Most campaign finance stories bore me to tears. Yet for every rule, there are exceptions. Today the New York Times has a story [free registration required] on former Texas PUC Chairman Klein and her aspirations to join the U.S. House of Representatives. One should never pass up the opportunity to say, "I agree with Gene." From the article:
Gene Kimmelman, a former Democratic Senate aide who is now a senior director at Consumers Union, put the matter more succinctly: "Clearly, the companies are investing in the future. This is an interesting story about how Washington works."
The response to the obvious rentseeking - campaign contributions as an investment in anticipated regulatory favor - is to remove the pervasive regulation of the communications industry where this type of behavior is deeply ingrained. As communications markets move toward a regime based on property rights and contracts - to mirror most of the American economy - naked rentseeking would be tempered. The anticipated return on campaign contributions, which are intended to seek favor, would fall. As a result, I relish the forthcoming support of the Consumer Union for widespread deregulation so that we can join arm in arm, with one voice, to solve these public choice problems.