Always remember: "The freer the market, the more prosperous the people;
the more controlled the market, the more prosperous the politicians.."
- Rick Gaber
"It is truly a triumph of rhetoric over reality when people can believe that going into politics is 'public service,'
but that producing food, shelter, transportation, or medical care is not." -- Thomas Sowell 
Freedom 
Keys
a collection of amusing, 
fascinating, insightful, or maybe even useful information

The problem with politics isn't the money;
it's the power." - Harry Browne

"...the most powerful of American interest groups [is] incumbent politicians..." -- Paul Greenberg

Campaign-Finance "Reforms"
Break Down
OBSERVATIONS on MONEY, POLITICS and CAMPAIGN FINANCING
"Hillary does nothing without careful calculation. She knows that politicians – provided they have real power – who bash entire industries tend to raise huge dollars from individuals in those industries. Certain types of politicians are drawn to this marketing technique because they think the 'bashing' also can be held up as proof that they are not being corrupted.  This scheme is called 'putting the squeeze on.' Does that phrase remind you of anything?" -- Don Luskin
"I don't think it's bribery; I think it's extortion.  Bribery, you know, is when the person that's giving the money does it voluntarily.  What it is in Washington is extortion..."
-- Sen. John McCain
"It's a shakedown system" -- Christopher Hitchens to Chris Matthews on MSNBC's Hardball, Jan. 16, 2002


  Tony Sanchez spent $60 million of his own money in his race for governor of Texas. He lost. And don't forget Oliver North and Michael Huffington. 
   And HERE you'll find: "Mobility 20/20 spent $1.5 million, or roughly $37 per vote, and lost. Ax the Tax spent about $20,000, or roughly 37 cents per vote [AND WON -- with a little help from your webmaster, BTW -- in a totally come-from-behind victory]."
   So money doesn't always control elections.

The "Who funded it?" (or the "Who paid you?") Fallacy


Why "Reformers" suffer from rectal cranial-displacement
THE BLOG SQUELCHERS
THIS outrage in Washington State is WHY
"Shall. Make. No. Friggin'. Law."
Speech Crime in WisconsinWill journalists ever understand how campaign finance reform abridges free speech?, |
"Pauline Kanchanalak: Poster Girl for the Futility of the McCain- Feingold Bill", | "McCain's Bane" and  "There's always another CFR loophole."

"And now the court has let the most powerful of American interest groups -- incumbent politicians -- have their way with the First Amendment.  Wednesday's message to the mere people was clear: Shut up, the court explained." -- Paul Greenberg

"[If the Supreme Court lets McCain- Feingold stand (which it did)] the only voices we'll hear  are those the government has approved." -- is posted HERE.

See: A Constitutional Obscenity HERE.

See: "Last week's [court] decision is just a start in restoring political liberty" HERE. Find your lazy, ignorant, unprincipled legislators in a well-deserved state of shock HERE -- "in a story that is simultaneously hilarious and appalling."

If you believe in CFR, you have to believe THIS kind of corruption is OK. 

The outrageous way "Campaign Finance" laws are really enforced is shown HERE.

See how every attempt to manipulate the election rules in an of itself is dirty politics -- as it always aids some participants and hurts others HERE. And here's an example from the state of Arizona. 

Why McCain-Feingold couldn't even solve the problems it's wrongly identified as the source of corruption is pointed out HERE.

“After watching the senator for years, Smith believes McCain doesn’t truly understand his own signature issue. 'He is woefully ill informed on campaign-finance issues,' Smith says. 'I have seen him repeatedly misstate what the law is, misstate what court decisions held, and I think that’s one reason he gets so angry when he talks about it. It’s because he doesn’t really understand what a complex issue it is, what a difficult issue it is, he doesn’t understand the court hearings, he doesn’t understand how we’ve gotten where we are -- so he just gets mad.' ”-- Byron York

See: "Too many voters are already bought -- not by corporate campaign donors, but by the government itself." -- Joseph Sobran, HERE. (and don't forget the government gets to use guns and jails, which corporations, unions and other interest groups do not.  Duh.).

