Get Money Out of Politics? It’s a Thought

The Democrats are always telling us they want to get money out of politics, but I don’t know why. They are the ones who are rolling in cash. The nonentity Beto O’Rourke raised more money than any Senate candidate in American history. Untold millions have flowed into Florida to support the socialist Andrew Gillum. Here in Minnesota, the air waves are full of Democratic Party ads bashing Republican candidates. When a Democrat is in trouble, the money gushes. To take just one example, the Democrats’ polls showed that the faceless Tina Smith was in trouble in her Senate race against Karin Housley, so late last week the Democrats poured yet another $1.2 million into Smith’s campaign.

Where does all that campaign spending go? The biggest beneficiaries are Democratic allies, the television networks. Media Post reports: “Political Ad Campaigns Reap Billions For TV.”

On the backs of what is expected to be a record election turnout for a midterm election, there is a record turnout when it comes to midterms advertising spending — $2.9 billion, according to Advertising Analytics,

That amount is almost double what it was in the last midterm elections in 2014.

The big beneficiary is broadcast TV, earning almost $2.4 billion. Way down the list after that comes cable TV, radio, addressable advertising and Facebook.

You can’t get money out of politics, obviously, nor would anyone want to. But cutting down on the extraordinary gusher of cash that we have witnessed in recent cycles could only benefit Republicans. So here is a modest proposal: if the Democrats want to get (big) money out of politics, let’s take them up on it. Maybe we should introduce legislation that would ban all participation in politics by entities other than human beings. Only individual Americans would be allowed to contribute to political campaigns or to entities that make independent expenditures. The ban would apply to in-kind contributions like phone banks, door knockers, etc. No corporate or union participation allowed.

If this were combined with strict limits on how much individuals can contribute to a campaign or in the aggregate, including independent expenditures, left-wing billionaires like Michael Bloomberg and Tom Steyer would have no more influence than the millions of reasonably prosperous citizens who make modest contributions each cycle. No more big money in politics.

Of course, that proposal wouldn’t be constitutional under current Supreme Court precedent. But hey–it’s a living Constitution, right? A couple more Supreme Court appointments by President Trump, and my plan could pass muster.

Of course, the Democrats would never go along with it. Getting union, billionaire, Wall Street and Hollywood money out of politics would take away their biggest advantage. But it would be fun to watch them squirm.