State Conservative Party Chairman Michael R. Long came out swinging today against an idea floated by some state legislators to use legal settlement monies for political campaigns. Chairman Long said:
Legal settlements are an acknowledgement by parties to a civil court case that it is in their best interest to agree to settle the matter rather than face the inherent risk of proceeding to trial. Monies received from legal settlements should be returned to those who sought legal relief from possible wrongdoings, not set aside for campaign financing.
Public campaign financing, with either tax dollars or legal settlement dollars, is a bad idea that would allow fringe and/or straw candidates to qualify for matching funds.
If legal settlement monies are allowed to be used for campaign financing, will there be an increase in civil lawsuits?
Fund raising is never an easy task, however if candidates have good ideas, citizens will contribute to their campaigns. It is unethical to force citizens to contribute to campaigns they do not support.