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Argument: Unlimited spending breaks stranglehold of incumbents

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Capital University Law School professor Bradley A. Smith, a former chair of the Federal Election Commission and a long-term campaign finance reform opponent, wrote that the major opponents of political free speech are "incumbent politicians, shocked by the apparent tectonic shift in politics of late" who "are keen to maintain a chokehold on such speech." Empowering "small and midsize corporations—and every incorporated mom-and-pop falafel joint, local firefighters’ union, and environmental group—to make its voice heard" frightens them because it breaks their damaging stranglehold on existing seats, which exist largely because they are able to raise more money than prospective up-start rivals.

Campaign finance expert Jan Baran, a member of the Commission on Federal Ethics Law Reform agreed, writing that "The history of campaign finance reform is the history of incumbent politicians seeking to muzzle speakers, any speakers, particularly those who might publicly criticize them and their legislation. It is a lot easier to legislate against unions, gun owners, 'fat cat' bankers, health insurance companies and any other industry or 'special interest' group when they can’t talk back."[1]

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