Let me give you the perspective of a candidate who has challenged and is challenging an incumbent in a election for state office. The high courts ruling is a devastating blow to challengers, independent candidates and those persons who refuse to accept lobbyist monies. This decision will likely further solidify incumbency, two party rule, extremism and diminish law making for the common good of society. It will preference the wealthy and the corporation.
Lets assume for the sake of argument the high court moved to protect speech and that this was sacred above all. Let us then assume for arguments sake that money and speech are linked and corporations are people. I disagree, but for the sake of argument lets put them aside, as untouchable. Let us also assume for the sake of argument that the current way we elect politicians is bad for our democracy and we can all agree that the few should be not be advantaged to legislate the many. So here is our problem, money equals speech, and money as it currently exist in our political process is corrosive to our Republic.
We must solve this problem with a combination of solutions. First we must enable public financing of campaigns. We must publicly finance every candidate with a minimum amount of money based on the office being sought.
Second, we must make the purchasing of media time in Radio, Print and TV a mandatory equal time package. So for example if a wealthy candidate wishes to buy air time on a Hawkeye football game, their opponent would receive an equal spot of time. If the rich candidate took out a full page newspaper ad their opponent would also receive that ad space. If a mailer was sent out, the same postage and print would be offered to the poor candidate. The difference is that the rich candidate would be buying a debate and not exclusive media access for themselves.
By legislating that political advertising must be sold as equal time on certain media outlets we could fulfill the Courts edict on speech while protecting the uneven influence of money in politics with regards to mass media.
This allows our rich candidate to fully convert their money to speech. and gives a rebuttal by their opponent that allows the electorate to be fully informed. We protect the rich candidates right to speech without allowing their money to silence or drowned out the speech of their opposition and have a one sided conversation with the voter.
Mark J Riley
1010 S Ohio Ave
Davenport, Iowa 52802
Democratic Candidate for State Senate #45