"For all their talk about the virtues of democracy, many incumbent politicians really don't like it when voters have a voice -- not if that voice is effective."-- Paul Jacob and David M. Brown

And see: "Campaign spending has never been a guarantee of electoral success -- ask Michael Huffington or Oliver North. Incumbency is a better predictor of electoral success than campaign bucks -- and it's when incumbents are spending a lot that they are obviously most in trouble. Nor is there any solid evidence that campaign contributions wag the dog of legislators' decisions more than do party affiliation, ideology, and their perception of their constituents' desires. It's far easier to support people who agree with you than to bribe people to do your bidding." HERE.



Here's a surprise: an FEC commisioner  

Read the review
brings skeptical perspectives to the table. In fact, he now says "I have found that the regulations are worse than I thought, especially in how they effect grassroots politics." HERE.  Also: "why government cannot be trusted with the authority granted under the campaign finance law" is unveiled HERE  (Hint: Government power attracts swarms of crooks and demagogues as surely as horse manure attracts swarms of horseflies. Duh.).  And HERE is a discussion of a right too precious to be trusted to ANY decision-maker but yourself. 

"There is way too much regulation." -- Lee Ann Elliott, former FEC Chairman, before the House Admin. Committee, 3-17-2001

Nomatter what, "protection racket" is the name of the game, and will remain so ... until there's too little power left in government to attract the crooks and demagogues. Duh.

See: " ' The only way to end political corruption for good is to strip politicians of their ability to hand out favors at taxpayers' expense,' ... And that means dramatically reducing the size and power of government. After all, the only politician who can't be bought is one who has nothing to sell." HERE and HERE.

See: "In the name of campaign finance reform, Democrats and Republicans have written a comedy of errors that has aggravated every single problem it has ever tried to solve ... It's time to repeal these laws, deregulate the electoral process, and encourage healthy competition from third parties." HERE

See: "campaign spending [does NOT cause] public mistrust of government" HERE

Find that "it's not 'major party campaign finances' they're worried about." HERE.

See Paul Jacob's novel idea for campaign finance reform: allow the free citizens of the U.S. to give as much money as they want to whomever they want (!) HERE

Now, go to RealCampaignReform.org HERE.

See: "The value of gadfly disobedience" HERE.

See: "Abolishing public financing would force politicians to pay for their campaigns the old-fashioned way: By earning the support of voters." HERE


Alexis Nepomuceno's CFR links are HERE. The LP's points about Shays-Meehan are HERE.  Michael Lynch's observations are HERE.  Geoff Metcalf's interview of Mike Lynch is HERE.

Important References:
Amendment I, Constitution of the United States
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. 

Amendment X, Constitution of the United States
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people. 

**Find A Thorough and Specific Constitutional Analysis of Campaign Finance Reform HERE .**


Now, since it appears most Congresspersons have NOT read, or at least, have not understood the Constitution, we present "The SacredBull Basic English and Math Test for American Politicians"HERE.
     In his Bill for Religious Freedom, Thomas Jefferson condemned the use of public funds to support religious beliefs: “To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful and tyrannical.”  What would Jefferson say about Arizona having a process that provides public funds for believers in the Church of Big Government? 

     Such, apparently, is the [Arizona] Citizens Clean Elections Commission—official distributor of public money to participating candidates.  In this year’s elections for state offices, 10 percent of Republican candidates, 46 percent of Democratic candidates and 67 percent of Green Party candidates chose to receive public money for their campaigns from the commission.  The contention is that Clean Elections money helps to level the playing field, but what about the Libertarians [WHO HOLD THAT  "WELFARE FOR POLITICIANS" FUNDED BY TAX MONEY IS SINFUL AND TYRANNICAL]?  ... there are no Libertarian Clean Elections candidates.  The evident conclusion is that when the government is handing out money to political candidates, the ones most likely to stand in line are those who believe that every worthy human endeavor should be rewarded with a government check.

