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Gerrymandering and campaign finance: wrong targets for reform

Jacobson is founder and CEO of No Labels, which strives to unite people of different parties to make government work. Galston is co-founder.

Sometimes an idea is so logical and sensible that we can't let it go, no matter how often it proves not to work. Such is the case with continuous calls to end gerrymandering and to reform campaign finance laws.

Big money's corrosive effect on campaigns and gerrymandering's callous, power-grabbing distortion of neutral political maps are obvious evils that must be remedied, right? Without question, they are troubling realities that feed public cynicism about our political system. The push to reform them is well-intentioned and, on the surface, completely logical.

But a closer look reveals something strange: Powerful forces, including Congress, have tried for decades to significantly reduce money's role in politics, to little effect.

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