Follows House Lead in Passing
"Unconstitutional" Campaign Finance Reform
For Immediate Release. March 21,
2002 Both Senators
and Congressmen have taken an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution. And the First Amendment of the Constitution
states, “Congress shall make no law prohibiting the free exercise thereof;
or abridging the freedom of speech or the right of people to peaceably
assemble to petition the Government for a redress or grievances.” Yet on March 20, 2002, the Senate joined the House of Representatives
and decided to break their oath and violate the Constitution when they
passed the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2001 (H.R. 2356).
Supreme Court has already approved, as an exercise of the First Amendment
rights, most soft-money activities ( i.e. Buckley v. Valeo 1976). The right to free speech is lost if Congress has the ability to
regulate all forms of campaign spending.
If citizens or organizations have to wonder whether every statement
is or is not permissible, open political debate is impossible. Also, politicians do not have to contend with
citizens bringing up issues government officials would rather ignore
and no longer have to feel threatened by negative advertisement.
after the Senate passed the measure, President Bush said that he would
sign the legislation into law.
year ago on March 15, 2001, President Bush presented his ideas for campaign
finance reform legislation. His
three main goals included:
ban on soft-money donations by corporations and labor
- Protection of unions or corporations
from using stockholder or member funds for political activities without
- Protection of the rights of individuals
and groups to express their views
He also advised that unless
the bill included “paycheck protection” for union members and other
provisions that Democrats consider unpalatable, the measure would not
be signed into law, even if it made it through Congress.
Well, that was last year
and this is this year, and the campaign finance reform measure does
not include the provisions that the President wanted, especially “paycheck
protection.” And yet, the President will now sign the measure
into law when last year he said he would not.
Bush in the last few weeks has made several decisions, not for what
is right and principled but for what is politically advantageous,” said
Dr. Joel P. Rutkowski, president of the American Voice Institute of
Public Policy. “First, he increased the tariffs on steel,
abandoning his free market principles. Next, he criticized Israel’s
recent military actions in the West Bank in its fight against terrorism.
Then, he helped direct the U.S. involvement in a resolution formally
endorsing the concept of a Palestinian state, and now he will accept
'unconstitutional' campaign finance reform.
Only God knows what will be next.”
Joel P. Rutkowski, P.h.D.
President, The American Voice Institute Of Public Policy
to the American Voice Institute of Public Policy Home Page