Taking Issue with Issue Advocacy
Yale Law School, Program for Studies in Law, Economics and Public Policy, Working Paper No. 232
14 Pages Posted: 8 Nov 1999
Date Written: October 1999
Professor BeVier has written a provocative article that reemphasizes and extends many of her well-known, laissez-faire ideas about campaign finance. I am most persuaded by her argument that recent efforts to distinguish election-related and political spending would not by themselves be sufficient to avoid the far reaching analysis of Buckley. However, Professor BeVier's larger and more important thesis is that the arguments of "regulationists" for restricting issue advocacy are both theoretically and empirically deficient. In this comment, I wish to do three things:
(1) criticize Professor BeVier's "negative liberty" theory; (2) criticize some of her more specific arguments about inequality and accountability; and (3) suggest that mandating partial anonymity might be a better solution to the "problem" of issue advocacy.
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