Yet on Monday, December 10, 2001, this newspaper runs an editorial demanding that Congress act immediately to pass a law that would abridge our free speech rights under the First Amendment and give the federal government enormous power over our electoral system! Yes, campaign finance reform – CFR – is back in the New York Times! Yip yip yip yip yahoo! Does anybody give a rat’s ass about this issue? (I’m tired of saying “rat’s rear end.”) Does anybody care? It’s not even on the radar screen, ranking down in the 20’s of “issues Americans care about.”
Meanwhile, what is it? As so often has been discussed on this program, CFR – as proposed by Senators McCain and Feingold, and as supported by whatever number of misguided souls signed their name to it – is an infringement on your rights and everybody else’s rights to say what they want to say, when they want to say it, during a campaign.
It specifically limits what people can say within 60 days of an election in the form of TV commercials and radio commercials. Beyond that, it limits what you can say anyway regardless of the 60 days by putting limits on how much commercial time can be purchased and when.