Saturday, June 21, 2008


Ever since Watergate, the ideal of campaign finance reform has been to replace a system fueled by special interests and big money with either full public financing or a system of civic-minded small donors. The former is abhorred by much of the public while the latter looks remarkably like In effect, the Obama campaign has come closer to achieving the ideals of campaign finance reform than 30-plus years of regulation. To condemn the campaign’s departure from the system is to elevate rules over the principle that gave birth to the rules in the first place.

My brush with the "reformers" made me realize they had disturbing desire to regulate for regulation's sake, a belief that all politics must be kept in a little box where they could keep an eye on it. If the small donor model actually works then there isn't much need for public financing, and there certainly isn't a need to demand that candidates pointlessly participate in such a program.