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Tuesday, April 5, 2005
More Evidence of the Futility of Campaign Finance Regulation
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 8:30 am

Via the NYT: Homemakers Are the Fat Cats. Who Knew? Their Husbands.

They are people like Helaine Gould of Long Island, who, when asked last week why she contributed $4,950 to Gifford Miller, the City Council speaker and a Democratic candidate for mayor, referred questions to her spouse’s real estate investment firm.

“That was handled through my husband’s office,” she said. “I’m not familiar with it.”

Among the elite group of about 600 people who have contributed the maximum to candidates for citywide offices in the November election, 62 described themselves as homemakers or housewives, an analysis of campaign finance data shows. They edged out chief executives and company presidents, who together numbered 60, as well as lawyers (57), real estate professionals (41) and celebrities, whose ranks include Oscar de la Renta, Tommy Hilfiger and Magic Johnson.

In the world of campaign finance, influence-seeking contributors have long found ways around contribution limits. By enlisting relatives or co-workers to contribute, they can steer tens of thousands of dollars to a campaign; all of it is legal, provided that those writing the checks use their own money.

[…]

Hortense Schur, reached by telephone in Boca Raton, Fla., said her $4,950 contribution to Fernando Ferrer, a Democratic mayoral candidate, “was really not mine, it’s my husband’s. I don’t know much about it.” She was one of nine members of the Schur family, some of whom are involved in manufacturing and real estate in New York, who each wrote $4,950 checks to the Ferrer campaign.

I keep stating the Scotty Rule of Campaign Finance Reform, but no one is listening.

The bottom line is that we pretend to regulate the amount of money flowing into the system, when, in fact, we are doing no such thing. We obfuscate what is really going on, and even are willing to abridge the First Amendment, all in the name of name of “keeping the money out of politics” while no such thing is taking place.

We need a simple system that allows unlimited contributions and full, total, absolute disclosure. Let the voters decide if a candidate has been given too much money by the wrong people-we have a democracy after all.

At a minimum it is difficult for me to understand how anyone thinks the current system does anything but employ lawyers.

Filed under: US Politics, Campaign Finance Reform | |Send TrackBack

1 Comment »

  1. “At a minimum it is difficult for me to understand how anyone thinks the current system does anything but employ lawyers.”

    And you say that like its a *bad* thing.

    Comment by Steven L. — Tuesday, April 5, 2005 @ 9:47 am

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