Washington Libertarian Review

Political commentary from the State of Washington with a libertarian perspective.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Re: Once Again, Incumbents Are the Big Winners

This past Tuesday the CATO Institute offered this commentary on the House of Representatives' election. Essentially it argues that campaign finance laws and other privileges of incumbency virtually guarantee reelection.


Here is the question: Did the BCRA (which led to an inordinate proliferation of so-called "527" organizations--e.g., Swift Boat Veterans) help or hurt incumbents?

In one sense the proof is in the results. 98% of all incumbents won reelection.

But on the other hand, the ability of either a candidate or a party to control the conduct of a particular campaign has largely been undermined by these issue based 527s. The whole reason they escape regulation is because they have no connection to the campaigns. As such they have no limits and no accountability to the campaigns.

So, I must wonder whether campaign financing reform is but the tail wagging the dog.


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