The Countertop Chronicles

"Run by a gun zealot who's too blinded by the NRA" - Sam Penney of

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Whores A Plenty

Its not surprising that all our elected leaders throw principle out the window as they whore around for special interest money. What is most entertaining though, is the complete reversals of once hardened policy position it causes. Take for instance the current debate over 527 donors, charitable groups immune to "soft money" limits under the Crush The First Amendment Act (ooops, I mean McCain Feingold Campaign Finance Reform Act).

As the Wall Street Journal points out, its "made for some amusing, and embarrassing, reversals of principle. Democrats such as Nancy Pelosi, who for years have denounced the "corruption" of large political contributions, have suddenly discovered an intimate connection between financial donations and free speech. Liberal pundits who have devoted careers to taking dictation from Common Cause by denouncing fat cat donors are suddenly mum about 527s.

Republicans are hardly any better. After staking a claim for free speech as they fought McCain-Feingold over the years, the Republican National Committee is now suddenly urging the FEC to regulate the 527s as if they were political parties. GOP lawyers are endorsing a draft opinion by the FEC general counsel that advocates doing precisely that. This hypocrisy might help them during this election cycle, but sooner or later Republicans might well need their own 527s."

This of course makes FEC Chairman Bradley Smith, "About the only honorable man in this political bordello." A Republican appointee and long-time proponent of free speech, Democrats tried for years to run him out of town and routinely referred to him as Dracula. Of course, "with the FEC Chairman is sticking to his long-held beliefs, arguing that the groups should be allowed to continue to raise and spend "soft money." Mr. Smith's views raise the chances that the six-person FEC will do the right thing" and protect the first amendment, to the delight of Democrats, who can't survive without these special interest payoffs, and the anger of Republicans who lack the foresight to envision a day in the future when they made need similar assistance.

Update. apparently, Chairman Smith's convictions weren't enough to rule the day as the FEC voted 4-2 to cover 527s. What is most amusing is the two votes in opposition were from two of the three republicans. Three of the four board members voting to cover 527s are Democrats who apparently want to inflict lasting damage on their party. Roll Call requires a subscription - I'll post a free link later tonight.


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