Chris Fitzsimon once again thinks taxpayers should be forced to fund a plan simply because he and his elitist buddies think it is a good idea. He believes that if only the public campaign financing genie could sprinkle her magic dust upon the election process, all government corruption will be ended.
Let’s take off the Marx-colored glasses for a moment and dissect his "argument."
"The cliché is that money is the mother’s milk of politics. In fact it’s the toxin that is poisoning the public perception of our elections and our government and undoubtedly affecting the decisions made by people elected to represent us all, not just the ones who write the checks."
And why do certain groups feel the need to write these checks? Because of the great concentration of power into the hands of a few. Let me spell it out…every time the government creates a new welfare or entitlement program, a new group forms to protect it; every time the government creates oppressive regulation on an industry, a new group forms to try and benefit from it, while more groups form to end it; when subsidies and tax credits are created, groups form to protect them while more groups yet form to ask "what about us?" Get the picture? How often have you ever heard Fitzsimon complaining that government had too much power – or took too much of our money in the form of taxes? So naturally, his solution to a problem created by big government is….more government.
He goes on to claim that this program eliminates strings
attached to money. On this point, he is being naive at best. Try this from an Arizona
Republic (Arizona has had public campaign financing since 2000) article
from 2003: “It’s no secret that labor unions mined their member list to come up
with the 4,000 $5 contributions Janet Napolitano needed to be eligible for
clean elections money.”
Under Fitzsimon’s system, special interest groups can now hand-pick their candidates and solicit the small donations from their membership list. You don’t think that leaders of certain special interest groups could then simply promise a politician that they will deliver the qualifying funds in exchange for influence? – nah, could never happen here.
That’s not all. The experiment with public campaign financing here in North Carolina for appellate judicial races has been such a debacle, even leading advocates for the program have had to admit it’s failure. Chris Heagarty, executive director for the NC Center for Voter Education called the 2006 judicial elections the "year of the 527" and declared that the public campaign financing system was guilty of:
"unleashing a torrent of special-interest money into our judicial elections."
Fitzsimon goes on to cite a Civitas poll which found that 84% of likely voters OPPOSE the use of their tax dollars subsidizing the campaigns of council of state candidates. He inexplicably brushes this off, and declares unanimous public support by citing a poll by the NC Center for Voter Education. A quick look at their questions reveals some astounding bias. When you need a paragraph to frame each question, that is known in a court of law as "leading the witness." Why he ignores the opinions of the Civitas poll is unexplained. Apparently, opinions are only valid if they agree with him.
Furthermore, public opinion can be most accurately judged by the participation in the voluntary judicial election fund. Dep’t of Revenue data says that 93% of taxpayers refused to participate in the program.
While trying to avoid the issue of political expression, he tries to justify the fact that your tax dollars will go to support candidates with whom you disagree with this comparison:
"Taxpayers support plenty of things they don’t agree with on the state and federal level, from the war to tax breaks for corporations, but they can’t pick and choose which government program is funded."
Hmmm, I guess apples and oranges are exactly alike. What Fitzsimon doesn’t get is the fact that individuals in this country have the inherent right to own their own thoughts. By directing our tax dollars to support ideas we may or may not agree with, instead of allowing us the freedom to support the candidates of our choice, we have perhaps our most precious right taken away from us. According to collectivists such as Fitzsimon, it is okay for the government to own our thoughts.
"The free market fundamentalists are mounting a ferocious campaign to stop it"
I’m curious why he uses the plural, because it seems I am the only one in the state publicly speaking out against this topic. I guess in Fitzsimon’s world, one guy writing a couple of articles equates to a "ferocious campaign." Mom will be so proud! Compare this to entire organizations devoted to this measure – such as NC Common Cause, NC Center for Voter Education, and Democracy NC – that spend a large share of their time promoting this issue. I counted at least four folks from these groups down in the committee meeting yesterday, slapping backs and trying to influence legislators’ decisions. Strange coming from the ones claiming they want to end the influence of special interest groups.