I’ve long writtenÃ‚Â of the joke that is called “Campaign Finanance Reform,” and it’s starting to rear its illogical yet carefully planned head again.
Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee on Friday said potential 2008 presidential rival John McCain’s campaign finance reforms gives the Republican senator an advantage over other candidates by allowing him to transfer money easily.
“If you’re a senator, you can take the money you raise in a Senate campaign and transfer it to a presidential, but you can’t take money you raise in a state campaign and transfer that to a federal campaign,” Huckabee, a Republican, told The Associated Press in an interview Friday.
In a Washington Post article titled “Money’s going to talk in 2008,” Michael Toner, chairman of the FEC, is quoted from an interview on the price tag for running for president in 2008: “There is a growing sense that there is going to be a $100 million entry fee at the end of 2007 to be considered a serious candidate.”
McCain-Feingold sure did get the money out of politics, didn’t it? Since John McCain is considered by many to be among the candidates to beat for the GOP nomination, he may be both surprised, yet pleased to discover, that the law he co-sponsored contains more loopholes than the wall between a high-school girls’ locker room and the wood shop. This can’t beÃ‚Â an accident.
A quick look at even the seemingly noblest of intentions of McCain-Feingold and the failings (to us, but successes to bureaucratic authors of these bills)Ã‚Â are obvious. Did the “stand by your ad” provision, which requires federal candidates say “I approve this message,” bring about a huge decline in negative ads? The thought behind that was, if a candidate had to say “I approve” visibly and audibly, the candidate would be less likely to permit negative or false material in the ad.
Since one must be forced to undergo a compunction-ectomy before entering politics, assuming the threat of personal shame can be used to lessen negative ads is naive at best. But this was the smoke-and-mirrors end of CFR, a red herring styleÃ‚Â distraction from the real issue of what happens to the money, who it can come from, and where it can be transferred, all of which just happen to favor John McCain.
John McCain will be a front-runner for the Republican nomination, and he will be greatly assisted in this quest by a bill-turned-law he co-authored, and he’s now in a position to “reform” politics until he ends up in The White House.
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