of public financing of campaigns is not to subvert our right of free speech, but rather to protect the value of our vote and hence our democracy. As things stand, members of Congress are involved in a constant money chase to fund their next campaigns. This chase sometimes involves missed legislative votes because fundraising takes priority.

Likewise, having the time available to properly study legislative issues is at a premium, again because of fundraising. Public financing frees our legislators from this burdensome activity. It permits better-informed judgments about issues and allows judgments that are not contaminated by debts owed to special interests. Under public financing, special interests still have a voice. The only thing changed is that the voice is not backed by a checkbook. There is no loss of free speech, just a leveled playing field.