Dear Mr. Brownsberger,
I just returned from voting for you. Climate change is my number one issue, and you are the number one candidate on climate change.
Unfortunately it was not an easy vote, even though I know first hand, as a sub-contractor, that you put your money where your mouth is by upgrading your home to near zero-energy. You have, like me, one of the most energy efficient homes in Massachusetts.
My problem is your stand on campaign finance, which could make all your other positions moot.
The Supreme Court ruled that money is speech, and I understand you will not attempt to abridge this “new” right by supporting a Constitutional Amendment. I don’t agree, but amendments are hard to get through.
Instead, the path that should be followed is to manage the flow of money such that it does not impede others from speaking.
Unlimited money should be allowed to flow where the quantity of speech which can be carried is essentially unlimited.
-Direct mail (the postman will just carry more)
-Websites (there is no limit here)
-Field operations and get out the vote
-Magazine and Newspaper ads (they will just add pages).
-Email (as long as it does not infringe other spam laws)
Money must be limited, or other restrictions must apply, where there is a finite bandwidth, a limited amount of speech that can be carried.
-Radio and Television broadcast.
Money is used in radio and television broadcasts not just to spread ideas, but also to buy up all available time to restrict the flow of competing ideas. I do not believe the intent of the Supreme Court ruling was to result in less free speech. But that is the result in many national markets.
One could limit the money perhaps, or limit the prices charged by broadcasters for political advertising, or whatever other fix floats the boat but protects low money candidates from being bought out of the game.
I hope that you will reconsider your position, and consider as entry point our already regulated broadcasters.
I appreciate your support and the dialog on this issue.
This is an interesting take. I’d be interested to read about cases where candidates were priced out of radio and television — there is actually a lot of bandwidth in these media too, especially with all the cable channels. If you have data on this, I’d be very interested.
I had started to follow up your request for references, back in 2013. Found quite a few, but never got around to getting back here to put them up.
But with this story in the NY Times…
It reminded me to follow up.
Point well taken that bandwidth is finite. It does seem possible that, particularly in the still evolving digital market, someone could buy the best slots early.
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