Skip to content

Six things about campaign finance — and why they matter

July 18, 2012

1. Republican Senate candidate Barry Hinckley says Rhode Islanders don’t much care about campaign finance reform. “I have been around for 16 months, traveling Rhode Island,” Hinckley said during a press event yesterday. “Not one person has brought up campaign finance reform to me, not one, in 16 months.”

2. Emory University professor Drew Westen wrote in the New York Times this past Sunday that people very much care about campaign finance reform — depending on how it’s described. According to his research, 82 percent of Republicans and 79 percent of Democrats believe: “Politicians should work for us, not their corporate sponsors.”

3. Back in 2005, Common Cause and a group of Brown students spearheaded an effort to introduce a comprehensive system of publicly financed elections in Rhode Island. Due to General Assembly opposition, the effort has gone nowhere.

4. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, the lead sponsor of the DISCLOSE Act, calls it an important way to shed light on political contributions by corporations and other groups.

5. Senator John McCain, a veteran of the campaign finance battles in DC, called the DISCLOSE bill (via The Hill) “political opportunism at it’s best and political demagoguery at it’s worst.”

6. State Representative Chris Blazejewski says the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision makes a disclosure bill he sponsored even more vital.

7. Money is the mother’s milk of politics, as California’s Jesse Unruh sagely observed. Talk of reform might be abstract for many people in Rhode Island and elsewhere. But money plays a big role in questions of influence, access, and why congressional incumbents get re-elected at a rate of better than 90 percent. Those are things that should concern everyone.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Mister Guy permalink
    July 19, 2012 12:56 am

    “1. Republican Senate candidate Barry Hinckley says Rhode Islanders don’t much care about campaign finance reform. ‘I have been around for 16 months, traveling Rhode Island,’ Hinckley said during a press event yesterday. ‘Not one person has brought up campaign finance reform to me, not one, in 16 months.'”

    Campaign finance reform is the #1 most important issue out there. Without real campaign finance reform in the USA (which includes eradicating the silly ideas that money somehow equals “free speech” & corporations should have the same “rights” as real, live people) pretty much nothing will be done to fix the serious issues that face this country.

    “5. Senator John McCain, a veteran of the campaign finance battles in DC, called the DISCLOSE bill (via The Hill) ‘political opportunism at it’s best and political demagoguery at it’s worst.’”

    A lot of these same GOPers years ago were so anxious to shred some “sunshine” on where exactly campaign donations were coming from, but now we pretty much here silence from them when the chance to actually do anything about that issue comes up.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: