Many perspectives, 1 simple etiquette

Mike Huckabee: Get Rid of Donation Limits Altogether and Require Full Transparency

Created: 03 June, 2015
Updated: 15 October, 2022
2 min read
The Hill

reported Tuesday that Mike Huckabee, former governor of Arkansas and 2016 presidential candidate, wants to completely change the way we look at campaign finance in the United States, and is offering a unique solution to fix the current system.

“Prohibit nothing, disclose everything, and disclose it on the spot and let the voters make up their mind,” Huckabee said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, co-hosted by former U.S. Rep. Joe Scarborough (R-Fla.).

Huckabee bashes the role of super PACs in elections. He wants individual donors to be able to give as much as they want to candidates instead, as long as there is complete disclosure.

“If somebody wants to give you a lot of money, give it to the campaign. Let the candidate stand up and say ‘Yes, Joe Scarborough wrote me a $25 million check and I’m a wholly owned subsidiary of Joe Scarborough,’” Huckabee said. “That would be less disingenuous than what we have now which is this utter separation, no coordination which sometimes doesn’t even work in favor of the candidate.”

Huckabee's reforms might not go over well with people who believe money is currently the biggest problem facing America's political system. However, it would end a system of secrecy where candidates and political action committees routinely skirt donation limits or coordination rules without the public knowing.

Under the current system, private organizations like political parties, who are allowed to contribute much more money to a candidate than an individual, and super PACs, who can raise an unlimited amount of money, spend as much as they want to support (or oppose) a candidate, and hide their donor lists, have all the influence over elections.

Under a system like the one Huckabee proposes, individuals would not be limited on how much they can give to candidates (i.e. it would not limit their participation in the race), which may not sound like a good idea to some, but complete transparency means that the public will know who is donating to a candidate's campaign and which organizations the campaign is coordinating with.

Ideally, this would create a system where candidates are beholden to all voters -- not just members of the "donor class" -- without limiting any individual voter's participation. After all, the question that mus be answered when considering campaign finance reform is, who are candidates beholden to -- private organizations or voters?