Two of the cardinal principles of American-style socialism is to grow government and spend public funds (meaning OUR money, Mr. and Mrs. Taxpayer). One area where this is flagrantly reflected is in public education; we continue to shovel more money and bureaucracy at our public education environment, yet the public schools throughout much of the country continue to grow worse.
And Kenai Peninsula College Professor Alan Boraas is one of those socialists who wants to charge us more money to pay for a program that he thinks is good for us, while ignoring a common-sense legislative solution which would cost us much less. On August 16th, 2008, the Anchorage Daily News published a column by him in which he calls for passage of Alaska 2008 Ballot Measure 3, the "Clean Elections" Act.
Boraas correctly cites the problem. He states that our elected officials are supposed to be responsible to the citizenry that elected them, not to corporations, trade organizations or special interest groups, nor to any other entity that does not vote. But in part because of the way campaigns are financed, those groups can create a stranglehold on a complicit elected official's attention and allegiance. And of course, Boraas liberally plays the VECO card to scare us into voting Yes on this complex, bureaucratic, and expensive program.
What would be the logical solution to this problem? If campaign contributions for "entities which do not vote" are causing such problems, then the simplest and least expensive solution would be to ban financial campaign contributions from these entities. Do not allow corporations, unions, or PACs to contribute money to individual election campaigns.
However, this solution is too simple for socialists. It does NOT grow government. It does NOT create more overpaid jobs for paper-shuffling bureaucratic drones. Since socialism promotes equality at the expense of liberty, socialism seeks to grow government to provide more overpaid dead-end bureaucratic jobs for the incapable. Socialism and bureaucracy are symbiotic; they are joined at the hip. So Boraas signs on to Ballot Measure 3. And he openly admits it will cost us more money:
Critics say public campaign financing is expensive, and at $6 million an election cycle that's true. But the state has the money to pay for it right now, ironically most of it coming from the very tax legislation Veco and the oil industry fought against and that exposed much of the corruption in the first place.
So just because we have the money to pay for it right now makes public campaign financing justified? What if we didn't have the money? During the mid-80s, the Alaska economy skidded, and home sales in Anchorage nose-dived. During the Tony Knowles administration, oil prices skidded again and revenues declined to the point where Governor Knowles twice proposed a state income tax. What happens to public campaign financing if oil revenues decline? Do we sacrifice Denali KidCare, for example, to pay for public campaign financing?
Fortunately, organized opposition to Ballot Measure 3 is making itself heard. Longtime Alaska libertarian activist Scott Kohlhaas, himself running for the House District 20 seat, is sounding the public alarm against Ballot Measure 3. Kohlhaas is in principle opposed to the idea of publicly funding election campaigns. Since libertarians are at the forefront of the fight for smaller and cleaner government, the concept of a libertarian opposed to a "clean elections" initiative should cast serious doubts on the viability of the initiative. Furthermore, two states who passed clean elections laws, Arizona and New Jersey, are now having second thoughts as defects have been exposed.
But don't just take my word for it. Read the official language of the initiative, along with the official statements in support of and opposition against the initiative posted below. I predict that once you see how complex, bureaucratic, and expensive Ballot Measure 3 will be, you will do the right thing on August 26th and vote No.
- Full 24-page Text of 07CASE Initiative
- Statement in Support of 07CASE Initiative, authored by Tim June, Alaskans for Clean Elections
- Statement in Opposition to 07CASE Initiative , authored by Dick Randolph, Committee to Stop Corruption.