The Seattle Times' Bruce Ramsey argues in favor of the unfettered influence of money in politics:
I say, let campaign-finance reform fail. Let candidates raise whatever money they can, as long as the public can see who the large donors are. We in the media will cover them. We love to cover them. You will know who they are.
The problem is, Bruce, you in the media can't sufficiently cover large donors, and in any case, you've already proven that you won't. All some selfish, self-serving billionaire—or the Red Chinese government, for that matter—needs to do to cover his tracks is funnel his money through some corporate shell, and the trail ends there. Or, the donors could just simply refuse to comply with existing disclosure laws, a practice that was endemic during the last campaign cycle.
And even if you were able to follow the money trail and report it in your paper, who would know? How does one article in the Seattle Times balance tens of millions of dollars in local TV ads? And besides, in your typical, "fair-and-balanced" style, you'll inevitably pull some false equivalency bullshit, no doubt noting that while yes, Charles and David Koch did funnel $20 million into the campaign, public employee unions also chipped in a few hundred thousand in opposition, so everybody's doing it, right?
Oh... and those libertarian lawyers you lionize, Bruce? They're not just fighting to have public funding and contribution limits tossed out, they're also arguing that disclosure laws are unconstitutional too. And with the corporatist makeup of the current Supreme Court, there's a good chance they'll win.
And in any case, why should we possibly trust you to expose the influence of money in politics, when you make it so abundantly clear that you passionately believe money in politics is a good thing?
George Gilder once wrote that private money is "the wild card, the mutagenic germ, of capitalism ... It is discretionary capital that finances most of what is original and idiosyncratic in our culture and economy, that launches the apparently hopeless causes in business and politics."
Oh God... I think I'm gonna puke.
Romanticize the market all you want, Bruce, but we are quickly becoming a nation in which money has more free speech rights than speech itself. And as a man who makes his living speaking his mind, you might wanna beware what you wish for.