Topic: Government & Politics

Integrity Alert: Campaign Money Watch
(11/3/2008)

Okay…the organization, Campaign Money Watch, says on its website that it is

“…dedicated to improving America’s campaign finance laws. We help enact, defend, and promote Clean Elections-style public financing in states around the country like Arizona and Maine, and advocate for similar legislation for all federal elections. Public Campaign Action Fund also campaigns to hold elected officials and politicians accountable for opposing reform and for the special favors they do for their political contributors. With its pro-reform Campaign Money Watch project, the organization engages voters in hotly contested elections around the country to educate them about the impact of big money from special interests on the policy-making process.”

So why, according to NPR, is this organization running ads, funded by the crude and self-righteous Angry Left group Move-On.Org, attacking Senator John McCain, the one presidential candidate of a major party who has

  1. actually created legislation aimed at campaign finance reform, much to the annoyance of Republicans (and George Will), and
  2. is, unlike his opponent, honoring his pledge to rely on public financing for his presidential campaign?

Easily explained, says David Donnelly, director of Campaign Money Watch, in a statement to the Wall Street Journal. "Our view is that the current system is broken. Candidates are going to fund their campaigns in whichever way they think will bring them to victory, “ he said. “Which candidate has pledged to make fixing the presidential system a priority? Obama has.”

Ah! Just like he pledged to use public financing in his campaign, but now has broken all records for private financing…wait a minute---explain this again? McCain, who is both a champion of campaign reform and has honored his commitment to use public financing, is not the candidate most likely to fix the problem? Obama, who has used the current system to fuel his apparently successful campaign, is the one who will reform the system he used to get elected? Really? Really?

Here’s another, more logical, likely explanation than Mr. Donnelly’s disingenuous tap-dancing. Campaign Money Watch is a sham, an organization run by Democrats that was concerned with campaign reform only while the majority of private funds was going to Republicans. No fair-minded organization would accept funds from an ethically-challenged organization like Move-On, and no “non-partisan” organization, as Campaign Money Watch absurdly claims to be, would attack an ally of campaign finance reform like John McCain to support a candidate who explicitly (and rather cynically) rejected exactly what the organization claims is its primary goal.

Campaign finance reform is a good idea. How about a genuinely non-partisan group that has some semblance of integrity to pursue it?

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