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Bad Ideas in Campaign Finance Reform


By davidswanson - Posted on 09 January 2012

Bad idea #1: listen to Jack Abramoff.

Bad idea #2: this one I heard from Jack Abramoff who was holding forth on ethical and unethical bribery the other day on National Plutocracy Radio: If you give a candidate money because you love your country that's good. If you give a candidate money because you want a particular favor, that's bad (or, one might add, Abramoffian).  The problem of course is that most people can't afford to give money, so your well-intentioned money perverts the government no matter how well-intentioned.  It also opens a loophole for all the people who just want those particular favors.

Bad idea #3: leave a loophole for labor unions.  This one you can hear from labor unions, which is why all the bills to amend the constitution and undo corporate rights introduced in Congress thus far abide by it.  But labor unions are vastly overspent and would still be vastly overspent in a world with a tiny loophole just for unions because the mega corporations would create things that looked like unions to exploit the loophole, on top of which none of the bills will get anywhere unless they remove the loophole.

Bad idea #4: put energy into requiring disclosure of legal bribery rather than prevention of legal bribery.  Most of what has already been disclosed about our government is widely unknown.  Most of what is known is not acted on.  Most of what is acted on is continued just the same.  What's needed is an end to corporate personhood and financial speech.

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