The Gaston Gazette and Charlotte Observer both published versions of my article re-visiting the issue of taxpayer-funded political campaigns. There were rumors that lawmakers may consider taking a closer look at ridding North Carolina of this immoral system of coercion during the current July session. Here’s hoping they take a long look at dismantling this system of welfare for politicians.
Advocates of taxpayer-funded campaigns try to point to the “success” of our state’s current system used for state judicial candidates and Council of State races:
But they never define what success or good results mean. Good results for whom? And by what measure?
When the public campaign finance system for judicial races was introduced in 2002, we were promised that the program would be supported by voluntary check-offs on state tax returns along with voluntary fees from attorneys. The program proved to be unpopular. Only about 12 percent of attorneys contributed, and a dismal 6 percent of taxpayers voluntarily donated to the fund. The funds almost immediately ran dry.
Per usual when citizens refuse to voluntarily support a government program, the government resorted to force. In 2004 the legislature decided to divert taxpayer funds from the state budget into the system, and in 2006 the attorney fee was converted to a mandatory one. Some “success.”
I’ve read a lot of arguments by those that think taxpayer-funded campaigns are a good idea, but have never once seen anyone directly justify the government forcing individuals to subsidize the spread of ideas they oppose. There is no justification. The rest of their arguments are merely window dressing aimed at veiling the insidious nature of this violation of our liberty.