Judicial Supervision of Campaign Information: a Proposal to Stop the Dangerous Erosion of Madison’s Design for Actual Representation
On September 4, 2005, less than one week after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, and more than three years into an escalating quagmire in Iraq, Frank Rich facetiously paraphrased Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, writing, “for now . . . we have no choice but to fight the war with the president we have.” The failure in the United States’ mode for selecting public officials is the systematic undermining of informed debate. Election 2004 is defined by a steady flow of false and misleading advertising. Consequently, citizens are subjected to national disasters, the likes of which will alter the sociopolitical fabric of the country, before learning facts relevant to issues on which voting decisions were based years earlier. In the 2006 mid-term elections, and even more so in the 2008 Presidential campaign, voters will want to familiarize themselves with the facts, on matters such as homeland security, foreign policy, alternative energy sources, climate change/global warming, domestic poverty and the class divide, border protection, etc. Nevertheless, notwithstanding a sharp course alteration for federal campaign regulations, information will remain dangerously watered down by advertisements designed to foster an ignorant electorate.