Brad Messer Commentary
8:15 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2003

Step right up, Ladeees and Gentlemen, we’re gonna have a big show!

A fine show about city hall campaign spending limits. Our leaders will stage the performance. It will be rather like The Wizard of Oz, where Oz insists that we “pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.” The local performance will be about ethics at city hall. The big show is designed to make the public think something ethical has been accomplished.

Some of our political insiders are flirting with the idea of campaign spending limits, and donation limits, for mayor and council races. The reasoning is that a candidate couldn't be bought by big campaign donations from special interests, if legally there could be no big donations.

Oh, citizens, the dawning of the Promised Age! Poor little broke citizens could run for office, on equal ground with rich people, because of campaign spending limits. And no one could be bought. It would be glorious to a level barely short of citizens hugging one another all the time.

I say pay no attention to that show. Campaign caps don’t work and every political insider here knows that for a fact. Campaign limits just send people to new loopholes, and they know that for a fact, too.

Save the greasepaint and tutus, city hallers. We see all of you back there behind the curtain, cooking up your campaign spending limit show.

Brad Messer— commentary, KTSA.

Jan. 8, 2003 Express-News - S.A. residents decry political role of cash

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