Democrats appear to be running on opposing free speech this election cycle.
Wonder how that's going to work out for them?
Item: A Constitutional Amendment to allow Congress and the States to place any limits they want on political campaign expenditures.
A couple points to note. There is no evidence that allowing people to spend their own money on whatever they want to spend it on is the problem. That is the point of free speech and the freedom of association. You get to form groups to cheer on your ideas and your sides, you get to spend your own money on causes you support. The problem boils down to the fact that the government has WAY too much power. If the federal government were limited to the enumerated powers laid out in the Constitution, they wouldn't be affecting people's lives to the point where the people felt they needed to spend millions on politics.
Case in point.Microsoft never used to have lobbyists or make political contributions. Apple did. Microsoft faced numerous Justice Department anti-trust lawsuits. Apple faced none. Microsoft now spends money on politics.
Of course the history of campaign finance laws also turns into yet another reason for people to band together and try to influence politics. Unions are often exempted from regulations on spending so the left benefits by strict controls on everyone else. The press, of course, gets to report on whatever they choose, with no regard for any restrictions on political speech. Since the press leans quite heavily to the left, this means that progressives (Democrats) get favorable coverage and conservatives (Republicans) get negative coverage. Under most campaign finance regimes, the left benefits as conservatives are banned from spending money to counter the bias of the mainstream media.
Take independent expenditures as an example. The Democrats, under the leadership of Harry Reid, have been demonizing the Koch brothers for donating money to political causes. Never mind that their libertarian leanings have led them to have given significant funds to leftist groups such as the ACLU, they are well known for supporting Republican candidates to a significant extent. Harry Reid has taken the extraordinary step of calling them out on the floor of the Senate no less than five times. Tom Steyer, on the other hand, has made similar contributions and pledged to make more, only exclusively to Democrats. The sound of crickets is deafening compared to the criticism failing to come from the left. George Soros? Billions to leftist causes. Again, not a word of criticism from the left.
This amendment is not about cleaning up politics, it is not about leveling the playing field, it is about controlling who gets to spend money on politics in order to benefit one side of the argument. If this passes, you can take it to the bank that leftists will be screaming about anyone who donates money to a conservative cause and outraged when any conservative tries to make the same argument about leftist spending.
The best case scenario is that this never sees the light of day. The Federal Government is far too involved in our lives as it is. What we need is less interference, not more. Hopefully the voters in the states of these Senators will vote these schmucks out of office and send a message that it is none of the government's business who we support in politics and how much money we spend on them.