In an editorial published yesterday, the New York Times scolds the Supreme Court—”which seems at times to be on a crusade to remake the American electoral landscape”—for suspending the “triggered matching funds” provision of Arizona’s system of public campaign financing. The key paragraphs:
A group of recent Arizona candidates is … arguing that the system violates their First Amendment right to free speech. They say that the prospect of matching funds for opponents deterred them from exercising their right: the fear of triggering funds led them to delay or refrain from raising and spending money and so to censor themselves.
This claim is ludicrous. The First Amendment gives all candidates the right to express their views, not to have the floor to themselves.
The editorial goes on to describe the “monumental scandal” which Arizona’s public financing system was designed to clean up. It’s a classic case of the corrosive effects of money in politics.