Thursday, June 03, 2004
Generally, you have to hand it to politicians and rich folks when it comes to talking about the influence of big money on politics. They don't. That, or they make grand sweeping references to the 'free market' or First Amendment (which basically means keep your grubby populist noses out of our business.)
In other words, they'll do anything but talk honestly about it.
Every now and then though, you get a little peek behind the curtain from somebody who apparently didn't get the memo. Idaho House Speaker Bruce Newcomb is one such guy. Julie Pence of The Times-News asked him about soft money:
Newcomb explained that "soft money" consists of contributions made to political parties technically for party-building activities, but which are often solicited directly by candidates and then secretly earmarked for expenditure on their campaigns.
But also, those donations had indeed been used by state parties for operations, often for up to four years in between presidential elections, Newcomb said.
"It's done by both parties in all the states," Newcomb said.
You think this guy's phone's been ringing? Uh, Bruce, Fat Cat One here, calling to ask you what in tarnation you think you're doing?! You can't be spillin' the beans to the people like that . . . it's bad for business. You start putting ideas in their poor little heads, God bless 'em, they might start demanding their rightful say in how we run things here in America.
Maybe we all oughtta write Speaker Newman a thank-you note for his candor. If we get a few more people to start talking honestly about how our system favors the wealthy at the expense of the voice of ordinary folks, we might just fix this sucker yet.