Free Markets, Free People


Campaign finance reform: be careful what you wish for Democrats

You’ve heard all the whining by Democrats about “outside spending” on election campaigns and the lecture of the members of the Supreme Court by President Obama during the last State of the Union address because they overturned the unconstitutional campaign finance law?  Their concerns, as they stated them, were about “outside spending” on campaigns.  That’s a Dem code phrase for “corporate spending”.  But as this election cycle is demonstrating, most of the “outside spending” for the mid-terms isn’t coming from corporations per se – it’s coming from public employee unions.

Of the top five “outside sources” of spending, three are pubic employee unions.  The top spender is The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees at 87.5 million dollars.  The next two are the Chamber of Commerce and American Crossroads (Karl Rove).  Numbers four and five are the SEIU and NEA.  Of those five the two supporting Republicans has spent 140 million.  The public sector unions, committed to Democrats, have spent 171.5 million.

Asked about this here’s the White House response:

When asked about AFSCME’s ramped up campaign efforts following the court’s decision, the White House focused on largely anonymous campaign spending by what it termed "special interests."

"The president has been crystal clear that third-party groups which spend tens of millions of dollars from anonymous sources are a threat to our democracy—regardless of which candidates they support," said White House spokesman Josh Earnest. He said these groups are disproportionately backing Republican candidates.

Yeah, not so much Josh.  And you have to wonder why “anonymous” sources are somehow more of a “threat to our democracy” than known sources like the AFSCME, SEIU and NEA?  And since when haven’t they been as much “special interests” for Democrats as they claim Big Business is for the GOP?

By the way, you’ll love this:

Previously, most labor-sponsored campaign ads had to be funded by volunteer donations. Now, however, AFSCME can pay for ads using annual dues from members, which amount to about $390 per person. AFSCME said it will tap membership dues to pay for $17 million of ads backing Democrats this election.

Nice.  Any guess as to whether union dues will rise next year since much of them are now being spent on political lobbying/campaigning/advertising?  And how does it feel to have your tax dollars indirectly supporting political advertising with which you don’t agree (and for those in the unions who don’t agree, their dues are directly supporting such efforts).

Back to the point of the title though – given these numbers, one wonders how much continued caterwauling we’ll hear from Obama and the Democrats with 2012 looming?

Yeah, not much.

~McQ

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11 Responses to Campaign finance reform: be careful what you wish for Democrats

  • I have a question:
    If George Soros’s companies are all off-shore based to avoid paying US taxes, (Not much Hypocrisy there ? But I digress…) Doesn’t every dime he contributes constitute a foreign donation?

  • Eh, Daddy Soros can pay for all of it.  Nope, no threat to democracy there.

    In 2012, will Obama hold a re-election rally in Germany?

    • “In 2012, will Obama hold a re-election rally in Germany?”

      Depends on where Soros has established the capital of his empire.
      At least the now established tradition of Obama bowing will make sense when they meet.

      • “ the now established tradition of Obama bowing ”

        I believe that is now called ‘leaning forward’.

  • Good Lord!! America has been taken over by unions & corporations & paying for elections while the rest of us are left out of the political system.  It’s jsut wrong!! 

    Just read a book out that I recommend cause it could be about us soon with TIME magazine even talking about civil in America.  It’s almost happening in France & England right now fighting unions.  It’s a must read!
    http://www.booksbyoliver.com

  • This is exactly the perverse consequences you get when you restrict individual speech under the guise of cleaning up corruption in elections. I’ve always said that the best solution is to remove the limits on individual donations and dispense with all the legal gamesmanship.

  • Democrats are just flinging out excuses to avoid admitting they are getting thrown out of office because of the policies they’ve implimented.  Saying the ‘other guy’ bought the election is just another excuse. 

    • Yeah, but do you really want to go through another round of “Republicans cheated and America is just stupid”.

      Al Gore, John Kerry and now Obumble’s failed midterm referendum.

      When America doesn’t elect them, it’s due to a combination of cheating by the Republicans and stupidity in the populace.   They don’t even handle it well when the DO win.
      Small children behave with more gravitas.

  • Be Careful What You Wish For, Democrats

    They wish for it to be illegal to donate money to anybody but them.  What’s to be careful about with that?

    McQ
    The public sector unions, committed to Democrats, have spent 171.5 million.

    If a union donates to the democrats and MiniTru doesn’t cover it, did it actually happen?

    It’s not new or especially a secret that unions tend to overwhelmingly support democrats.  It’s also not a secret that SOME large corporations and business groups tend to overwhelmingly support Republicans.  In this particular campaign season, however, the dems are frantically trying to act like the former IS a secret while the latter is not only a new thing, it is the worst threat to our democracy since… since… since… well, EVER.  I don’t think that it’s going to work this time, though: there are some things that even MiniTru can’t spin or hide.

    jpm100
    Democrats are just flinging out excuses to avoid admitting they are getting thrown out of office because of the policies they’ve implimented.  Saying the ‘other guy’ bought the election is just another excuse.

    I think it’s more long-term than that: they are trying to lay the groundwork for more “campaign finance reform” with a specific eye to criminalizing any contributions that don’t favor them.  Possibly I will be proved wrong, but I expect a slew of stories over the next couple of years about the eeeeevil influence of foreign money (all of it strangely going to the GOP) in our election campaigns coupled with many learned analyses by (liberal) experts about how we must change the corrupt system.  Maybe Maverick can pair up with Feingold again (assuming he is still in the Senate after next January) for McCain-Feingold II: The Wrath of John.

    • I think it’s more long-term than that: they are trying to lay the groundwork for more “campaign finance reform” with a specific eye to criminalizing any contributions that don’t favor them.


      That’s their first choice, of course, but don’t forget that the Democrats will accept laws that nominally bind both sides because they expect (1) to control the media and get their uncontested message out that way, and (2) that they will violate the laws with impunity when they need to and the media will cover for them.

      We see this constantly in the voting area. Democrats first fight to remove any constraints on who can vote so they can truck any warm bodies they find down to gather more votes, regardless of whether said bodies are citizens, residents, or whatever. Thus they talk about voters identifying themselves as some kind of Nazi Armageddon.

      But if the laws are put in place that supposedly block their preferred methods of ginning up votes, they just ignore them and flood the system with bogus registrations, spurious “provisional ballots”, and in last resort for close elections suddenly find unopened ballot boxes that happen to contain the votes they need or just reinterpret “voter intent” by looking at chads to get the votes they need.

      Of course, they manage to find patsies to do the dirty work, so the ones who gain the most benefit from such corruption have plausible deniability. So when one of their young SEIU lawbreakers gets caught, they can look surprised and pretend that they are foresquare for law and justice. But somehow they never manage to get on board with punishing any of them, because in reality they approve of what those people are doing and the money to organize such law-breaking efforts comes from the same swamp that Democratic politicians’ campaign contributions come from.

  • Campaign finance reform is one of the worst things that has happened to our democracy in 100 years.  This is just ONE story that is known, and if it does not chill you to your core….i don’t know what would.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EgyzalpAk7I