Thursday, May 28, 2020
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The Biggest Bargain Around (on Money & Elections)

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This piece will be running as an op/ed in newspapers in my conservative congressional District. Would it be possible for any American leader to persuade...

1Q16 Virginia Campaign Finance Numbers: A Few Highlights

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Campaign finance reports for 1Q2016 are coming in (see VPAP, the State Board of Election and the FEC); here are a few numbers that...

Will 2016 Democratic Campaigns Continue to Flush Their $$$ Down the...

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Back in November 2014, I used that year's VA-10 Congressional race as a case study in looking at whether broadcast TV political ads are...

Campaign Finance: A Winner for Terry McAuliffe

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Nixon going to China has become one of the biggest cliches in politics.  But like many cliches, it reveals a fundamental truth: the power of a politician playing against his own stereotype -- and changing history in the process.

Terry McAuliffe presently faces a problem and an opportunity that both can be solved by his own "trip to China."  The problem is that his reputation is that of a big-money inside-the-Beltway fundraiser.  By sheer coincidence, the opportunity also involves campaign cash -- the Star-gate scandal that is presently eating both Bob McDonnell and Ken Cuccinelli alive.  This whole scandal has exposed how weak and ineffective Virginia's campaign finance laws really are -- and how unlikely it is that Republicans will be the ones to change them.  

The solution is one that Terry's campaign has just begun to hit on -- make him the leader who finally brings real campaign finance reform to the Commonwealth.  What better person to lead that charge than one of the great fundraisers in recent political history?  By making this a major campaign issue, Terry can leave his past behind him and embrace a future as the reformist governor that Virginia so desperately needs.  

And this is one of those happy instances where good policy also represents good politics, since every mention of the legal and ethical woes of the current Republican governor and the AG who seeks to replace him only helps make the Democrats' case.  

Barack Obama: “No Corporate Takeover of Our Democracy”

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The full transcript is here. "Bull Moose" fan that I am, I liked the line, "Let's not forget that a century ago, it was a Republican President - Teddy Roosevelt - who first tried to tackle the issue of corporate influence on our elections." Also, Abraham Lincoln fan that I am, this line was a good one too: "This is an issue that goes to whether or not we will have a democracy that works for ordinary Americans - a government of, by, and for the people."