Public forums for political candidates can provide some elucidating moments. Take yesterday’s Windsor Gardens event with House District 6 rivals: incumbent Democrat Rep. Lois Court and Republican challenger Joshua Sharf. Joshua recounts some of the event on his blog:
…what struck me most was my opponent’s claim that she votes how her constituents would vote on a given issue. In fact, her priorities seem to be far more arcane and abstruse than the concerns I’ve heard people talking about, and had she held more than three town hall meetings in the last two years, Rep. Court might have known that. When I knock on people’s doors, we talk about the budget, the economy, jobs, and education. Rep. Court’s priorities are public financing of campaigns.
Why public financing of campaigns? Well, watch this 90-second clip from the forum where Rep. Court provided an eye-opening remark:
For those of you who might have missed the key phrase while it went by, she said: “…unfortunately it is a First Amendment right for political free speech, for anyone to say anything about anybody, and to spend any amount of money…” Unfortunately, eh? Occasional abuses of the freedoms we are given might be unfortunate, but it certainly isn’t unfortunate that the First Amendment right to political free speech exists.
Rep. Court went on to express her disappointment with the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision Citizens United v FEC. A good place for her to start catching up would be to read Eugene Volokh’s thoughtful analysis of another key First Amendment campaign finance case Buckley v Valejo.
Meanwhile, given how out of touch with her constituents Rep. Court once again has shown herself to be, the small odds of an upset Sharf victory begin to rise. (It grows even more likely if you exercise your political free speech rights on his behalf.) Heck, this year on November 2, almost anything can happen. And a few unexpected ones will.