October 7, 2013

I hope the Supreme Court can do what Congress, the states, meddling lawyers and so-called “reformers” have failed to do.  It should make our political contribution system make sense by eliminating contribution limits on what parties and campaigns can accept, clearing the way for candidates and parties to lead and be held directly accountable to voters.

The only participants in campaign fundraising and spending that face regulations and restrictions are the political parties and the campaigns themselves. Outsiders, individuals with deep pockets, any groups with special interests (union or corporate) or anyone with an ax to grind can spend as much as they want — sometimes even anonymously.

This means that parties and candidates either have plausible deniability of shadow campaigns or they face uninvited advertising that can thwart a fair election and the will of the voters. Neither is desirable. Our best protection against this type of manipulation is not regulation, but real-time disclosure of contributions on the Internet.

The whining handwringers always claim to want to do something about “big money in politics.” Well, money and politics are both here to stay. Let’s not pretend otherwise. Our elections should be focused on what the campaigns and our parties have to say.  Use the revealing transparency of the Internet to police the system. It’s the best we can do.

Follow Ed on Twitter: @EdRogersDC

Ed Rogers is a contributor to the PostPartisan blog, a political consultant and a veteran of the White House and several national campaigns. He is the chairman of the lobbying and communications firm BGR Group, which he founded with former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour in 1991.