Under the impression McCain–Feingold would get the cash out of campaigns?

Hah! Fooled you, but it certainly did not fool me. The McCain-Feingold legislation was a “bipartisan” campaign reform act intended to address the increased role of soft money in campaigns and those pesky issue advocacy ads, yet it was sold to Americans by referencing all the cash involved in political campaigns.

Of course the Citizens United v Federal Election Commission SCOTUS case ruled some of McCain-Feingold, aka Shays-Meehan, aka Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act legislation unconstitutional.

I’m pretty convinced most Americans did not understand the legislation as it was presented. I’m quite certain I did not understand most of it either but when I heard the legislation would solve “many” of the issues in political campaigns Americans found distasteful, I knew it was destined for failure.

From the Washington Times this morning, we find there is more money then evah in political campaigns. Did you think there would be less cash involved in campaigns? Tell the truth now. My emphasis in bold.

Turns out politics, for all its focus on the gloomy economy, is a recession-proof industry.

This year’s volatile election is bursting with money, setting fundraising and spending records in a high-stakes struggle for control of Congress amid looser but still fuzzy campaign-finance rules.

Based on the latest financial reports, House and Senate candidates in this election cycle raised nearly $1.2 billion, well ahead of the pace for contests in 2008, 2006 and 2004.

Cut off the flow to the tap, and “many” of the political campaign issues Americans find distasteful really will go away. But why would the congress-critters want to do that?

I think I wrote a post a long time ago about the never-ending campaign. It’s probably not that the candidates want to be on the never-ending campaign trail, I really think there is so much cash involved a well-paying industry has developed so the staff who work the political campaigns will always have a job.

It’s the nature of the beast we have created. More and more dependency on government – and more specifically the federal government – has created this monster.

Just think … campaigning for the 2012 presidential election starts on Nov. 3 – just 55 days away!

4 replies
  1. RoBrDona
    RoBrDona says:

    We needed a decision on First Amendment rights. The best I can tell, the jury is out over whether the Labor Unions can now take advantage of the same rules as corporations. (And by the way corporations STILL can't directly contribute to campaigns) If so, which I think is likely, both may be able to use "in-house funds" for political ads advocating specific politicians. Obama's knee-jerk reaction was to specifically target this decision as benefiting the GOP. I'm not so sure. It's unlikely we will see anything further coming from Congress on this before the vote as it will inevitably have the fish stink of encumbent protectionism rising from it.    

  2. Lynn
    Lynn says:

    The Campaign season is too long. I know we fought a war against England, but I think their short campaign makes a lot of sense. A shorter election time 6 months- 1yr max. means less "spinners" ( you know the guys who make a fortune telling candidates to dress in suits or sweaters or sneakers to be one of the people), less polls, less TV ads etc. We should have 3-4 debates and all TV stations would show them also available on-line. Have conventions or just primaries within 2 months and the season begins. Everyone with half a brain decides on their choice, if they are forced to make a decision.

  3. Odonna
    Odonna says:

    I finally got around to reading the Zel Miller book.  When Georgia sent him to the Senate, he was surprised to find out how much time his (Democratic) party expected him to be fund raising.  His staff had lists of loyal donors, notated with little personal details, so that he could spend part of most days making calls and schmoozing donations.  Fundraisers came first, Senate votes are scheduled around them!   

    Congressman Massa mentioned the same pressure to raise funds, in one of the more notable things he said as he resigned in the "tickling" scandal.  Don't know if there is similar pressure from the Republican organization, but they certainly realize the necessity of raising funds in order to get your message out.

    Miller thought it was better in the days when you could go to 2 or 3 big donors who believed in your positions, and that was it.  They could publish who were their backers and the public could decide if they supported/trusted you or not. 


  4. Linda Mae
    Linda Mae says:

    McCain Feingold – Hah!!!

    There is a chapter about this bill in D. Horowitz’s book The Shadow Party – very extensive reasons why the bill was created and how it became an issue.  It was pure George Soros and Saul Alinsky.  Create a problem, offer a “solution” to the problem, get the backing of others, and them pass the bill people are clamoring for.  It is very entertaining.  The book was written in @ 2006 – and it is chillingly accurate as a predictor of wha we now have.

    Both McCain & Feingold have lost credibility for me.  They are George’s boys.

    So sad Palin worked with McCain.

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