HB 1517 was voted out of Appropriations this morning by a count of 39-34. Next will come a vote on the House floor.
Folks who believe in our right to free speech and our ability to actually own our own political expression should keep an eye on this bill. In short, taxpayer dollars will be used to fund political campaigns. That means that more money will be taken from your pocket and given to politicians because they don’t feel like doing the fundraising themselves. Political contributions will no longer be voluntary.
Supporters of the measure claim it will rid campaigns of the influence of special interests. This is simply not true, in fact it will allow special interest groups to hand-pick their candidates and then force taxpayers to foot the bill for the campaign. I have written extensively on this here and here.
By the way, this is simply the next step in the taxpayer-financed campaign lobby’s master plan to expand this system to all elections in North Carolina.