Magic money

By AL DIAMON  |  April 4, 2012

That move annoyed Maine Citizens executive director Andrew Bossie, who put out a news release proclaiming, "The legislature is out of touch with a vast majority of Maine people who want strong Clean Elections."

Keep in mind that the Legislature Bossie is referring to is one that was mostly elected with Clean Election money.

How is that possible? It's simple.

The public-financing law has never prohibited many of the most objectionable aspects of political money-grubbing. Take political action committees, for instance. A House or Senate candidate can legally accept taxpayer money at the same time he or she is operating a PAC. Most of the legislative leadership of both parties engage in this practice, as do those ambitious pols who hope to someday join leadership, because they're all . . . heh, heh. . . hypocritical trolls.

Perhaps that's whom Bossie was referring to when he said the weakened Clean Election Act "would increase the influence of wealthy special interests in our elections and government." No, that can't be right, because Bossie's group has traditionally opposed efforts to ban the practice of simultaneously accepting taxpayer dough and private PAC donations. Makes them seem sort of like . . . heh, heh. . . well, you know.

The reality — devoid of leprechauns, wizards, and genies — is that public financing can't provide any mystical relief for the problem of excessive campaign spending by special interests. Fantasizing that it could — and, even worse, voting as if it could — evokes a darker kind of magic.

It's like wishing on the monkey's paw.

Throw some eye of Newt and Mitt of Romney in the cauldron and conjure up a message to me. Or do it the easy way by emailing aldiamon@herniahill.net.

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