Unfree speech [electronic resource] : the folly of campaign finance reform / Bradley A. Smith.

Author
Smith, Bradley A. [Browse]
Format
Book
Language
English
Εdition
With a New preface by the author
Published/​Created
Princeton, NJ : Princeton University Press, c2001.
Description
1 online resource (301 p.)

Details

Subject(s)
Summary note
At a time when campaign finance reform is widely viewed as synonymous with cleaning up Washington and promoting political equality, Bradley Smith, a nationally recognized expert on campaign finance reform, argues that all restriction on campaign giving should be eliminated. In Unfree Speech, he presents a bold, convincing argument for the repeal of laws that regulate political spending and contributions, contending that they violate the right to free speech and ultimately diminish citizens' power. Smith demonstrates that these laws, which often force ordinary people making modest contributions of cash or labor to register with the Federal Election Commission or various state agencies, fail to accomplish their stated objectives. In fact, they have worked to entrench incumbents in office, deaden campaign discourse, burden grassroots political activity with needless regulation, and distance Americans from an increasingly professional, detached political class. Rather than attempting to plug "loopholes" in campaign finance law or instituting taxpayer-financed campaigns, Smith proposes a return to core First Amendment values of free speech and an unfettered right to engage in political activity. Smith finds that campaign contributions have little corrupting effect on the legislature and shows that an unrestrained system of contributions and spending actually enhances equality. More money, not less, is needed in the political system, Smith concludes. Unfree Speech draws upon constitutional law and historical research to explain why campaign finance regulation is doomed and to illustrate the potentially drastic costs of efforts to make it succeed. Whatever one thinks about the impact of money on electoral politics, no one should take a final stand without reading Smith's controversial and important arguments.
Notes
Description based upon print version of record.
Bibliographic references
Includes bibliographical references (p. [259]-277) and index.
Language note
English
Contents
  • Front matter
  • Contents
  • Preface
  • Chapter 1. Introduction
  • PART I. THE COST OF CAMPAIGNS AND THE PRICE OF REFORM
  • Chapter 2. Money Talks: A Short History of Campaign Spending, Regulation, and Reform
  • Chapter 3. Faulty Assumptions of Campaign Finance Reform
  • Chapter 4. The Folly of Reform: Consequences of Campaign Finance Regulation
  • Chapter 5. Some Problems with the Solution of Government Financing
  • PART II. CONSTITUTIONAL MATTERS
  • Chapter 6. Money and Speech
  • Chapter 7. Money and Corruption
  • Chapter 8. Money and Equality
  • PART III. REAL AND IMAGINED REFORM OF CAMPAIGN FINANCE
  • Chapter 9. Unfree Speech: The Future of Regulatory "Reform"
  • Chapter 10. Real Equality, Real Corruption, Real Reform
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index
Other format(s)
Issued also in print.
ISBN
  • 1-4008-2471-0
  • 9786612087455
  • 1-282-08745-2
  • 1-4008-1470-7
OCLC
  • 355834865
  • 979970137
Doi
  • 10.1515/9781400824717
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