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Mornings unPHILtered - Insider discusses campaign reform
Limiting, not limiting political contributions is a hot topic
Josh Lanier Headshot
Josh Lanier
    The guest on Tuesday's “Morning's unPHILtered” show was Josh Lanier. A Statesboro resident who ran for the U.S. senate last year, Lanier said he is up in Washington keeping an eye on what our national legislators are doing.
    Potential changes to campaign contribution laws was the primary topic.
    Lanier discussed whether or not wealthy corporations might now be able to create their own political ads, and make unlimited corporate contributions. As it stands right now corporations are strictly limited in what they can do and say as to political matters.
    Lanier stated if the laws are changed, or the interpretation of the laws are changed, corporations could spend millions of dollars pushing their own agendas or make attempts to seek changes that the corporations favor.
    Right now, PAC's (or Political Action Committees) are limited in what they can do in the public eye. However, the changes proposed would allow limitless corporate expenditures as to media efforts to effect political changes.
    The United States Supreme Court has already ruled that if you are funding your own campaign your expenditures cannot be restricted, but these proposed changes would allow corporations to be given free reign as to money they spend in expressing what they would prefer.
    Lanier said what everybody is watching is what scope of the ruling the court may make. It may be very narrow, and allow some increases in corporate funding; or it make a ruling which is much wider in scope, creating a wide-open scenario of new corporate funding.
    Lanier repeated his preference for public funding of candidates with some conditions. He believes tax return decisions to support the funding of political campaigns is a good way to free candidates from seeking private support.
    In the past, “Bag Men' would visit offices, and sometimes actually suitcases full of money for expected political support later on. Former presidential candidate John McCain actually refused private campaign contributions.
    During the campaign, then candidate Barack Obama refused to keep his promise to use only public funding. Lanier shared that Arizona, where McCain is from, has for more than a decade had major public funding of political campaigns.
    North Carolina has begun to experiment with public funding in some political races, and is having positive results because they made the change, Lanier said. In order to get public funding, you must obtain a minimum number of registered voters to make a $5 contribution to public funding.
    These individual contributions to the state fund must come from across the state. This qualifies you for the public funding of your campaign because of this showing of statewide support for your campaign.
    Lanier said he expects the Supreme Court to make its final ruling sometime this fall, and stated that he expects the decision to be a 5-4 ruling, with no clear majority of opinion. Lanier shared that he believes each political side must stop using their media supporters to push their side of the story and seek a middle ground.
        “Mornings unPHILtered” airs live Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. on and also simulcast on WWNS-AM 1240 on the radio. You also can listen anytime at on
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