Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Corrosive Impact of Money on Politics?


How corrosive is money on politics? This from the Washington Post today on a woman interrupting Michelle Obama at a fundraiser,

Some have said that the first lady wasn’t a proper target because she is not an elected official. However, time and again, the first lady has come to our community and asked us to “max out” on our contributions to the DNC. In fact, she had just made the same request of several hundred LGBT attendees, days after Senate Democrats had refused to include same-sex binational couples in their immigration reform bill. Despite the Democratic Party happily cashing LGBT checks, I have not seen the Obama administration “max out” on the myriad ways that the government could protect the LGBT community.
To be clear, I have no objections to any of this. Protesting a fund raiser is fine with me, as is asking donors for money, as is giving money to politicians in order to fund campaigns, as is giving money to politicians with the expectations they will vote a certain way. Clearly that's what this woman had in mind.

I've done the same. I contributed to the Scott Brown campaign when he advertised himself as the 41st vote against ObamaCare. And I stopped contributing when he voted for Dodd-Frank.

I often hear about the corrosive impact of money on politics. I don't see it. I see people, like myself, and like this woman, having an opinion on public policy and trying their best to influence it. Isn't that what representative democracy is all about?

Yet we twist ourselves into knots on who can give and how much and what they can say and when, and end up with the atrocity of the IRS attempting to silence political speech.


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