Monday, March 22, 2004
The Baton Rouge Advocate has found that Louisiana's congressional delegation has raised half of their campaign contributions from sources outside of the state. See their story here. This number is fairly typical for congressional candidates.
The politicians tell us not to worry because the money doesn't impact their votes. That may be, but it sure can influence whether or not they get elected in the first place. Why should out of staters get to decide who represents the citizens of Louisiana?
Louisiana Senator John Breaux says that donors who live elsewhere should be able to give to him if they share his ideology. Breaux raised just $200 in Louisiana out of $25,000 that he disclosed raising. "The U.S. Senate is a national office," says Breaux. "People across the nation are concerned about who the senator from Louisiana is." Well, sure they are. But does that give them the right to decide who the senator from Louisiana is? Does Mr. Breaux answer to his constituents, or to other concerned interests from across the country?
Basketball players in the NBA final four are concerned about who the referees are, but does that mean that they should get to influence the referee choice by giving money? Martha Stewart was probably concerned about who sat on the jury that convicted her, but does that give her the right to put people who share her ideology in the jury box?
Why then should the National Association of Beer wholesalers, of Alexandria Virginia, get to decide who the citizens of Louisiana will choose to represent them in federal matters that deal with the beer industry?