In his column, Assembly Speaker Willie Brown declared that his opposition to Proposition 68, the campaign finance reform initiative, is based on concerns that it would violate the First Amendment (Op-Ed Page, May 24).
However, the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California--long known for its tireless defense of First Amendment rights--has endorsed Proposition 68.
The primary intent of the First Amendment is to promote the functioning of our democratic process by assuring access to as many viewpoints as possible. Regrettably, the current campaign financing system allows only the powerful and wealthy to participate in the political process and have their voices heard. Even worse, the cost of campaigning has become so prohibitive that potential candidates with limited means won't even attempt to run.
Given the realities of today's campaign financing system, the First Amendment not only permits Proposition 68, it requires it.
ACLU of Southern California