In a letter to the Dispatch ("Public financing of campaigns would help to clean up politics," Nov. 10, 2007), Sibley Arnebeck of Common Cause suggests public financing of elections as the answer to cleaning up politics.
What Arnebeck is suggesting is that all Ohioans fund -- through taxation -- politicians and ballot issues, regardless of platforms and agendas. And, all Ohioans are silenced as they can no longer express their political views during election cycles. So, the right to free speech is to be trumped by Arnebeck's desire for "clean" politics.
Government solutions never seem to work as proposed. Publicly financed campaigns mean that the only candidates and parties which can receive financing are those candidates and parties deemed worthy by the establishment. Certainly, public funds are not going to be spent on marginal hopefuls that are outside of the current political machines.
So, not only will free speech be deprived, but the selection of candidates will no longer be left to the public at large.
Common Cause should fight to reduce the size and reach of government. When that happens, the financing and influence issues solve themselves.