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View Diary: Financial parity in sight (161 comments)

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  •  Re: Financial parity in sight (none)
    The Democrats aren't accepting soft money; MoveOn and the AFL-CIO et al. are. They will be bound by restrictions on how and when they spend that money, and cannot consult with the DNC on how to spend it.

    Allowing these groups (as well as the NRA, the Christian Coalition, etc.) to still participate was part of the McCain-Feingold legislation. Barring them would have led to discarding the legislation on First Amendment grounds.

    •  Re: Financial parity in sight (none)
      I agree.  But then you have to tell me why funnelling soft money through 3rd parties where you can donate anonymously is any better than what we had before.  (and we all know that there will be coordination between candidates and the 3rd party groups)

      Either Soft Money shouldn't have been banned in the first place or Democrats should not be looking for ways to still benefit from it.  The claim was that democrats wanteded a soft money ban in principle.  That large donors had too much influence on elections.

      So what do you think now?  Is soft money good or bad?

      •  Re: Financial parity in sight (none)
        Well, so I'm feeding the trolls...

        Look, there will not be coordination with the DNC in any directed, meaningful way. That would bring these groups in for some serious penalties and likely blow up politically. And the Republicans have already announced that they will be watching very closely; I'm sure they will be.

        Only the most radical advocates wanted to "ban" soft money, so quit trundling out your tired dichotomy "either the Democrats were wrong or now they're crooks." I don't think that even works in the world of Harvey Richards, lawyer for children. The bipartisan bill sought to diminish the influence of soft money, not eliminate it. Moreover, it also sought to eliminate the influence of money on governing decisions (Westar, anyone?). Unfortunately we have a president who flouts the campaign finance system, as he did in the last election when he was the beneficiary of  in-kind contributions like the use of the Enron corporate jet for cheap and free media from Clear Channel as well as boatloads of corporate money that comes with strings attached and promises of access like Cheney's energy commission.

        Look, I was skeptical before of the methods of campaign finance because there really is a First Amendment issue here. I'm not comfortable with this campaign being drwoned in money, but I'm not willing to grab my ankles in the face of it either.

      •  Re: Financial parity in sight (none)
        I'm quoting and adapting from my earlier post:

        Soft money to independent organizations isn't bad.

        It's sort of hard to explain why, but what it comes down to, I think, is intent. McCain-Feingold was intended primarily to remove politicians from the pockets of special interests.  If the money isn't going directly to either the politicians or the national parties, it's harder for anyone to argue that those politicians owe the donors some sort of political kickback.

        The democratic candidates are less in the pockets of people who donate to organizations like MoveOn than, say, George Bush is in the pockets of his multi-thousand-dollar bundlers.

        Money to MoveOn or wherever supports Democratic objectives--principly Bush's ouster--it doesn't go to a particular candidate.  And unless the amount is truly amazingly obscene (as w/ Soros' much-publicized donations), the politician may not even be aware of it.

        Sure, political money isn't completely regulated (remember the whole free-speech thing?), but it has lost much (if not all, thanks to Bushy-Wushy) of its power to corrupt.

        Why not use it?

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