Since we are paying for most campaigning anyway, what is the advantage of funding solely out of our annual budget, rather than afterward by granting tax exemptions? What is the advantage of making a funding system by amendment, rather than by statute?
The key question is: What gives the public the most control to limit private influence on electoral outcomes?
When you include parties, private campaign spenders control most of the campaign information available, without being impartial. They’re not required to provide information that would harm their cause or candidate, and the First Amendment right to free speech has been found to protect them when they spread false or misleading information (see The Truth and Accuracy Clause).
25 states and some municipalities have responded to the public’s call to address private campaign financing by creating public funding systems. But these can't make the kinds of change actually needed to protect elections (see The Fair Elections Clause, Accountability and the Public Elections Clause, No Private, Partisan or Foreign Electoral Control, Resolving the Incumbency Advantage, and Leashing the Gerrymander, for starters).
In response to this amendment, Congress has introduced a bill that would establish “public” campaign funding with an independent funding body funded from four sources: the budget; voluntary or mandatory fees; voluntary or mandatory penalties when corporations misbehave; and private donations directly to it. Continuing private funding by voluntary fees, voluntary penalties, and donations to the funding body keeps the same private spenders in control.
Even if Congress established campaign funding as a function funded solely by an annual budget allocation, they could later change it to partial or total private funding. Article I, Section 5 of the Constitution allows them to make all internal rules, including those for statutorily established functions administered by independent bodies. (see Congressional Rules and the Courts for the Constitution’s limits on this power.)
Article I, Section 5:
“Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings,”
When Congress or state or local legislatures establish a function by statute or ordinance, they have power to change or repeal it. They can mollify the public for the moment then change it later.
State laws are also subject to being changed or repealed by federal ones. Local laws can be changed or repealed by state or federal laws.
When Congress drafts campaign finance reform it’s always either ineffective or unenforceable in court, because most members were elected by private campaign finance. They won’t do better. They can’t. So they lower the public’s expectations to “something is finally being done.” And the public misses the point - and the opportunity. You don’t have to settle for ineffective or unenforceable.
This amendment makes campaign funding a United States budget item. Legislation won’t be able to change the way it’s funded.Congress answers to the people regarding annual budget expenditures, and this amendment’s other sections repair and restore the public’s political powers by correcting related problems in the political process.
Ask the key question.
Background (this and following 2 pages)-
public campaign funding ends money's influence on electoral outcomes completely.
No system that includes any form of private funding or spending can.