Campaign finance and free speech…

Allison R. Hayward writes about new rules regulating campaign speech enacted in Shays-Meehan, which she believes will “create an incoherent mess” in political advertising. I consider myself a free-speech radical. Silly me, I think “Congress shall make no law…” means no law. There’s no doubt that much campaign advertising is insipid, false, and overly pathetic. So what. That’s one of the prices of freedom; you have to deal with the extreme use of any particular right. I do not, however, consider spending money to be speech. That’s a cognitive and political stretch. I have no problem regulating campaign finance. Let any person or group that can pay for it produce whatever ads they choose and run them when and where they choose. But let’s make sure we continue to require that they sign their work.