David Axelrod, the former top political adviser to President Barack Obama, called for the end of candidate contribution limits as a way to wrest control of elections from the less accountable super PACs and other groups that have proliferated since the Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United ruling.
Campaign finance system is a mess. Limits have just created a cottage industry for lawyers who devise schemes to circumvent them. 1/3.
Too much money in politics. But if it's inevitable, let it flow directly to candidates and demand full disclosure, with stiff penalties.2/3
And end the SuperPac and faux SuperPac game that too often allows donors to elude detection and candidates to deny responsibility. 3/3.
This is not the first time that a political operative or former politician has called for unlimited contributions to candidates as a solution to the unlimited spending by independent groups not controlled by the candidates or the parties. In response to a question about super PAC funding, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty told ThinkProgress, "The better position is to allow full and free speech in whatever form, but have instant disclosure."
But Republicans like Pawlenty have long questioned or outright opposed campaign finance regulation. Axelrod, as Obama's lead political strategist, helped craft an image for Obama as a campaign reformer -- even if that image has evaporated during his White House tenure.
As a senator in 2007, Obama called for public financing of elections, stating, "[I]f we're serious about change, we need to have a real discussion about public financing for congressional elections. Because even if we can stop lobbyists from buying us lunch or taking us out on junkets, they'll still be able to attend our fundraisers -- and that's access the average American doesn't have."
Nick Nyhart, the CEO of Public Campaign, a watchdog group promoting public financing of elections, told HuffPost, "Axelrod's seemingly new belief that we should get rid of contribution limits altogether will make the political system he and President Obama have so long railed against even worse. The answer should be empowering small donors, a theme that has been the position of the past two presidential campaigns he has worked on."
ALSO ON HUFFPOST:
How will Donald Trump’s first 100 days impact YOU? Subscribe, choose the community that you most identify with or want to learn more about and we’ll send you the news that matters most once a week throughout Trump’s first 100 days in office. Learn more