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Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Rep. Mike Pence on Campaign Finance Reform's "Whack-a-Mole" Game with Freedom of Speech

Townhall.com's Tim Chapman has a superb interview with Rep. Mike Pence in which the Indiana Republican makes a tremendously compelling case that more freedom, not more regulation, is what is needed on campaign finance reform.

Pence is the preiminent defender of the First Amendment on the Republican side of the House, and perhaps in Congress. Here are a couple of excerpts, but you will enjoy reading the entire interview, which you can do here.

On "playing whack-a-mole" with freedom of speech:

"We either draw the line here and make it possible for Americans to support political parties and candidates of political parties. Or we are going to play whack-a-mole with freedom of speech for the rest of the century. Everybody knows where the money will go. If you clamp down on 527’s the money will almost invariably flow to 501 organizations, 501 (c) 4 and if you clamp down on them there will be a new group of amorphous corporate organizations that George Soros’ attorneys can dream up.
"You are on a path where you can end up in the front yard of some American someday and you can tell them how to spend their money in politics. That’s where we are headed. That’s the path we are on. And I refuse to go down that path."

On campaign finance reform as a "dark day in the history of liberty:"

"But I saw it as a dark day in the history of liberty because for the first time in American history Congress made a law abridging the freedom of speech and the Supreme Court said that was okay. And as George Will has observed, from now on life in Washington, DC is simply going to be a debate over the parameters of the First Amendment not the prerogatives of the First Amendment.

On the damage done to public debate by limiting the First Amendment:

"Once you put the First Amendment on the chopping block you have fundamentally changed the dynamics of public life and public discourse in America. And as long as I get to be in Congress I’m going to work in large ways and small ways to reassert the principle of the freedom of speech, the freedom of assembly, and reverse the efforts of the court and Congress to intrude on those rights."

This man deserves support from all bloggers and anybody else who cares about preserving freedom of speech in America.