I think this is very much like the drug war. Rather than go after the users, go after their supply. Even though that just creates an even greater profit motive and even greater pressure to supply them.
Its just kinda funny how everyone wants to restrict peoples ability to ‘bribe’ but not restrict anyone from taking a bribe.
Why is it these special interest groups are so willing to buy politicians? Why are politicians so willing to be bought? Why do politicians strive with each other for ‘choice’ comittee memberships?
Ideas off the top of the noggin, but why dont we try things like, oh, any politician on a committee drafting legislation for say, the tobacco industry, who accepts money from a PAC that is either pro- or anti- tobacco issue is banned from voting on the legislation because of conflict of interest?
Or, why dont we require all congressmen and their immediate families to divest themselves of all private holdings upon taking office in the same way we do the President?
Seriously, as long as there is value in buying politicians then politicians are going to be bought, whether out in the open or in secret with brown paper bags.
I have a certain sympathy for the freedom of speach argument. In a real way, a politicians lack of ability to acquire funding should tell them something about their support or lack thereof.
On the other hand, myself I dont like soft money contributions at all, wherein the money is given to the party and the party disperses it where needed. I think this has the practical effect of making many polticians more beholden to their party elders than they are to their constituents. And the last thing I want is more party-line politics than we allready have.