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Thursday, February 17, 2005

Corporations Have a Party (or two) in the Empire State

As Michael Cooper reports in the New York Times, corporations are pouring money into political party "housekeeping" accounts to evade New York's $5,000 limit on corporate contributions to state campaigns. This sounds similar to a law recently rammed through a special session of the Ohio Legislature which permits corporations to give $10,000 to party "operating accounts".

Although "housekeeping" and "operating" may sound relatively benign, these accounts still serve the interests of the parties by allowing them to direct money they would have otherwise spent on "housekeeping" and "operating" towards campaigns. This con game is like giving a drunk rent money when you know full well he's just gonna take whatever rent money he'd already saved up and spend it on booze.

In other words, New York and Ohio pols have each passed a law based on a distinction without a difference which grants their corporate sugar daddies even more advantages than they already have over regular folks when it comes to influencing the laws and representatives of those states.

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