An Arizona Law That Levels the Playing Field

New York Times Editorials/Letters, Saturday, March 26, 2011

Arizona’s Boon to Free Speech

“In two consolidated cases on Monday, the Supreme Court will hear argument about an Arizona law that levels the playing field in state elections, by a public financing mechanism called triggered matching funds.  These funds support, expand and promote political speech, carrying out a central purpose of the First Amendment.

Arizona provides a set amount of money in initial public support for a campaign to candidates who opt into its financing system, depending on the type of election.  If such a candidate faces a rival who has opted out, the state will match what the opponent raises in private donations, up to triple the initial amount.  The amount raised in private donations triggers the matching funds.”

The belief or premise of this article is that candidates for public office who use this public funding mechanism will be on a level playing field with richer candidates.  A level playing field is good for most sports as well as other competitions such as politics.



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