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Monday, October 24, 2005

Hide-the-Money Shell Game Largely Avoidable

As Dan Morain reports in the Los Angeles Times, politicians and players in both major parties are shuffling cash from committee to committee, possibly to hide the ultimate source of the money.

Opponents of reform love to point to articles and facts like these when trying to make the case that reducing the influence of big money on politics is futile. Politicians and wealthy interests will always find new ways to get money into the system, they say.

Truth be told, most of the folks making this argument don't care if our campaign laws allow a tiny handful of rich folks to have vastly greater influence over our elections than the rest of us, while those that do care generally like it that way.

But more importantly than the questionable motivation of the hand-wringers, we can greatly reduce the influence of big money in politics. The problem is that politicians tend to write laws with loopholes that protect themselves and their donors, often under the misleading label of reform.

Until American voters demand politicians who believe in the democracy component of representative democracy, we can expect more of the same.

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