H.J. Res. 100 (112th Congress)
Introduced by Rep. D. Kucinich (D-OH)
Legal Personhood: n/a
Money as Speech: D
All campaigns for President and Members of the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate shall be financed entirely with public funds. No contributions shall be permitted to any candidate for Federal office from any other source, including the candidate.
No expenditures shall be permitted in support of any candidate for Federal office, or in opposition to any candidate for Federal office, from any other source, including the candidate. Nothing in this Section shall be construed to abridge the freedom of the press.
The Congress shall, by statute, provide limitations on the amounts and timing of the expenditures of such public funds.
The Congress shall, by statute, provide criminal penalties for any violation of this Article.
The Congress shall have the power to implement and enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
Public financing is a partisan issue that can be accomplished via legislation but there’s no evidence to show anywhere near enough popular support for an amendment. This is a big, complicated mandate with no instruction on implementation, which is another reason it’s best left to legislation. This also does nothing to curb spending on advocacy and other non-campaign forms of propaganda. And it creates a constitutional contradiction by failing to prohibit the interpretation of spending money as an expression of speech.
Section 2 is a narrow prohibition with nothing to slow down advocacy propaganda. A blanket prohibition on expenditure for political candidates could be construed to include the normal business operation of a newspaper, thus the carve out for the press. But that just means that any business or organization can create a “press” division and be exempted from this provision.
Rep. Kucinich’s proposal is a liberal wish list more than a serious attempt at a Constitutional amendment. Ideas worth pursuing don’t necessarily belong in the Constitution.