I'm going to bring your attention to two articles that have posted recently concerning the FEC. The first was posted on November 27 in the Charlotte Observer and the second is found on MSNBC. Both are Associated Press articles and are worth a quick read.
I won't spend too much time picking them apart, but it's safe to say that I will be spending a lot of time delving into FEC records over the next several weeks and I wanted to give you a basis for why I am spending my holidays checking out GOP donors.
In the first article I linked to, Newt Gingrich endorses eliminating McCain-Feingold campaign finance reforms, saying they infringe on First Amendment rights. Now, I want to protect our First Amendment rights as much as the next person, and making a campaign contribution does make a statement and is a type of expression, but, hell, so is leaving someone's gray matter oozing from their eye sockets after you've blown their brains out. I wonder if Newt thinks we should protect murderer's rights to express themselves, or pedophiles, or thieves and will we continue to put limits on exactly how they can express themselves?
Obviously, I've taken this to the extreme, but what I'm trying to point out is that Newt Gingrich doesn't give a rat's fanny about preserving anyone's First Amendment rights. He simply wants to make sure big business and wealthy Republicans can donate as much as they want to elect their buddies and keep them elected. He's doing this now, of course, because he's toying with the idea of running for President. Good luck with that, Newt.
The second article gives information about the FEC's new drive to get candidates to turn themselves in for FEC violations. First, I've spoken with quite a few FEC investigators. These folks are very approachable and they must all take nice pills when they wake up in the mornings. Every single person I've ever spoken with at the FEC has been extremely helpful, professional and friendly.
This is a small agency and they have their hands full. Maybe this proposal makes sense for certain offenses, but I can't imagine Robin Hayes being honest enough to self-police. I've had personal dealings with the man and he simply isn't someone I would trust.
So, over the next several weeks I will do my best to illustrate why McCain-Feingold is necessary and why self-policing won't work.