Campaign Disclosure Laws - Good or Evil?

I have always been a proponent of transparency in government. I even crafted an elaborate scheme about 10 years where each political ad would have a 6 digit tag line for radio and TV or a code at the bottom of each printed piece. You could then go to www.fec.gov/open, type in that number and find out who or what paid for the ad. If there were other entities involved, you could drill down until you found the true source. I sent this suggestion to all of my federal, state and local representatives. I got NO response from any of them.

So what changed my mind about disclosure?

Militant liberals, that's what. In case after case, left wing loons (I love calling them the same thing that they call us) in California have used the state's FOIA law to find out who is contributing to political races. A prominent businessperson could donate $5,000 to a candidate for Attorney General because he agrees with the candidate's stance on business and regulation. An abortion rights fringe group could find out (through disclosure) that Mr. Big gave $5,000 to the candidate who, by the way, happens to be against repealing the ban on public funding for abortions. Suddenly there is a ad campaign underway lambasting Mr. Big as being against women's rights and suggesting that people boycott his department stores. Sound familiar? Is that fair play?

As they say, no good deed goes unpunished.

So, as E. J. Dionne so eloquently and passionately discusses in his piece in the Washington Post today, by opposing the bill to 'fix' campaign finance reform after the Supreme Court gutted it in the Citizens United case earlier this year, Republicans again look to become the bad guys.

Dems want to squash the flow of political money, but money is like the Mississippi River... you can kinda, sorta direct the flow, but you cannot stop it. Also, remember YOU CANNOT HAVE GIVERS WITHOUT TAKERS, and I doubt that Congresspersons could ever stop taking money.

So, just like every argument worth discussing in Washington, DC, things are not as they initially appear. Just remember that when you see a politician's lips moving.

Comments

Craig Hollins said…
How about this? Instead of trying to stem the flow of money (which will lead to corruption, loopholes etc), ban it completely.
But then businesses don't get their say on how the country should be run and, as they are quite an important part of the mix, they should have a say.
So create seats in Congress and the Senate that are elected by businesses only. Pay $10k in tax and you get a vote. Businesses will only get votes if they pay taxes and are profitable. If they are off-shore shelf companies avoiding tax they don't get a say in how the country is run.
Then political parties will have less money to foist annoying ads on the populous during election time. They would have to target their spending wisely instead of using the shotgun approach.

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