Third-Party Candidates Considered Harmful

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Hat tip to eglamkowski.

HR 4694 (yes, sponsored only by Democrats, including prominent ones like Frank and Waxman) would cap spending on political campaigns: major party candidates can spend a maximum amount of money, and no more. That in itself is not necessarily a big deal; honest people with integrity have disagreement about it.

But it also says that third-party and independent candidates can only spend a percentage of that cap, based on how much of the vote they got the previous time.

The ratio itself makes no sense on its own: the major party candidates' caps are not based on their percentage of the previous vote. But the real point is that this could not be more un-democratic. You don't give special privileges in elections to certain people or parties. You give everyone the same opportunities, so the people can have a real choice.

Anything less is simply wrong in a democracy. That applies to spending caps, as well as to debate participation.

They call the bill the "Let the People Decide Clean Campaign Act." That's the best example of Orwellian doublespeak I've seen in a long time. A better title would be "The Independent Exclusion and Incumbent Protection Act."

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