×

Letter: Money and politics


Friday, January 12, 2018
Money and politics

House Bill 1524 calls for a constitutional amendment to give Congress and state legislatures the authority to regulate money in elections.

For a very long time now, I have been unhappy with Supreme Court rulings such as Citizens United, which have rested on the idea that limiting contributions and expenditures constitutes limiting the candidate’s speech and is therefore impermissible under the First Amendment.

The result in the real world is what we now see – floods of money, and elected officials not only spending a large amount of their time raising money, but giving more and more attention to the views of their larger donors over the general public.

Citizens United was decided 5-4, so it certainly can be argued that there are differing constitutional interpretations of money in elections.

I concluded long ago that there was no solution to this problem other than an amendment that would explicitly give Congress and states the right to make such laws, and explicitly state that doing so shall not be construed to violate free speech rights. That will make it clear and unarguable. And I believe a substantial majority of voters would support such an amendment.

If HB 1524 is enacted, New Hampshire will be the 20th state to pass such a resolution.

FLETCHER LOKEY

Sanbornton