Would it be okay if citizens were forced to vote for a candidate against their will? Of course not.
So why do certain NC legislators think it okay to force citizens to financially support candidates against their will?
House Bill 621, sponsored by Reps. Verla Insko (D-Orange), Susan Fisher (D-Buncombe) and Pricey Harrison (D-Guilford), would impose this unjust mandate.
Specifically, the bill – titled Public Financing of Municipal Campaigns – would authorize pilot programs for taxpayer-funded political campaigns for “the Town of Chapel Hill, the City of Asheville, and any municipality with a total population of more than 50,000 that is selected by the State Board of Elections for participation in a pilot program for the public financing of municipal campaigns.”
Essentially, so-called public financing of political campaigns involves the use of taxpayer dollars to finance candidates running for office. Typically, to be eligible for such a program, candidates must agree to certain terms of spending restrictions and also first garner a specified number of small voluntary donations to “demonstrate public support.”
Civitas has for years been making the case against taxpayer-funded campaigns, and explaining how the supposed benefits from this system don’t materialize. For instance, read here, here, and here.
Not only do taxpayer-funded campaigns commit the egregious act of forcing hardworking taxpayers to pay for overpriced political campaign consultants of candidates they may disagree with, they can also actually increase the impact of special-interest money in campaigns.
For instance, a special-interest group can encourage its members to each donate $10 or $20 to enable a candidate to demonstrate “public support” and thus qualify for taxpayer campaign funds. Once eligible, that candidate could access potentially hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars for his or her campaign. In this way, a special-interest group can front a small amount of funds to leverage massive amounts of campaign money for their chosen candidate. Thus, this system can empower special-interest groups to spread their influence to even more candidates than otherwise. Make no mistake, the candidates will be very well aware of which group enabled their access to the taxpayer funds and will be just as beholden to those special interests as if the contributions were made directly.
North Carolina had a system of taxpayer-funded elections for judicial races and Council of State positions. Both election-funding schemes thankfully are no longer in existence, but the Left continues to work to re-introduce such measures.
Because it would force taxpayers to pay for political campaigns, doesn’t produce the results its advocates claim, and can actually increase the influence of special interests, House Bill 621 is this week’s Bad Bill of the Week.
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