Letters to the Editor: Rick Caruso isn’t buying an election. His spending is protected speech at the hands of The Times.
A reader has asked me to respond to a column on the subject of campaign finance reform by former Rep. Rick Caruso (R-Minn.) and a fellow named John Feal (who just published yet another essay on this issue).
The reader was correct that neither person has any understanding of the scope of the problem.
Caruso has a history of promoting an unlimited spending limit that is anathema to a democracy. He has made some small changes to the language of the rules that would make his law look more reasonable, but those tweaks are insufficient.
Feal is not much of an advocate either. He offers a straw man argument to back up the notion that big money is inherently corrupt and that any attempt to limit it is pointless. In essence he is saying that any reform of the current system is impossible.
Feal may be right about his own argument, but he is wrong about Caruso’s.
Caruso has been a leader in the House of Representatives for a very long time and this is a subject he is very knowledgeable about. He is a former U.S. congressman and a law professor. He knows everything there is to know about campaign finance and how to approach it.
In his first column about campaign finance reform, Rick Caruso wrote: “The Constitution’s First Amendment protects the right of Americans to criticize politicians and the process by which they are elected.”
In that very same column and in the response to that column a reader complained about Caruso’s claim that campaign finance reform is not needed at a time when the Republicans controlled both the House and the Senate. Caruso responded:
“This is a ridiculous argument. The political parties in Congress and the White House are the “political parties” in question. The rules of political discourse have not changed so much as the parties have.”
The reader then wrote: