Bundling is Bad.
In the bygone Puritan days of the colonies, a young man would call on a young woman in her familys log cabin in the dead of winterand they would be swiftly put to bed by her parents. Huh? The fireplaces were insufficient to provide heatand so the parents would plop the young people in the same bed with their clothes on and ensure that a good number of pillows and comforters were between them so they could converse without being chilly while the family joined in the conversation. The entirely chaste courtship was called bundling. Nary a single scandal or loss of honor was caused by this bundling.
A modern description of bundling is, if carried out legally, equally non-corruptive. But it involves something far different. There is a definite limit of monies you can give a presidential candidate in one electoral cycle. It used to be $1,000 but now is $2,300. The name of the game is to volunteer to be a bundlerconvincing your friends and business associates to kick in the $2,300 with you bundling up all the contributions into one package and getting credit for your work with the presidential or senatorial candidate. If there is no secret reimbursement
employers sneaking payments back to employees for example
its entirely kosher.
Bundling came about just as limits in donations did through regulations from liberals that deprive the electorate of expressing their wishes. And that is because misnamed reformers in Common Cause and the editorial board of The New York Times do not respect the power of complete disclosure. The best campaign finance reform is always the disinfecting power of sunshine.
If, say, I choose to run against Don Rose for a post and vested industrialists give me a load of money
and I have to disclose the amount at the end of every 12 hour period
every organ of news media from Rich Millers Capitol Fax to the three major daily newspapers that cover politics here plus my opponent, Mr. Rose, would have ample opportunity to assail me as the unregenerate tool of industry. Likewise if Don Rose got a sizable amount from say organized labor or Personal PAC, I would have the same option. That is the only true and effective route to campaign finance reform. Arbitrary limits only defile the 1st amendment and provide a sleazy conduit to corruption
people finding ways to circumvent the system, slipping cash dollars that are not recorded and all that sort of thing.
Unfortunately when John B. Anderson, Gods Angry Man who resembled an Old Testament prophet, co-wrote the 1974 campaign reform bill as a route to gain publicity for a future national effort, he
along with Ab Mikva
wrenched the meaning out of the 1st amendment. Gene McCarthy and Jim Buckley, an odd duo, got the Supreme Court in Buckley vs. Valeo to declare that a limitation on campaign donations was an abrogation of free speech. Anderson was hoisted by his own petard later as a presidential candidate when he confronted multi-millionaires who wanted to fund his race but could only give him $1,000 apiece. But because he wanted to Stand Tall in Georgetown
i.e. with the liberal community
John Anderson never fully came to grips with his own diabolic formula. The same way with John McCain who was trying to eradicate the stench of his having been one of the Keating Five. Only McCains bill went too farpreventing citizens from spending money to defeat federal candidates within 30 days of election
allowing the newspapers free rein. You realize why the New York Times loved the ideait was the Drive By Medias Monopoly Act of 2002. George W. Bush signed ita rash act calculated to put him on the side of the reformers for 2004.
Strangely, The Wall Street Journal has always been the vehicle for sensible analysis between the differences of true reform
which is full and prompt disclosure
and misnamed reform which is restrictions on the 1st amendment. Its editorial page has continued in that pristine fashion. But editorial pages do not control the news pagesand the Journal/s front page piece yesterday conveyed a straight-from-the-Left précis: Donor Bundling Emerges as Major Ill in `08 Race. A major ill. The only major ill was that Norman Hsu, a big donor to Hillary Clinton, violated the arbitrary, foolish restrictions of misnamed campaign reform to fake bundling with people who were privately reimbursed.
How long will it take for liberals to understand that the more restrictions they place on free giving with disclosure, the more innovative ways will be devised to allow people to give as much money as they want? Which means that this country should encourage one final attempt at campaign finance reform
which should be:
To allow all Americans to give to the limit to any candidate or candidates they choose with the proviso that within the 12 hour deadline of giving, their contribution will be listed on the Internet.