by Jim Nintzel
Arizona Senate President Russell Pearce cheers the U.S. Supreme Court decision to get rid of matching funds:
“The U.S. Supreme Court this morning ruled the matching funds provision of Arizona’s taxpayer-funded campaign finance system unconstitutional. This is a victory for Arizona and a victory for free speech. The Court rightly found that matching funds illegally discourages private candidates from raising and spending cash in elections.
The Court ruled that matching funds present a substantial burden to free speech rights. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote “the First Amendment embodies our choice as a nation that, when it comes to speech, the guiding principle is freedom—-the unfettered exchange of ideas—-not whatever the State may view as fair.”
It made no sense that as privately-funded candidates raised money for their campaigns, it triggered taxpayer subsidies for the opposing candidates. This was an experiment that failed, and now it has been ruled unconstitutional by the highest court in the land. Good riddance.
You'd think a man of principle such as Russell Pearce, who is facing a recall effort in Legislative District 18, would not have accepted tens of thousands of dollars in campaign funding if he really believed it "illegally discourages private candidates from raising and spending cash in elections."