Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Putting the kibosh on K Street

Walmart now hearts Democrats. It isn't exactly news that deep pocket corporate contributions aren't based on ideology. They traditionally hedge their bets and spend the money according to who is in power and as such serve as something of a barometer on the conventional wisdom over who's hot and who's not. But it does serve as a reminder that any politician can be bought. Payola is non-partisan and so unfortunately is political backscratching. I think it's another good argument for mandating public financing for campaigns.

For instance, would the dismal Medicare "reform" bill have been enacted without the undue influence of the pharmaceutical lobby? I think not when they essentially wrote the bill and sheparded it on the floor. And before you argue against my point, take a look at the numbers.

Lobbyists have effectively become unelected legislators. It's clear we're not going to be able to clean up the ethical mess inside the Beltway from the inside out. We won't negate the influence of lobbyists unless and until we remove the avenues through which they finance election and especially re-election campaigns. I can't think of a better reason to consider mandating public funding instead.

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