The following three paragraphs are from an e-mail I wrote to a friend. I will expand on these comments in Monday's column. Most conservatives are against Campaign Finance Reform (CFR), but frankly, something has to be done -- otherwise our congressional elections will continue to look more like coronations. Any suggestions?
Right now, the congressional candidate who has the most money wins 94% of the time. Is that really what the Founding Fathers had in mind?
In my blog, I write regularly about John Murtha's financing, which is basically bribery money. In 2004, when he had NO opponent (he got 100% of the votes cast), he spent nearly $1.6 million on his "campaign."
Can any of my readers figure out how he "spent" $1.6 million in a race with NO OPPONENT?
(Hint: It's going to pay off supporters for their votes and donations. Yeah, I'm saying he's transferring back money that orginally came about as earmarks. Yikes.)
Apparently, he has spent nearly $1,000,000 in 2007 (for a race in 2008). Think your very worst thoughts about where that money is going. The exact figures should be out in approximately 10 days on http://www.opensecrets.org/.
The best way you can do something about this situation is to send a contribution to William Russell.
James H. said the following in the Comments section:
Let em say this about Campaign Finance reform. I think the key to reform is not limiting money but it being very transparent!!!
If I wish to spend my money promoting political cause x I think that is sacred. I think that should be protected.
As to Murtha. I guess after last year and his weird comments on troop deployments I can never understand why people would vote him in. I suppose as Tip O'Neil said All politics is local and he must have an angle there that I am not seeing a thousand miles away.
The following is my response:
James: I hope there is a debate about campaign finance. Some of the donations (so-called) are transparent. In Murtha's case, they are from people (UPMC, PMA Group, CTC) who have benefited from huge handouts (earmarks) and are paying Murtha back for them.
If Murtha accepts a bag-full of money from the PMA Group, it's illegal. If it comes in the form of checks, it's legal. The Democratic Left (George Soros and friends) is winning the fund-raising battle. As long as that happens, "democracy" becomes something of a sham, a process designed to re-elect incumbents unto something approaching eternity.
All that said, I hope you'll contribute to William Russell, which you can do by going to: http://williamrussellforcongress.com/. He's an outstanding candidate.
My Fellow Conservatives, Please Grow Up!
Like my fellow conservative Cindy, at The Pink Flamingo, I must be part of a declining breed: i.e., someone who'd rather win an election with a good candidate than lose one with an ideologically pure individual. On one board, someone was writing about how Republican presidential candidates had to be more conservative. I wrote the following:
My response is that the candidates seem to be running for President of the United States not the President of Alabama and Mississippi. I've just been reading the wonderful Almanac of American Politics about the election of 2006. All the Democrats in the House (more than two-thirds of them) who voted against the border fence got re-elected -- not most of them, all of them.
Many of the Republicans who voted for it (and all but six did) lost. That scenario is of course the opposite of what some people are assuring us will happen in 2008, though there's no poll evidence to suggest they're right.
Do we really need to make ourselves into a permanent minority? We're very much headed in that direction.
Look at it this way: in 2006, many Republican conservatives (in the upper house, Sen. George Allen, Sen. Jim Tallent, Sen. Mike DeWine, Tom Kean, and Sen. Rick Santorum) lost. Who won against them? Oh, the Democratic liberals. Anyone who ignores that development has nothing to say on the political situation.