Campaign financing problems keep bubbling to the surface Posted by: mcq
on Wednesday, October 24, 2007
This campaign season seems to be shaping up as the bundler's campaign. As usual those determined to get around the law find a way to do so:
Elrick Williams's toddler niece Carlyn may be one of the youngest contributors to this year's presidential campaign. The 2-year-old gave $2,300 to Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.).
So did her sister and brother, Imara, 13, and Ishmael, 9, and her cousins Chan and Alexis, both 13. Altogether, according to newly released campaign finance reports, the extended family of Williams, a wealthy Chicago financier, handed over nearly a dozen checks in March for the maximum allowed under federal law to Obama.
Such campaign donations from young children would almost certainly run afoul of campaign finance regulations, several campaign lawyers said. But as bundlers seek to raise higher and higher sums for presidential contenders this year, the number who are turning to checks from underage givers appears to be on the rise.
"It's not difficult for a banker or a trial lawyer or a hedge fund manager to come up with $2,300, and they're often left wanting to do more," said Massie Ritsch, a spokesman for the Center for Responsive Politics. "That's when they look across the dinner table at their children and see an opportunity."
Asked about the Williams family giving, Obama spokesman Bill Burton said, "As a policy, we don't take donations from anyone under the age of 15." After being asked by The Post about the matter, he said the children's donations will be returned.
Look, this is just another indicator of why these sorts of laws are just stupid. Want a law? Fine. Campaigns can take money from whomever they wish but must disclose publically every penny by name within 24 hours. That's it. That's all. Such a public disclosure requirement gives those that wish to do so the ability to scrutinize campaign donations, amounts and sources. That should tell all of the story necessary to conclude where a candidate's support is coming from, and trust me, that will be publicized.
While I’m sympathetic to your point, the idea of a name... in this case, kids, donating that kind of money, would seem to suggest having the name alone isn’t going to cut it.
I have my (very large) doubts that 10% of this stuff is being reported, by the leftist freindly press, when Democrats are involved. (10% is probably very generous.) Further, I have no reason to think that the situation will change for the better under what you propose. The situation isn’t going to improve until such time as the press starts doing it’s job... and reporting on the illegal activities of both parties, not just on the party that’s out of favor with the press. Both the current laws, and what you propose, would seem totally dependant on it.
My wife and I are think about starting a family. We both come from large families, and we are thinking that 3 or maybe 4 children would be wonderful. I think that means we can send Mr. Obama $6,900 or $9,200 in addition to the$4,600 we can contribute together. Plus, there are some dishwashers at the Chinses restaurant we like to eat at who never contribute, so maybe I can do that for them as well.