Thursday, June 22, 2006

DONOR EQUALITY

Leave it to Pud—he saw the word “anonymize” and just went off.

This time it’s campaign finance reform. He’s pushing a “Donor Equality,” law. Pud’s law would create a clearinghouse to receive all political donations and pass them along to the candidate with no donor information attached.

There would be no restriction on the amounts that US citizens and organizations could contribute. The only restriction would be on communication between the donor and the candidate about the gift.

If a political donation is made because the recipient is judged more qualified to do a good job (as defined by the donor) there is nothing wrong with that. In such a case there is no need for the donor to identify him or her self. This is the position of most Americans—we don’t expect to curry any personal favor with our $100 donations here and there.

But when a large corporation wants a particular piece of legislation it will donate to both candidates with the expectation that, whoever wins, the corporation will get what it wants. These donations are obviously not anonymous, and they are obviously corrupt. To give money to an officeholder (or seeker) with the expectation of any reciprocity is a bribe.

For an officeholder to treat a large donor better than an anonymous donor (like you and me) is corrupt. So, we require that all donations be anonymous. (Actually, all real donations ARE anonymous; bribes aren’t.)

Oh gee! It would be so complicated! People would cheat!

Pud says, “Stop sobbing. Get off your fat ass!”

----- o -----

1 comment:

markleym said...

I agree that all the money in politics is a great source of corruption and that we're not going to have honest governement until we find a solution to this problem.

Making all contributions anonymous is an attractive idea. The main drawback I can see is that there would be too many ways for a big donor to get around it - the same ways that, under the present system, big donors communicate what they want for their money.

Anyhow, it's something good to think about and I hope that Pud's doing well.