Public financing of elections
If we're going to contemplate driving a stake through Buckley v. Valeo, shouldn't we go all the way and require full public financing of elections?
Wouldn't that ensure elections are more about ideas and responsiveness to constituents' concerns, rather than shooting slickly produced 30-second spots that are drilled into the public consciousness through heavy rotation?
Again, this is the kind of issue I don't discuss in the book, since it's not a "hard-wired" part of our current Constitution. The Supreme Court, of course, is split 5-4 on the constitutionality of relevant legislation, but I'm blessedly not very interested in what the Supreme Court says inasmuch as I'm focusing on how we might best design new constitutional provisions in lieu of the currently existing ones.
Larry Sabato has an extensive discussion of campaign financing in his book A More Perfect Constitution. One of his proposals is to "[r]eform campaign financing by permitting Congress to pass reasonable limitations on campaign spending by the wealthy from their family fortunes, and mandate partial public financing for general election House and Senate campaigns."
I have other things I must do today, but I certainly expect to return to the remaining posts and comments in the next couple of days and respond.