campaign finance

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Cat's Away

Congress and President Bush have their horns locked over a questionable nominee to the Federal Election Commission. With barely a bicuspid remaining in the mostly toothless gums of the agency charged with overseeing campaign finance questions, complaints, and regulations the remaining commissioners are now playing Dear Abby, offering "informal views" on cases and requests. Excellent timing, no?

Bill Clinton on Campaign Fundraising

I was watching a re-run of the Daily Show with Jon Stewart last night that featured an interview with former President Bill Clinton. Clinton speaks at various times about the problem of money in modern campaigns, how demanding fundraising schedules have become, and his support for public financing of elections. You can watch the clip here -- interesting perspective.

Ready, Set, Raise!

Florida lawmakers are dividing their time between work at the statehouse by day, and working the room at nearby fundraisers by night with more of latter than the former as the dash for cash gets frenzied. A prohibition against soliciting money during the regular session means compressing all the fundraising into a cartoonishly hectic chunk.

Everyone agrees that the hunger for money among legislators has grown more acute:

Transparency Isn't Enough

The Denver Post is concerned about groups and individuals finding sneakier ways to circumvent the spirit of campaign finance regulations. Not sold on the Clean Elections solution to money's pervasive influence on politics, the Post advocates better transparency about where the money funding the ads, mailings, calls, and events is coming from.

Colorado's increasing visibility on the national political landscape means people in the state are in the eye of the election storm:

A Bank-Breaking Work of Fundraising Genius

Ron Paul, oil spills, and the guy from Men's Wearhouse all get a cameo in this New York Times op-ed by author Dave Eggers. For Eggers, a photo op with a presidential candidate at a swanky fundraising event in the Oakland hills is a subtle reminder of just how bad the campaign money chase has become.

Turn Your Attention

Deborah Goldberg begins this article in The Nation parsing the recent Supreme Court decisions on political advertising and arguing that while disclosure requirements are all well and good, full public financing of campaigns is the ultimate answer to the battles both in court, and in the public sphere, about the best way to regulate campaign finance.

Money Ain't Everything

Hey, so you know what makes a good campaign? In the eyes of Sean Parnell of the Center for Competitive Politics (affiliated with the Center for Title Redundancy) it's money, money, money! At least, so his editorial in The Hill today would indicate. He does a jig on the grave of presidential public financing and cheers a future where money dominates politics.

Bundle of Ploy

Brody Mullins at the Wall Street Journal labels the prevalent practice of bundling "the chief source of abuse in the American campaign-finance system" and when he does the math and talks to the people in the fundraising trenches, it's clear his charge has merit.

Wolf Nominated to Guard Hen House

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is taking another position directly contrary to this interests of voters by attempting to strong-arm the Senate into confirming Hans von Spakovsky for a seat on the Federal Election Commission. Is von Spakovsky qualified? Only if you count an extensive background in suppressing voting by minorities, and in using his perch at the Justice Department to advance a partisan agenda. The Louisville Courier-Journal has more.

Money Drain

Jay Mandle, professor at Colgate University and part of Democracy Matters, an organization that involves students in supporting Clean Elections efforts, has this article up at the Huffington Post tracking the level of public faith in government relative to the amount of private money in elections.