The Emptiness of Campaign Finance Reform

The Drudge Report mentions that the Clinton's may be spending their own money now on Hillary's campaign. Note how the WSJ recently reported:

Former President Clinton stands to reap around $20 million -- and will sever a politically sensitive partnership tie to Dubai -- by ending his high-profile business relationship with the investment firm of billionaire friend Ron Burkle. . . .

Obviously Clinton has gotten a lot of money from other sources so there is no need to single out Burkle, but Burkle obviously can't donate $10 or $12 million to Clinton's campaign. Yet, if he pays Clinton for work that isn't very obvious, Clinton can then turn around and spend it on a campaign. Does it really matter that Burkle can't give the money directly to Clinton?

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Blogger Brian Shelley said...

Why is it always the demand side of political favors that everyone talks about? As if we are protecting innocent politicians from the wiles of lobbyists. Why not cut off the supply of political favors? Curtailing earmarks and gutting the tax code would go a long ways towards preventing political favors. If Congess has no ability to grant favors, the lobbyists will go away. The demand for free money isn't likely to go away anytime soon.

2/06/2008 4:20 PM  
Anonymous Cormac said...

I'm hardly a Clinton-hater but this is just too much of a sickening, obvious flouting of the democratic process here. So IOW, whatever the limitations on campaign donations, one would circumvent those by getting a multimillion dollar "gift" from a deep-pocketed donor, claiming it as personal money and then using it for the campaign.

WTF??? Is this the kind of banana republic we want to be living in?

The thing is, while I'm not a legal expert myself, my lawyer friend says this isn't just shady-- it's flatly illegal. The thing is, the authors of the campaign finance laws weren't stupid and they knew there could be obvious loopholes, such as getting contributions as personal "gifts" and moving them into a campaign. So there are actually rules against this.

A few of us are talking about bringing some kind of legal action here, if not a lawsuit then some form of public inquiry, perhaps including a petition to the FEC, into these personal "gifts" and the way they're being funneled into the Clinton campaign. Sunshine and transparency.

We're just lowly Independents who actually care about the survival of our democracy. And this just cannot stand.

2/07/2008 2:50 AM  
Anonymous donworsham said...

I seem to recall that the Clintons put up $10 million at the beginning and now are putting up $5 million more. Do I recall incorrectly?

2/07/2008 7:33 AM  
Anonymous doug in colorado said...

personal gifts, no. But unspecified consulting fees, donations to the Clinton Brothel, Library and Massage Parlor, especially from international sources have been hard to deal with, or the Justice folks have been reluctant to tackle a popular ex-president and possible future co- president/first laddie on the understanding that their income tax and FBI files may wind up in Hilldebeestes In-box.

2/08/2008 12:34 PM  
Anonymous doug in colorado said...

Hell, if each of them just writes, or even promises to write another rotten book called "Ooops we did it again!" they could pour another 15 million or more into the campaign from the advances.

2/08/2008 12:40 PM  
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2/15/2008 1:52 AM  

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