Tuesday, April 4, 2006

Pandering Washington Republicans

Not only do establishmentarian Washington Republican House careerists make me tired by refusing to hold down spending and acting like liberal Democrats, they are doing something far worse to the body politick by thrusting their dirty, fat thumb on the scale of the right to advocacy. Remember 2002 when the GOP Congress passed the McCain-Feingold (as in “find gold”) bill on so-called campaign finance reform which banned soft money? They hoped Bush would veto it. It was not Bush’s best day when he passed the buck, signing it into law hoping the Court would find it unconstitutional. So the Court didn’t and we’re stuck with a severe limitation of up-front advocacy. So it drove money underground to 527s.

Now certain House Republicans are going one step farther in order to court the liberal media. They want to eliminate 527s. Gee, I wonder why? Maybe it’s because some of these groups are activating mechanized phone calls to Republican districts warning about the wasteful spending the Republicans are piling up. The shadow GOP reason is that George Soros, the ultra-left billionaire will be silenced—but GEORGE SOROS SHOULDN’T BE SILENCED! Nor should anyone else except on grounds of indecency or abject racism (and even here, I should not like to see Farrakhan’s paper terminated). Ending 527s will push the money to 501-(c) 4’s where there is even less accountability and contributors need not be named. What ought to happen is that the Republican Congress should take restrictions off limits of money-giving and insist only on full disclosure via the internet and immediately. Agree? Don’t agree? Write in Comments.


  1. I agree with the immediate on-line identification of contributors, but also support public financing and contribution limits.

    Instead of responding to your every quip, Tom, I should consider developing a way to gather political contribution info from prior decades and prepare a history of a fictious equity index fund with holdings weighted by corporate contributions to political campaigns. I suspect that -- if the contributions can be that easily tracked -- a Lobbyists 100 Equity Index wouldn't perform that well over time.

  2. Contributions to any politician, campaign staffer or representative, 501c3, 501c4, 527, PAC, or any other such group, that contribution should be posted on the internet.

    Also posted should be any government money directly or indirectly paid to those contributors or their officers and staff such as government grants, contracts, loans, employment, etc.

    The complete balanced books of the recipients should be on the internet: Assets, Liabilities (including loans), Income and Expenses(including payroll).

    Certainly it should apply to all Federal and Statewide candidates. Would it be too burdensome to expect it of local Fire or Park district candidates ? What about the contributions to the local "franchises" of larger campaigns?

    Do we want to "social engineer" ? We could skew the law to help or hurt TV ads, newspaper ads or the ground game.

    Like conservatives who refuse to use "motor voter" to their own advantage, some recent conservative campaigns refused to use the tilt from TV to the ground game to their own advantage when that advantage became obvious in the rules 4 years ago. Ohio and Florida adapted to the new ground game bias. But not Illinois.

  3. Frankly, I think there should be strict limits on political contributions even to your own campaign. Economic concentrations of power can be just as dangerous to the republic as the ones we're familiar with in the political arena. Full disclosure doesn't undo the damage. For example, everyone knew that Dillinger robbed banks, but that didn't stop him from doing it.