     A system with such a de facto bias towards holders of certain political beliefs is antithetical to the founding principles of this country. 
-- from "Money Laundering: The Bias in the Clean Elections Law"  by Robert J. Franciosi Ph.D., publication no. 00-27 of The Goldwater Institute, October 6, 2000


"The problem with politics isn't the money; it's the power." -- Harry Browne
Politicians sold 'protection' 
Blackmail was the game 
Plunder was made legal! 
Yet, it's the moral men we blame!
-- from "A Poem by Richard W. Grant"

"Beware the greedy hand of government, thrusting itself into every corner and crevice of industry." -- THOMAS PAINE

Understand how "The campaign finance scandals are merely symptoms of the disease of a coercive government" HERE
"McCain / Feingold ... 'Shut Up or Go To Prison' " -- Brad Cloven
"The politicians should not tell the people to shut up." -- John Stossel
"McCain-Feingold's backers claimed the law would rein in large donors and facilitate political campaigns that are less expensive, less negative and less influenced by special interests. If that nirvana has arrived, we haven't noticed. . . . Perhaps the lesson is that limiting political speech isn't the cure for whatever supposedly ails the electoral system. Let's hope the Supreme Court seizes this opportunity to start dismantling the speech-regulation regime known as McCain-Feingold." -- Wall Street Journal editorial, 12-29-06

"Putting aside the ludicrous notion that 535 incumbent politicians sat down and tried to write a piece of legislation that would make it harder to get reelected, five years later there's no evidence electoral competition has increased." -- Ryan Sager, New York Sun, 3-27-07



About Campaign Finance "Reform"

If all the alleged reasons for "reform" are correct, we must assume enough campaign contributors come rushing in with enough money to run a campaign up front, making it unnecessary for politicians, especially powerful incumbents, to make very many fundraising calls, right? After all, conventional wisdom says that campaign contributions from business people are bribes, and that it's the bribe donors who initiate the bribes, not the bribe recipients, right? (Check THIS out for your first clues. Another clue: if it's the donors who start the process, don't you wonder WHY the politicians have to make so many, let alone ANY, phone calls to raise campaign money?). And what do you think the politicians SAY during all those phone calls? ... [HINT: "Trick or treat!" (Help OR ELSE!!!)]

It's a "protection racket," stupid.

And, of course the REAL reason is: "Money doesn't corrupt politics... Politics corrupts money-making."It's all made clear HERE and HERE.

"I don't think it's bribery; I think it's extortion.  Bribery, you know, is when the person that's giving the money does it voluntarily.  What it is in Washington is extortion because they all ask for the money." -- Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) on FNC's The O'Reilly Factor, Feb. 22, 2001

"It's a shakedown system" -- Christopher Hitchens to Chris Matthews on MSNBC's Hardball, Jan. 16, 2002

"Is it donors' fault if they are being forced to buy 'protection' from powerful politicans?" -- Robert W. Tracinski  

i.e., "I propose a massive new purchase from, or monopoly for, someone in your industry. You don't want your competitor to get it, do you?"

"John McCain told me that the industries which contribute the most to political campaigns are the ones which are the most heavily regulated by the federal government." -- John Fund on Hardball March 26, 2001

"Corruption lies in the heart of the receiver, and not in the wallet of the giver." -- Sen. Robert Bennett (R-UT) on the floor of the Senate, March 29, 2001

"Contrary to popular belief, people who deliberately go out to buy political influence are vastly outnumbered by people who are sold political influence by creative or desperate politicians." -- Rick Gaber

"[John McCain] has raised every conceivable concern about constituents' improper influence over their government, while expressing little or no concern about the government's improper power over its constituents." -- Jack Wakeland

"There's something psychotic about people who go around asking whether large business concerns should be allowed to operate without first getting government permission for every little thing, but who never ask whether politicians should be allowed to shake down businesses and businessmen any damn time they want to." -- Rick Gaber 

"The problem with politics isn't the money; it's the power." -- Harry Browne

The incumbent politicians that supported McCain-Feingold prefer to keep us quiet and prevent us from making noise about their records as Election Day gets closer.  A great travesty of the law is that it makes it harder for candidates of middle-class means to run for office at all. Instead, we have the example of how one candidate spent $100 million personally to buy a Senate seat, then a governorship, but while in the Senate voted for McCain-Feingold to limit every middle-class citizen to $2,500 in donations per election campaign. These rules move us dangerously closer to a plutocracy where the highest bidder [among politicians] can buy a seat." -- Newt Gingrich

Nomatter what, "protection racket" is the name of the game, and will remain so ... until there's too little power left in government to attract the crooks and demagogues. Duh.
...and the ENRON debacle proves it.  If those payments actually were "bribes" then all those phone calls Enron executives made to the Bush administration would have actually gotten something done for the company.  But the fact is: THEY DIDN'T. Maybe a willingness to listen to their suggestions on energy de-regulation in general, but nothing for Enron in particular. Not even support for the draconian "Kyoto Treaty" which Ken Lay so desperately begged for us to be party to. Zip, Zero, Nada.  The White House has actually published its energy policy recommendations.  They're all right here. Anyone can see them and study them.  There's absolutely NOTHING there to bail out, or even favor, Enron.  Check THIS out too, while you're at it.  See how the ENRONS of the world are made possible by PROFESSIONAL POLITICIANS.
Dr. Jack "The REAL Indiana Jones" Wheeler says, "What I'm waiting for is a businessman with balls enough to explain to the American people that Congress is a Mafia running a protection racket, and that the tax code bears a principal responsibility for business failures."HERE.
Amendment I to the Constitution of the United States
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
Hilarious, even...
Thomas Sowell says "The idea that money is corrupting innocent politicians would be laughable if it did not lead to such dangerous legislation..." HERE.
Walter Williams' comments on campaign finance shenanigans where congressmen play "the  bad cop-good cop sham" are HERE,
Thomas Sowell asks, "Do we really want to allow bureaucrats and politicians to be able to harass citizens for expressing political opinions?" HERE
and Congressman Ron Paul answers the question, "Why Is There So Much Money in Politics?" HERE.
Jason Thomas demonstrates exactly who is making sure political contributions remain an essential feature of business HERE.

Reformed politicians

Every time I hear a politician say, "We need campaign-finance reform," I think of some mentally disturbed criminal begging the police to "please stop me before I strike again."

Before we embark down the road that ultimately could lead to publicly financed campaigns consider this:

The average snack producer spends more money promoting a new product than all the money spent on political commercials in the average election cycle. And I have a problem with my tax dollars being spent electing Ted Kennedy again.

What we need is a reformed politician not a reformed system.

I suppose that after this next round of new laws fails to stop the habitual offenders (and it will), we will be forced to enact such drastic measures as handcuffing each elected official to a Boy Scout and the respective politician's mother. We could call it the "You just wait till your father gets home" Act of 2004.

Rob Goderis
Orlando
letter-to-the-editor, Orlando Sentinel, Feb. 6, 2002

What do you think the politicians say in those first phone calls?   Things like, "How would you like a government-protected monopoly for your business?" AND / OR, "You wouldn't like it if your competition got such a monopoly, would you?" AND ESPECIALLY: Listen, I'm sure you're a player, and you know I won't let any regulators or revenue agents send any swarm of inspectors to descend on you or your company for no reason... ..."
"Remember Al Gore's telephone calls from the White House, telling various businesses how much money he expected them to contribute? They weren't beating down the White House gates, trying to get inside to force money into the pockets of those inside.  Businesses were being summoned to pony up. No one said that refusal could lead to OSHA inspectors, IRS agents or others from the vast Washington bureaucracy descending on these entrepreneurs' factories or offices, or new taxes or red tape being imposed on them by Congress.  No one had to."
                -- Dr. Thomas Sowell HERE
Find a discussion of what the hell our elected legislators think they're in the business of doing, anyway HERE. And a catalog of 'MONEY AND POLITICS" issues HERE.

