Mimsy Were the Borogoves

Editorials: Where I rant to the wall about politics. And sometimes the wall rants back.

The Dream of Poor Bazin

Jerry Stratton

What if the Three Musketeers were journalists in Washington, DC? What if journalists were swashbuckling, swaggering, hard-drinking warriors of truth? Find out in Jerry Stratton’s The Dream of Poor Bazin.

A proven reformer

Jerry Stratton, November 1, 2008

If any one thing can highlight the difference between the two campaigns, it’s this: one campaign blocks anonymous donations and provides a list of not only the above $200 donors they’re required to by law but also the below $200 donors that they don’t have to. The other has deliberately disabled address and name verification on their web site so that anyone can donate as often as they want under as many names as they want; and does not provide the under $200 donor list that might highlight illegal donors.

Senator McCain acts in accordance with the campaign finance reform he’s championed for so long; his campaign has designed his web site to be open and honest. Senator Obama treats hope and change with lip service; his campaign has changed his web site to deliberately disable the basic checks that hinder illegal donations.

I can understand that McCain doesn’t get credit for maintaining a web site that doesn’t enable fraud, and that lists even the donations he isn’t required to list. That’s what we expect of a reformer. But did we really expect the hope and change campaign to work so hard and pay so much to enable illegal donations?

I’m actually not a huge fan of these laws, but I do expect public officials to follow the law. If Senator Obama believes that donors should be able to remain anonymous, and if he believes that foreign donations should be legal, he should introduce a bill to congress rather than deliberately configure his web site to look the other way.

In response to Obama campaign skirts campaign finance law: I expected the New York Times to be silent on the illegal donations that the Obama 2008 campaign encourages. I should have known better: they’re trying to cover for the campaign. But the bigger issue is that laws that don’t get enforced are counterproductive; they encourage dishonesty and lawlessness.

  1. Foreign floodgates ->