: It's good to remind people that the airwaves are public property which were auctioned off to private interests (such as ABC, CBS, and NBC). However, they remain public property, akin to natural resources. Part of reforming our campaign financing would be to force (why mince words) the broadcasters who are benefitting enormously from the public airwaves to provide free or low-cost airtime to political advertising.
Don: But this would still prevent *me* from buying air time for *my* ideas. Major candidates (as determined by the government) would get funding this way, but *I* wouldn't be able to buy air time under this system. I don't always argee with *any* of the candidates. If I can't afford to buy air time on my own, I'd like to ban together with like minded citizens to do so. And I won't be able to do this, because of *campaign finance reform*. The current plans for these "reforms" is to regulate "soft money": money used to buy issue advocacy adds.
Don: Further, the debate is not just about broadcast TV. CATV and other technologies will be effected. Even if you assume the airwaves belong to the government (a dubious idea--the government didn't create the airwaves, discover them, or figure out how to use them), cable networks do not.
: This is not a taking, as part of the broadcasters' charter including providing some service to the public interest; now, it's time to make them take that part of their lucrative contract seriously.
: As for your assertion that the current system is not corrupt, I can't agree with you, but at a certain point, it has to be a matter of personal opinion, so we'll just leave our difference on this point as just that.
Don: I do not claim our current system isn't corrupt. I simply do not believe it is corrupt due to citizens making campaign contributions.