Weakest Link in Campaign Finance Reform
The dust is beginning to settle on the recently passed Campaign
Finance Reform bill. The benefits to each Party are being
weighed in open discussion. The majority opinion of most our
nation's editorialists seems to be that it favors Mr. Bush
and the Republican Party.
As proof of their argument, they point out that Mr. Bush
had 61,000 contributors that gave the $1000 limit in the last
election cycle. Now that the limit has increased to $2000,
Mr. Bush has a voter base worth more than $120 million dollars.
He will again have no need for any federal funding. His war
chest will permit him to flood the media markets.
Also, will the CFR legislation prevent Mr. Lay from bringing
in $100,000 at the last minute for another recount? Will Texas
oilmen still be able to come into New York and spend $2 million
at the last moments of a campaign? Will a totally unidentified
"special interest" group be able to come into California and
attack the Governor for his stance on energy price gouging?
Will these types of incidents be ended? If so, then some will
argue that CFR is a success.
So where is the weakest link? If millionaires can no longer
contribute a million dollars to a federal candidate, is that
not good? Is it not good that Federal candidates cannot flood
the media markets in the last 60 days with special interests
monies? And that is where we find the loophole.
What is to stop the millionaire contributors from donating
their million dollars to 50 different state campaign operations?
And what is to stop state candidates from receiving the big
contributions and running campaigns that mirror national issues
and those of candidates running for President? Would not the
ads be run at the state levels anyway? After all, political
ads are not run only in Washington, D.C.
What is to stop the NRA, for example, from giving to strategic
races in different states? What is to stop national parties
from moving monies around to the states that they see as more
important? Will not campaign money be simply transferred to
state Parties, rather than national Party operations? Could
not the excess funds in one state be transferred to another
state, or even contributed to a special interest such as the
NRA? And will not the end result be the same? Have we created
a maze that will make it virtually impossible to follow the