As a companion to Rob Natelson’s fantastic introduction to the (un)Constitutionality of Campaign finance laws, I thought Ron Paul’s 2002 article on the subject was an excellent read. Here’s an excerpt:
The so-called reform legislation being proposed is clearly unconstitutional. The First amendment unquestionably grants individuals and businesses the free and unfettered right to advertise, lobby, and contribute to politicians as they choose. More importantly, the Constitution does not grant Congress the power to regulate campaigns. In fact, article II expressly authorizes the regulation of elections, so the omission of campaigns is glaring. While some in the media have raised First amendment questions, few seem to understand that Congress clearly lacks the constitutional power to regulate campaigns at all.
Campaign finance reform really means more regulations, more controls, more telling the American people how they can spend their money and how they can lobby Congress. Your freedoms should not be restricted because some politicians cannot control themselves. The problem is that there are members of Congress who yield to the temptation and influence of money, who effectively sell their votes to those who can give them money and keep them in office. If enough members did not yield to the temptation, they would not have to posture with phony campaign finance reform bills and they would not have to undermine the Constitution.
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