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 Saturday, 29 January 2005
Saturday, 29 January 2005 11:21:52 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) ( )

In a comment to my previous post on 527’s, Thomas comments:

 

>To be honest, I find both parties distasteful and utterly

>corrupt. Both Bush and Kerry were guilty of using the

>527s (I would argue *directing* but that’s under debate)

>in the course of their campaigns. I might believe that

>527s are for the greater good if they found a way to

>put someone other than a Democrat or Republican in

>the White House.

 

You describe reality – which is that any party or individual working toward election will realize that they have supporters. At the very least they are in support of a cause that has some reasonably large base of support. That, after all, is why they are running one would assume.

 

If those supporters have any avenue by which they can pool their money in the support of their cause, one must assume they will do so. I certainly funnel money specifically to help support issues, causes and groups that I think (hope) support my ideals.

 

Given that, put yourself in the role of any candidate or party. You know that there will be “soft money” going to support the cause/ideals for which you purport to stand. You would have to be brain-dead to ignore that fact. Especially when there are all these regulations limiting the amount of money you can get directly.

 

Why would you pay to attack your opponent, or educate the populace on your cause when you know that all these supporters will do this on their own? Obviously you wouldn’t.

 

So from that perspective, there is no doubt that MoveOn.org “supported” Kerry, because Kerry didn’t feel that he had to rehash what they’d already done.

 

Likewise, the Swift Boat people did the same for Bush. Why would Bush waste money attacking Kerry when like-minded people in the constituency would gladly sell their souls to do it for him?

 

Even if these groups aren’t directed by the parties/candidates, it would be a monumental example of idiocy for a  candidate to ignore the massive groups of like-minded people they are attempting to represent.

 

So there are laws to prevent direct coordination between parties/candidates and 527’s. That’s nice, and is important, but the fact is that any candidate having a snowball’s chance in hell of winning knows that a very large percentage of the constituency supports similar ideals and will happily fund efforts to put their ideas forward.

 

Which was the point of my original blog entry. This system is not perfect. No system can be perfect.

 

It had better be impossible to restrict my ability to express my ideals in the public forum – that would directly violate freedom of speech (in its true original intent). And in today’s world that means that it had better be impossible to prevent me and like-minded others from pooling our money to buy television ads or take other steps to project our message.

 

The unfortunate fact that we’ve elevated corporations to the same legal status as you or me complicates matters, but can’t be the basis on which we restrict my ability to project my ideals.

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