Can a candidate with a staggering war-chest disadvantage win?  Please.  Don't get me started.  Evidence for it is easy to find. HERE's one place.  HERE's another. HERE's another.

 Now, WHAT was the purpose of restricting -- er -- sorry -- "reforming" campaign finances again???????????? 

Oh, yes -- it was to give THESE bozos a monopoly on information; I almost forgot. 
.

"I did notice that the ONLY way you can spend any amount of money to promote and formally endorse candidates for public office is if you are a media organization. This already gives media a disproportionate influence on elections. Restrictions on "campaign finance" only further tip the balance of power in favor of media organizations because they can (and do) give millions of dollars worth of free advertising to candidates in the form of news stories and editorials and even endorse candidates (newspapers usually publish a list of endorsements) without having to file a single campaign report. 

"Of course, media organizations SHOULD be able to spend as much as they want to get out the word about candidates they favor and to endorse them. But so should everyone else. For the media to be an unabashed cheering section for legal limits on campaign contributions and for the morass of regulations the rest of us must follow is a contemptible hypocrisy, an insult to our intelligence and a threat to our liberty." -- Charles Champion, Aug. 29, 2000 here. Find more on major media arrogance and treachery here, here and here.  And another reason newspapers push hard for Shays-Meehan here.

Find: "It’s interesting that the most unregulated industry in America—the major corporate media—thinks that everyone else needs to be regulated." here
"The media will grow in political clout, which is one reason the press corps has been reform's loudest cheerleader. Mr. McConnell quipped Wednesday that editorials over the years in the Washington Post and New York Times amounted to $8 million in unregulated soft money contributions for reformers. This is one form of political speech the bill will not restrict. A second group of winners will be incumbents, who have easier access to both hard money and the media than challengers do." -- Wall Street Journal editorial, Sunday, March 24, 2002 here
"Maybe when they no longer receive Sierra magazine in their mailboxes, journalists will understand how campaign finance reform abridges free speech." -- Matt Welch, here

Many of the solutions suggested for solving the alleged "problem" of campaign contributions are designed to diminish the number of ads and commericials which voters see and hear, on the theory that whoever has the most money can buy the most ads and commercials, and that's not "fair."  They NEVER go on to explain WHY it's "unfair" -- because if they did then their unspoken contempt for their constituents would be exposed.  The real reason they think it's "unfair" is that they believe THEIR voters are too stupid, ignorant and unthinking to identify and dismiss exaggerations, lies, and irrelevancies if they are repeated often enough, and they want to keep them that way for their purposes, AND/OR: they know their busy, productive, intelligent constituents would seldom find out about their real voting records and agendas unless enough opposition commercials were aired.  Clarifications of even more of the pompous, self-righteous irrationality employed in this issue are HERE

See why the stink of corruption will continue to pervade the system until the current lack of any specific criterion for actually defining corruption is ameliorated HERE.
Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Federal Election Commissioner Bradley Smith characterizes some supporters of the McCain-Feingold bill thus: 

     "What [Senators Cochran and Roberts] like about McCain-Feingold is that it restricts citizen speech critical of politicians in the 60 days prior to an election. It does this by severely limiting the sources of money that can be used for such speech, requiring citizens engaged in such speech to disclose their identities (opening them up to retaliation), and prohibiting some organizations from speaking about candidates at all. The motivation of these senators is clear: They do not like being criticized by the public and they intend to use the power of government to stop the criticism."


"...Microsoft's financial and lobbying involvement in Washington, D.C. was puny.  In 1995, Bill Gates was naive enough to declare that political issues are not 'on our radar screen.'  As of 1994, the company had one lobbyist in Washington.  Even in late 1997, Microsoft 'had zero presence on the Hill,' according to Republican Rep. David McIntosh.
    "Incredibly, Microsoft's political non-involvement was dubbed 'arrogant' by the Washington, D.C. establishment -- as if the D.C. political class were an organized crime syndicate to which every large company should be expected to pay protection." [bold type added]
                --David Kopel in the Jan.,2002 issue of Liberty.

