Wednesday, February 21, 2007

More on Campaign Finance...

Sources and inspirations for this week's 'toon:
  • Farhad Manjoo on a proposal by a pair of Yale professors on how to fix campaign finance -- give every American citizen $50 to donate anonymously to candidates of their choice. Among the revelations in this article, the author notes that Hillary Clinton has already announced that she is going to fund her campaign entirely through private contributions, and her rivals are likely to follow suit. Also, Russ Feingold continues to plug away at attempts to fix the system, but his ex-partner in the effort, John McCain (now, of course, himself a candidate for president), seems to have forgotten all about his former crusade.

    Check out Russ Baker on the top 10 corporate democratic strategists-for-hire, which shows just how far the Democrats' tentacles reach into the corporate world (despite being the party that is supposed to represent the interests of poor people). See also a couple of FindLaw articles on the Supreme Court's most recent encounters with Buckley and campaign finance reform: McConnell v. FEC and Randall v. Sorrell (with, of course, Scalia and Thomas leading the defense of the "free speech" rights of big money contributors). Finally, some multimedia: check out Bill Moyers' Capitol Crimes, and some NPR reports on campaign finance.

  • I've been reading a lot lately about the presidential election of 1896, which many political scientists have considered to be a "realigning" election... I'm going to save most of the links for a later cartoon, but here's a good little article that links it to present-day events. It was the election that marked the birth of modern campaign finance, as William McKinley's campaign manager Mark Hanna appealed heavily to corporations for help in their run against progressive William Jennings Bryan. Hanna's famous quote: "There are two things that are important in politics. The first is money, and I can't remember what the second one is."

    Shocker of the century: Hanna is Karl Rove's personal hero...

  • Some good articles trying to dissect the Obama phenomenon by Matt Taibbi and Patricia Williams, and one on John McCain's problems with Arizona Republicans by Max Blumenthal.

  • If you don't already know about these sites, check out Vote-Smart, Politics 1, and (especially) Open Secrets. Lots of good info on all the candidates, including actual important facts beyond what Hillary's wearing or what Obama's middle name is: e.g. voting records, public statements on important issues, contributor info (w/ background on some of the corporations and their interests), and the top industries contributing to each candidate.

No comments: