For the Campaign Regulation Is Unconstitutional file, Joe Markley relates his experience in Connecticut:
Along with my friend and colleague, Connecticut state representative Rob Sampson, I’ve been charged with a violation of campaign-spending statutes by our state elections-enforcement authority. My misdeed was a single mention of Governor Dannel Malloy in each of two mailings we sent during the last state election. …
The fact is, we didn’t bring the governor up to hurt his campaign, but to make our own position clear to voters: Dan Malloy is Connecticut’s single biggest problem. His enormous tax hikes (the two largest in state history, one each passed immediately after his election and reelection), his reckless borrowing, and his refusal to reduce the size and scope of state government have brought our state to the precipice. Prohibiting us from sharing with voters our opinion of the governor would deprive them of the most important piece of political information we can offer.
And that’s the point. All that stuff about getting money out of politics is dressing. Some activists sincerely believe it, of course, but whether the political corruption was behind the cause at its inception or the corrupt subsequently identified the opportunity it presents, campaign finance and related regulations are now meant to protect the powerful. There is simply no legitimate interpretation of the Constitution that allows the government to forbid people from criticizing the king or a duke or an earl when it matters or seek to restrict their funding or force them to list their co-conspirators.