LP Urges 'No' Vote on 27

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LP Urges 'No' Vote on 27

LIBERTARIAN PARTY of Colorado
"Limited Government - Individual Liberty - Personal Responsibility"
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September Ê8th, 2002
CONTACT: Mike Seebeck, Public Information Director
PHONE: (719) 382-9529
EMAIL: mike@seebeck.us
WEB: www.lpcolorado.org

VOTERS: JUST SAY NO TO AMENDMENT 27 -- WHILE YOU STILL CAN BE HEARD!

The Libertarian Party of Colorado announces its formal opposition to Amendment 27, Campaign Finance Reform.

This amendment to the State Constitution would add yet even more laws to the books, this time in order to regulate political Free Speech in a highly questionable if not unconstitutional manner. It is sponsored by Common Cause and The League of Women Voters. It calls for contribution limits on the amount of money that individuals, political parties, and political committees can donate to campaigns and other organizations; sets so-called voluntary spending limits; and in general will make an intolerable situation worse.

The amendment's proponents offer four reasons why voters should vote for this proposal. We give our rebuttal to each point below.

Argument: This proposal may reduce the impact of special interests on the political process and increase the influence of individual citizens.

Fact: FALSE. By limiting the amount a special interest can spend, these special interests will continue to splinter into smaller groups, with each of them covering the media with advertisements and attempting to curry favor with the politicians. The "individual citizens" -- that is, us -- will get lost in the shuffle even worse than we are now. We wonÕt see one or two factions airing ads on TV and radio; we'll see dozens. The special interest impact will only get worse, not better. We really donÕt want or need that inundation into our lives.

Argument: The increasing cost of financing campaigns may discourage people from running for public office, especially against opponents with large campaign funds.

Fact: FALSE. Libertarians, Greens, and every other political Party not labeled Democrat or Republican continue to have candidates run for office despite increased costs. What is truly discouraging is the level of money that professional politicians put out every election to effectively buy votes for an office that pays much less that the campaign investment. We ask, if these people spend up to five hundred times the job salary to get the job, why do we elect these people to handle the governments' budgets, and then why do we wonder when they canÕt balance them? The answer is that they have no concept of money! We can and should do better, and this amendment does nothing to address that problem.

Argument: Requiring greater disclosure of who pays for political advertising helps inform voters about who is spending money to influence elections.

Fact: TRUE, BUT it is not necessary to impose restrictions on said spending in order to require disclosure of how that spending is done. If this were the only measure of this amendment, we *might* be in favor of it, but as it comes with the poison pill of restricting Free Speech, we are definitely not.

Argument: Although corporations and labor unions cannot vote, spending by such entities influences the political process. Under this proposal, these organizations will have to raise money from employees, shareholders, and members who contribute to small donor and political committees rather than directly funding political activities.

Fact: partially true. It is not the organizations themselves that influence the political process, but the members of those organizations who influence the political process. Most of these organizations have PACs that they use to give money to candidates anyway; so requiring it at the state level is meaningless. Again, all this amendment will do is cause a proliferation of smaller PACs, flooding the campaign trail with even more money from special interests, leaving the individual citizen out in the cold.

We note that the definite problem with money in politics is that there is so much, but not on the business side. The problem of too much money lies instead on the government side. It is not the contributions that are corrupting the system, but the far larger pool of tax money that these politicians want to control. ÊIf we make dramatic cuts in what government spends, we make equally dramatic cuts in what people will spend to get control of it. We can do this by reducing the size and scope of government and the taxation required to fund it. Less money in government means less spending by Democrats and Republicans to get at it, and therefore less special interest influence.

Amendment 27 only addresses a symptom of the ills of large government. It does not address the causes of those ills, and in fact makes those ills worse. The Libertarian Party of Colorado strives for smaller government, not fixing the deficiencies that big government inflicts upon itself. We encourage the voters of Colorado to vote NO on Amendment 27.

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