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Author Topic: "The World of Campaign Finance Reform"

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Sen. Jon Corzine, the New Jersey Democrat, brings his characteristic grandiosity even to his buyer's remorse. In 2000, the former chairman of Goldman Sachs pulled $60.2 million from his wallet to buy a U.S. Senate seat. But just four years after the most expensive Senate campaign in American history, he decided to escape from that seat — for which he paid $27,489.03 a day, prorated over six years — and try to become governor.

But before he can regret purchasing the governorship, he must deal with Douglas Forrester, the Republican candidate who has come from double-digit deficits in polls two months ago to within 4 points in a recent poll. Forrester, too, is a rich businessman, and is largely financing his own campaign — this is the world that campaign finance reformers have made, with contribution limits that make fundraising more difficult. Since securing the Democratic nomination, Corzine has outspent Forrester by $15 million.


We have had campaign finance reform for around 3 years or so IIRC. Big money (at least some of it, the media seems curiously exempt from the restrictions) has been largely neutralized, or at least driven farther underground, making transparency more difficult.

This ties in with OSC's article on Big Money going away and Fanatical Money taking it's place. So while we lose Microsoft making donations which strictly deal with business; we now have George Soros trying to buy elections by advertisements with no accountability.

Is this what you thought campaign finance reform accomplish? Are you satisfied with the results? Or do you feel that what is happening now is better then what we had before? Are we shutting out better candidates because they cannot afford the price of entry?

Before we go into the whole "selling your vote" meme, I am reminded of a scene from "The Distinguished Gentleman", an Eddie Murphy film about a hustler winning a Congressional seat. The "Evil Republican" (ER)[isn't it funny how the Republicans are consistantly portrayed as the evil ones? But I digress...] was talking to Eddie (EM) about PAC money and donations.

ER: "So where do you stand on gun control?"

EM: "Umm...where SHOULD I stand on gun control?"

ER: "That's the beautiful thing about this town. It doesn't matter! You can believe for or against any issue, and there's an interest group that will give you money to support their position. Tell you what, I'll give you a list of issues and you tell me where you stand and we'll get you connected to the right people..."

This is all from faded memory, but you get the idea. So was the old system really so broken?

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