Monday, September 19, 2005

Katrina Prompts Insider's Epiphany: There's Too Much Money in Politics

As Jeffrey Birnbaum reports in the Washington Post, the impact of Hurricane Katrina has been felt as far as Washington D.C., where lobbyist and president of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers Frederick Webber had the following epiphany: "Political fundraising in this town has gotten out of control."

Not everyone in Washington got the message though. Politicians continued to hold fundraisers throughout the week, even as Americans on the Gulf Coast suffered.

Webber, who Birnbaum generally describes as a consummate insider, even went so far as to recommend some reforms: smaller donation limits, a shorter campaign season, and legislators that legislate instead of fundraising all the time.

It is unfortunate that it takes a hurricane to provide an insider with a perspective that 80% of America already has, but Webber's albeit somewhat temporary epiphany is a sign of how far out of touch the D.C. culture is with Main Street Americans' opinion on money in politics. Let's hope it doesn't take another hurricane to convince the rest of the Beltway crowd that Americans deserve a government that serves them, not just the wealthy interests in this country.

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