Transcript of Deposition of Albert Gore Taken April 18, 2000 by the Department of Justice Campaign Financing Task Force:
Question: Did you have any understanding, or do you have any understanding, that there was a price tag associated with the [White House] coffees?
Gore: No, I do not and did not.
Question: With respect to raising the $108 million, did you have discussions with anybody concerning the role coffees would play in raising that type of money?
Gore: Well, let me define the term "raising," if I could, because if you mean by it, would they be events at which money was raised, the answer is no. But it is, it was then and has for a long time been common practice to have meetings with people who are interested in various subjects, spend time with them, cultivate the relationship, show them the respect that the time signifies, and then, on the basis of the relationship that is built up then and in other ways, ask them to support the DNC [Democratic National Committee]...
The above transcript section was read verbatim by Chris Matthews on his Hardball TV Program on 6-26-2000, and without skipping a beat, he added: "In other words, warm 'em up -- and hit 'em for money," as only Matthews could know so well after having served as Administrative Assistant to Democratic Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill, arguably the most powerful speaker of the last century (Washington's dirty little secret: the vast majority of all "first" campaign contributions from a particular source are initiated by the politicians, not by the donors). Thereupon his guest, Vanity Fair editor and The Nation columnist Christopher Hitchens said, "It's enough to make a cat laugh, isn't it?  Lanny Davis -- remember him? --  was asked after they discovered the videos of those coffee mornings, and where money is openly being solicited..." See THIS reference.
.
"For years, liberals have demonstrated a near religious devotion to the cause of  'cleaning up elections' with campaign finance reform, the wondrous panacea that would finally rescue our great country from corruption in politics. ... How anyone could believe that corrupt politicians could or would legislate away their own corruption is completely beyond me." -- Anthony Gregory
.
So, the politicians want to keep their EXTORTION RACKET going.  They have the major media helping whole-heartedly in blaming their victims and keeping the blame focused on their victims --  instead of on the power they so jealously guard, enthusiastically wield and  tenaciously work to expand.
"(W)e ought to be asking ourselves why corporations and interests groups are willing to give politicians millions of dollars in the first place. Obviously their motives are not altruistic.  Simply put, they do it because the stakes are so high.  They know government controls virtually every aspect of our economy and our lives, and that they must influence government to protect their interests.

"Our federal government, which was intended to operate as a very limited constitutional republic, has instead become a virtually socialist leviathan ...  The only true solution to the campaign money problem is a return to a proper constitutional government that does not control the economy.  Big government and big campaign money go hand in hand." -- Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), 2/4/02

We are now, my friends, in a situation where the majority of Americans get their news and information about what is going on with their government from entities that are licensed by and subject to punishment at the hands of that very government.  Nobody can truly believe that this is what our founding fathers had in mind." -- Neal Boortz
"The purpose of the government is to provide the service, and the purpose of the media is to provide the vaseline." -- old libertarian joke

"Being a politician means never having to say you're sorry.  You don't have to say, 'I never should have voted to subsidize that ridiculous Enron project in India.'  ... After all, they're greedy businessmen and you're a selfless public servant."-- Harry Browne

.
 

"DO NOT KEEP SILENT when your own ideas and values are being attacked. ...If a dictatorship ever comes to this country, it will be by the default of those who keep silent.  We are still free enough to speak.   Do we have time?  No one can tell."
-- Ayn Rand, Philosophy: Who Needs It

"When they took the 4th amendment away, I was quiet because I didn't deal drugs.  When they took the 6th amendment away, I was quiet because I had never been arrested.  When they took the 2nd amendment away, I was quiet because I didn't own a gun.  Now they've taken away the 1st amendment, and all I can do is be quiet." -- Fred Albury

"Repression is the seed of revolution." -- Daniel Webster

"If we make peaceful revolution impossible, we make violent revolution inevitable." -- John F. Kennedy

Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty
































































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