The following is an opinion piece by VTLP member Travis Spencer:
The Vermont Legislature started their new session last week and wasted no time getting down to business on the pressing issue of Campaign Finance Reform. The bill would reduce the amount local and legislative candidates would receive while increasing limits to statewide office and PAC’s. With all the problems facing the state I am glad this was the first issue they wanted to tackle. There were mixed reviews to this proposal but for Libertarians this is a simple issue of free speech. See free speech also pertains to how you spend your money. If you like candidate A you should be able to give that individual as much of your hard earned money as you want, it is your money to do as you see fit. Our politicians have bigger concerns than how much money one individual gives to another. People always argue that money corrupts politicians and can create a conflict of interest.
My argument is limiting money also limits candidates and ideas. As a third party fundraising is very important to our growth and by prohibiting more dollars flowing into campaigns the dominance of the two party system continues. Politicians always have an agenda and conflicts but limiting contributions will never change that but increasing transparency and having an educated voting population will hold politicians feet to the fire more than telling individuals how they can spend their money. On a daily basis we choose to support one thing over another. We buy Pepsi or Coke, Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks, Subway or McDonalds and no one tells us how much we can spend the same should be true for the people we support.
Libertarian Candidate for State Senate