Ayn Rand Institute Press Release
Abolish Campaign Finance Laws
March 21, 2008
Irvine, CA--In "War on Free Political Speech," an opinion piece published today on forbes.com (http://www.forbes.com/opinions/2008/03/19/yaron-campaign-finance-oped-cx_ybr_0321yaron.html), Dr. Yaron Brook, president of the Ayn Rand Institute, argued that campaign finance restrictions "subject political speech to the corrupting influence of government control" and called for the abolishment of all campaign finance laws.
According to Dr. Brook, "Campaign finance reform has done nothing to get corruption out of politics, but it has been effective at keeping corrupt politicians in politics."
"It's not money that corrupts," elaborated Dr. Brook, "it's the lure of arbitrary political power. A true crusader against political corruption would not strip American citizens of their right to free speech; he would seek to put an end to the government's power to grant special favors to any group."
Do large contributions buy political favors? They can, said Dr. Brook, but only because politicians "have power to grant special favors to special interests in the first place. Take away that power and politicians will have nothing to sell."
In reply to those who claim that in the absence of campaign controls, wealthy private citizens or corporations would have the power to censor the speech of others, Dr. Brook reminded us that "Only the government has the power to stifle free speech and replace persuasion with coercion." And he added that "Private citizens or corporations can refuse to support, finance or promote ideas or candidates they disagree with--which is their inalienable right--but they cannot forcibly suppress them."
Dr. Brook said also, "A wealthy individual, for example, can spend lavishly on ads, even buy an entire newspaper or broadcast station, to convince Americans of his viewpoint; he cannot force us to listen or agree."
"At the same time," Dr. Brook pointed out, "a candidate lacking money is free to seek financial support from citizens who agree with him, whether it be a few wealthy individuals or millions of like-minded Americans who are willing to put their money where his mouth is."
Although the advocates of campaign finance "reform" have not managed a complete government takeover of election financing yet, they have already managed to deprive many Americans of their freedom. According to Dr. Brook, "It's time to reject this pernicious view and restore the First Amendment."
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Dr. Yaron Brook is available for interviews. He is president and executive director of the Ayn Rand Institute and is a contributing editor to The Objective Standard. A former finance professor, he has published in academic as well as popular publications. He is frequently interviewed in the media and appears weekly on the new Fox Business Network to debate and discuss current economic and business news. His columns and opinion-editorials are published on forbes.com and in major newspapers. Dr. Brook lectures on Objectivism, business ethics and foreign policy at college campuses, community groups and corporations across America and throughout the world.
To book Dr. Brook for your show, please contact Larry Benson:
949-222-6550 ext. 213 (office)