At the recent Great Debate Debacle in Boulder, Colorado, GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump launched an attack against so-called “super-PACs.” Here’s what he said in a pair of tweets on the subject…
“Re Super PAC scam: What the other candidates are doing is a disgrace. … All Presidential candidates should immediately disavow their Super PAC’s. They’re not only breaking the spirit of the law but the law itself.”
Well, not really. But first a few disclaimers.
One, I consult for the 2016 Committee, a super-PAC that supports Dr. Ben Carson. So while my opinions on this subject may be considered biased, they’re also informed by first-hand knowledge and experience.
Two, the opinions expressed herein are mine and mine alone, not the 2016 Committee’s.
And lastly, while I’m supporting Dr. Carson I absolutely love how Mr. Trump has completely discombobulated the Republican establishment and won’t lose a wink of sleep if he ends up being the GOP’s presidential nomination.
That said, I think he’s missing the point as it relates to super-PACs.
It’s not that super-PACs are bad. It’s that stupid campaign contribution limits imposed by do-gooders who think you can legislate money out of politics are bad. Like life at Jurassic Park, money will always find a way.
And by limiting how much money you can donate to candidates, the candidates have increasingly lost more and more control over their own campaigns as money flows to “independent expenditures.”
Once again and as always, in an effort to solve a perceived problem our busy-body Congress has found a way to make it worse.
Not only are the contribution limits counter-productive, but the bureaucratic regime of rules and regulations administered by the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) are so complicated, convoluted and confusing that even a rocket scientist can’t figure them out, let alone the average candidate or citizen.
You wanna get rid of super-PACs? Great. I’m with you. But you first have to get rid of the contribution limits to individual candidates, as well as the FEC regulatory nightmare.
One additional point….
Just as bankruptcy – which Mr. Trump admittedly has used to his advantage – is legal, so, too, are the nation’s super-PACs. And as long as super-PACs are legal, then citizens have as much a right to use them as businessmen have to use the bankruptcy laws.
Indeed, super-PACs, under current circumstances, are a necessary field-leveling mechanism for candidates who, unlike Mr. Trump, aren’t wealthy enough to self-fund their campaigns. Political office in the U.S.A. shouldn’t be restricted to only the rich and famous.
Again, the problem here isn’t the super-PACs. The problem is anti-free speech campaign finance laws that have shifted inordinate amounts of power away from individual candidates to deep-pocketed special interests.
THAT’S the target Mr. Trump should be shooting at.