It’s clear to me that the single biggest item on the Progressive agenda right now should be campaign finance reform. I’ve written about this before but it bears repeating: every single battle that you can name that we’re fighting would be world’s easier without the influence of humongous amounts of money from corporations and wealthy donors.
Now a (no surprise) Republican in Michigan is suing to increase campaign donation limits. And he wants it done NOW before the August primary.
A former top Michigan Republican Party official has asked the federal courts to strike down what he says are outdated limits on campaign contributions to state candidates.
[Greg] McNeilly is seeking an immediate hearing on his request for an injunction to suspend enforcement of the limits in the weeks that remain before the state’s Aug. 3 primary.
McNeilly is also an employee of former gubernatorial candidate Dick Devos.
Seriously, EVERY goddam defeat or “compromise down to a tiny nubbins” issue we deal with on the progressive agenda comes down to campaign finance reform. Every recalcitrant Conservadem and DINO’s crappola voting record can be traced back to who is greasing their palms. EVERY goddam issue:
- Health insurance reform
- Climate change
- Green energy
- Environmental protection
- Strengthening labor laws
- Ending racial discrimination
- Financial sector/banking reform
- Same-sex marriage and LGBT rights
- Yada fucking yada
Money is behind nearly every single inexplicable vote, every seemingly suicidal political move, and every hypocritical action we see from politicians on both sides. And McNeilly wants there to be more of this. In Michigan you can contribute up to $500 for the state House candidates and $1,000 for those running for Senate. McNeilly claims that these limits “have lost nearly three-quarters of their value since 1976” and that the “result has been to limit the ability of outsiders to mount a credible challenge to incumbent politicians”. This is, of course, bogus. The limits apply just as much to incumbents as they do “outsiders” and all of the benefits that incumbents enjoy would remain intact. The only difference is that there would now be MORE money in our campaigns. More candidates beholden to wealthy donors with agendas that may very well not be in the best interests of other Michiganders. You know: the “little people”, to quote our favorite BP villain. There’s a choice quote at the end of the article that sums it all up for me. It’s from Rich Robinson, director of the Michigan Campaign Finance Network:
Only a small number of people make financial contributions to candidates at all, and far fewer are constrained by the limits on donations.
In other words, this only affects the truly wealthiest Michiganders and those most motivated to “purchase” a member of Congress. And it affects them in a most self-interested way by giving them MORE power rather than less.
I’m just sayin’…