Monday, January 24, 2005
Virginia isn't only for lovers anymore. As Mark Humbert writes for the AP in Newsday, New York Governor George Pataki has been using a Virginia-based political action committee (PAC) to rake in hundreds of thousands of dollars in corporate contributions, thereby evading New York's $5,000 limit on corporate political contributions per year. (Virginia has no limits whatsoever on contributions.)
According to the article, at least six separate corporations contributed at least $25,000 to Pataki's 21st Century Freedom State PAC. So what's the problem Governor Pataki? Your own state's laws not good enough for you? It's not as though Pataki isn't aware of the $5,000 limit, which is listed very clearly on his website: georgepataki.com.
Pataki's under-the-table dealing might be slightly easier to stomach if he hadn't been trumpeting the need for stricter campaign finance laws in New York for the last six years.
Corporations shouldn't be able to make political donations in the first place. Their officers and directors and shareholders already can give as individuals if they are American. If not, they have no business influencing American elections in the first place. Additionally, corporations have legal advantages unavailable to ordinary citizens which allow them to amass large quantities of wealth. These advantages were never intended to provide corporations an advantage over the individual citizens of the United States when it comes to electing our representatives.
On top of that, $5,000 is already an enormous sum of money for most folks, and Pataki still feels the need to evade the very laws he is supposed to uphold in order to haul in the loot in greater quantities? C'mon Governor. Enough is enough. If you wanna run for President, form a committee and deal with the limits on contributions. If not, how about you try living by the laws of your own state instead of the law of political expedience?