There is way too much money in politics, and looking at just how ineffective it was
is even further proof its status as an abomination. McCain-Feingold can be understood as a start, but it was not perfect by any means. Sure, it helped us begin to take back our party, but it also limited the influence of labor over the Democratic Party. Another of the main problems with McCain-Feingold was a compromise in the legislation that raised the individual campaign donation limit to $2,000, and recently to $2,100. Considering the demographics of Bush's donor base, this almost doubled his warchest overnight. In fact, it doubled the warchest of many other Republicans as well.
In short, as much as I support campaign finance reform, all campaign finance reform is not worth supporting. This is particularly true if the "reform" is little more than a naked attempt to defund the left. The latest McCain campaign finance proposal is a case in point:
Picking up new allies in his push to limit political spending, Senator John McCain proposed new restrictions on Wednesday for some independent political groups that poured more than $400 million into last year's elections. The proposal includes a measure to cap donations at $25,000.
The campaign finance law championed by Mr. McCain in 2002 stopped political parties from collecting the unlimited soft money contributions that grew to dominate presidential races in the 1990's. But it did not restrict groups known as 527 committees from collecting six- and seven-figure checks, allowing those like Swift Vets and P.O.W.'s for Truth and America Coming Together to become prime political players.
Mr. McCain and others sponsoring the legislation say they are determined to stop such spending before the 2006 Congressional elections get under way. While the bill contains numerous regulations, some quite complex, its overriding goal is to stop donations like the $24 million that the financier George Soros contributed last year to defeat President Bush.(...)
Though the bill's prospects are uncertain, it has drawn early backing in unusual places. Mr. Bush has expressed support for regulating 527 groups. Senator Trent Lott, a Mississippi Republican who opposed the 2002 law, is co-sponsoring this legislation and will hold hearings in the Rules Committee, which he leads.
The mention of George Soros, as well as the alliance with Trent Lott, are obvious red flags that indicate this bill is not a piece of good government legislation. Specifically targeting 527's while leaving other groups alone is, like Bush's tort "reform," an attempt to defund the progressive cause, not to clean up money in politics. Granted, I have not read the legislation, but it appears to not touch unlimited donations to C3 and C4 organizations that form one of the main pillars of the Republican Noise Machine. Because "think tanks" have either "non-profit" or "intellectual" tax classifications, not only are they allowed to receive billions of dollars every year in the form of unlimited donations from uber-rich Republicans
, unlike 527's they are allowed to actively coordinate with both specific candidates and the Republican Party under the false guise of non-partisanship. Unless the billions that are funneled into the right-wing message machine are also challenged by this legislation, which the article seems to clearly indicate they are not, I see no reason to support it, and no reason to consider it anything except another in a long series of Right Wing Power Grabs. The hypocrisy of this legislation is clear: The bill would not affect groups that work exclusively on nonfederal elections, or those raising less than $25,000 a year. Nonprofit organizations operating under Section 501(c) of the tax code are also not covered.
Mr. McCain himself works with a nonprofit group called the Reform Institute, which promotes changes in campaign finance. The group has collected from scores of donors, including about a dozen who gave more than $50,000, some with ties to communications companies. The Senate Commerce Committee, which Mr. McCain once led, has jurisdiction over communications issues.
Any campaign finance legislation that targets progressive, liberal and labor strongholds while leaving the river of conservative money to flow freely must be defeated and called out to be the power grab that it is. McCain will use his "reformer" cloak and the extensive publicity given to 527's by the Right Wing Noise Machine as a means of making this simply look like good government legislation. However, his own personal hypocrisy in not proposing legislation that would also impact the organizations he works with needs to be Democratic talking point number one. Clean it up on both sides, or don't clean it up at all.