What To Do

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Irked by a donor who got away with making some shady campaign contributions, the Detroit Free Press wants attention paid to combating the influence of money in politics, and implementing a workable public financing solution.


The paper is right on in moving beyond outrage over a seemingly illegal activity, to a general indictment of the larger private money system:


The problems with money and politics should, by now, be quite clear. Too much of the political process is dictated by who has money, who gives it and how public policy decisions are made with respect to the money trail. Right now, we're in the midst of the most expensive presidential campaign in history, which will be true only until the next one, four years from now.

Campaigns on the merits, in which the candidate with the strongest ideas wins, regardless of financial backing, are a pipe dream.

They're right to go with public financing as the solution, and should be reassured about the questions they raise with respect to constitutionality -- voluntary programs like Clean Elections have survived repeated constitutional challenges.