From Jim Gilliam's blog archives
McCain-Feingold -- a huge failure?

August 14, 2004 8:43 PM

Charles Krauthammer's column yesterday ripped the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reforms:

All that McCain-Feingold did was make it impossible to make huge personal contributions to political parties. But if you have far more money than you can ever hope to spend, what to do? Buy another Gulfstream V? No. Play an even more important role in politics by bankrolling your very own "527," a tax-code loophole that enables the fat cats to fund their own political advertising so long as they do not "coordinate" with the candidate.

He's absolutely right. MoveOn has been far more effective at promoting John Kerry than the DNC.

There's also been a subtler effect, where media conglomerates have been sucking up to the administration in power to curry favor even more than normal because they can't just funnel money. Witness Clear Channel's organized Dixie Chicks burning parties for a perfect example.

News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch is masterful at this, having learned early on in his career that the best way to get what he wanted from a politician was through his newspapers. Roger Ailes used to consult for Republican presidential candidates, but now he runs a cable news outfit. Which job is more effective at electing Republicans?

But in the end, McCain-Feingold has forced the parties to seek contributions from a much broader constituency. The Democrats had 40,000 direct mail donors in 2000, but it's already up to 1.5 million this time around. Seems like progress.

More from the archive in Corruption, Elections.

McCain-Feingold -- a huge failure? (08.14.2004)

Next Entry: Bush's war on the middle class (08.14.2004)
Previous Entry: O'Reilly's smear campaign -- in Quicktime (08.14.2004)

Read the 1 comments.

Andy Price:

...though it IS possible that the dramatic uptick in Dem donations has as much, or more, to do with Bush and the intense desire on the part of many people to be rid of him. Just a thought.

Mon Aug 16 2004 8:36 AM

Jim Gilliam
Jim Gilliam


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