Democrat Politician Protection Act Includes a Taxpayer Bailout for Political Campaigns
‘Last week, the House began the hearing process of Speaker Pelosi’s signature bill, H.R. 1, the Democrat Politician Protection Act. I’ve already touched on several of its outlandish and problematic provisions. I want to focus today on one corner of the craziness. It’s the wild idea that what American politics today is really missing is a big taxpayer bailout of political campaigns, attack-ad makers, and campaign consultants.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) made the following remarks on the Senate floor regarding House Democrats’ proposal to centralize electoral control in Washington, D.C. and to erode free speech:
“Last week, the House began the hearing process of Speaker Pelosi’s signature bill, H.R. 1, the Democrat Politician Protection Act. I’ve already touched on several of its outlandish and problematic provisions. I want to focus today on one corner of the craziness. It’s the wild idea that what American politics today is really missing is a big taxpayer bailout of political campaigns, attack-ad makers, and campaign consultants.
“For everyone who is now convinced they must have misheard what I just said, let me say five of those words again: Taxpayer bailout for political campaigns. It’s really something. Washington Democrats have spent months if not years crafting this sprawling, 500-plus-page federal takeover of our political speech and our elections. They had all the time in the world to carefully choose each provision and tailor their political strategy.
“But even after all that, my colleagues in the House Democrat conference are so Washington-centric in their thinking, and so happy to tax and spend other people’s hard-earned money, that it never occurred to anyone that maybe the American people wouldn’t love the idea of their own tax dollars being redistributed to political campaign consultants.
“This is how out of touch with taxpayers the modern Democratic Party has become. They saw these proposals to take the American people’s tax dollars and funnel them straight into more attack ads, yard signs, and telephone calls and thought, What a great idea! Let’s put it in. The Democrat Politician Protection Act would do this in several ways. Now, listen to this. There’d be a new Washington D.C.-run voucher program so that would-be political donors could simply ask for chunks of taxpayer money and then hand it out to the campaigns they favor.
“There’d also be a brand-new six-fold ‘matching’ program for certain donations. The federal government would literally come in -- like some businesses match their workers’ charitable contributions -- and use the American people’s money to ‘match’ certain campaign contributions six fold. In other words, millions of dollars are available for each candidate that comes along asking for his or her share of the taxpayer loot.
“Keep in mind, this puts each taxpayer on the hook for financing the candidates and campaigns they personally disagree with. They’d take our money, and give it to people we are not for. If Democrats have their way, citizens won’t just have to sit through television commercials railing against the candidates they plan to vote for. Now they’d also have the pleasure of bankrolling those ads. Sit there in front of the T.V. screen and watch your tax dollars at work, supporting the person you’re going to vote against. People are going to love that.
“When you ask Democrats why exactly they would propose something as ludicrous as a massive, new taxpayer-funded bailout of the permanent political class, sometimes they make vague claims that problems in American politics would go away if only we took more power out of the people’s hands and shipped it here to the nation’s capital. Now, the evidence suggests they’re dead wrong about this.
“Research suggests that jurisdictions – and there are a few of them – that have ‘matching fund’ systems in many cases also have rampant corruption, misappropriation, and waste. There are numerous examples that there’s still plenty of corruption and wrongdoing in these systems -- not exactly a surprise outcome when you centralize more money and power through government channels. And public financing doesn’t appear to change the playing field between challengers and incumbents in any way either.
“Here’s how one University of Wisconsin political scientist summed it up: ‘The people who propose these systems often oversell them.’ End quote. No apparent benefits. Significant new costs. And they want to stick taxpayers with the bill. Just another one of the Democrat Politician Protection Act’s greatest hits. I’ll have more in the future.”
Related Issues: First Amendment