It doesn’t matter what you think about the campaign finance laws as they stand right now. it is simply a fact that making sure Democrats at all levels collect a shit-ton of cash ahead of every election is absolutely necessary right now.
God, I can almost see the professional left head explosions happening right before my eyes. What I just said makes them hot because they can’t think logically. They hear the phrase “campaign finance reform” and they jizz in their jeans, but they can not fathom that, in order to change the campaign finance laws, we have to follow the current regime, the way it currently is. That means we have to raise as much money as possible from every source available. That means EVERY SOURCE AVAILABLE.
And let’s be clear; while it’s a nice ideal, this concept that anyone can raise enough money to win with only small donations from little old ladies and hippies emptying their change purses is ridiculous. I don’t happen to think money decides races, but you do have to raise enough to keep you in the race and possibly put you over the top, and you can’t do that by putting small cans on the counters of all the head shops in town. As someone who has raised money for campaigns in the past, I can tell you, $20 is welcome and appreciated, but a $2,000 check is a relief.
If we are going to end the curse of the current campaign finance regime eventually, we have to get down and dirty for a while. We will never change campaign finance laws with Republicans in charge, so the first step is to make sure Democrats win everywhere possible.
There was a story in The Hill over the weekend about the amount of outside money the DCCC is funneling into competitive House races in California, as a way to avert electoral disaster. Immediately, the professional left (white liberals) were on it, whining about the DCCC, at the same time they were whining about the “poisonous” nature of pumping so much money into the state. It was amazing. These are people many “progressives” depend on for information, and they were acting as if their “principle” prevented them from participating in this flood of money into California.
The reaction was almost as stupid as the reaction to the Trump-Russia investigation, when lefties were defending Russia and claiming everything claimed about Russian interference was unfair. It is simply a fact that we need to flood Congress and the state houses with Democrats if we are ever going to return the electoral system to some sort of footing that is fair. The Citizens United ruling is law; the only way we can overcome that is with legislation, and Republicans will never allow such legislation.
That means, rich liberals need to flood the system with money, the same way rich right wingers like the Kochs and Adelson flood the system with their money. That is not immoral or unprincipled, it is just a fact. The system is what it is and you have to play by the current rules if you want to win. The current rules are, you can raise money from anyone, using a PAC or some other instrument, and you’d better raise at least as much as the opposing party, and we all know the GOP will raise a shit-ton. That means we have to raise a shit-ton of money, too.
And for Chrissakes, stop looking for ways to pick on and trash the Democratic Party, including the DNC, DCCC and the DSCC. We all know, pro lefties, that it’s your “oh-so-subtle” way of showing everyone how smart you think you are, but all it does is help voters decide to not show up on Election Day. It is in no way helpful and it actually lessens the chance that we will ever actually reform the campaign finance system.
One last thing; the problem with campaign finance is not based on how much money candidate SPEND. The issue is how much certain donors give to candidate and the quid pro quo they receive for their “donation” (bribe). If a candidate spends $1 billion, but no one gave them more than $1,000, where’s the problem? We do need to reform the system and here’s what I recommend:
- First of all, individual limits should be about $3,000-5,000, and should apply to every entity, whether individuals, companies or organizations. Period. No exceptions, including unions.
- No bundling. Period. All donations should go straight from the donor to the campaign. I also think a clearinghouse might be a great idea, too. All donations go to a clearinghouse, which then distributes the money to the campaigns. That way, no one knows who gave them what.
- All campaigns should be incorporated, which creates a separate entity from the candidate. That means the candidate will be limited to $3,000-5,000 in donations per cycle, just like everyone else. No more self-financing of campaigns by billionaires. In other words, no more Trumps.
- No more loans to campaigns, which means an end to candidates loaning themselves money for a campaign, as well. If they have popular support, they shouldn’t have to borrow money, and we know what happens when a politician owes someone a lot of money; they become compromised.
- All donations should be tax deductible. That will make people more likely to report contributions, so they can get the tax break.
- NO public financing of political campaigns, unless it augments private financing. I’ve always thought this to be a profoundly stupid idea, since you are essentially putting politicians in charge of all campaign finance money. Gee, what could go wrong with that idea?
Those are just my opinion. I also realize that, in principle, the only way any Democrat is going to win is if they are able to raise as much cash as possible to overwhelm the GOP and get more voters to show up on November 6 and again in 2020, 2022, 2024, 2026 and beyond, as well as in all the odd-numbered election years I didn’t mention. My principles don’t kick in until the Democrats win. Citing them now would be me stroking my own ego, nothing more.
Also published on Medium.