Thursday, February 07, 2008

"The scandal isn't what's illegal; it's what's legal."

The Michael Kinsley quote I used for this post's title will probably always be true.

Last October I posted this at the John Edwards community blog:

Romney's campaign loans = legalized bribery

Romney has loaned $10 million to his campaign, and will probably keep on loaning.

So what happens if he were to win the Presidency, and a big corporate fatcat made a donation to his campaign?

It's bad enough normally in terms of campaign influence, but when a candidate has loaned money to his campaign, these donations go straight into the newly-elected official's pocket.

Someone needs to explain to me the difference between this and "normal" bribery. Money from the donor goes almost straight into the candidate's pocket.

I hope JRE picks up on this and points it out, and watches for any candidates on our side doing the same.

What's good for the gander is good for the goose. Hillary's loaned $5 million to her campaign and may loan more. (Interesting that it came out the day after Super Tuesday and not 24 hours earlier - wonder if there's a story behind that?)

Wealthy corporations, unions, and individuals who give money to her campaign from now on will be putting a portion of that money into Hillary's pocket, until the debt is eliminated. It's legalized gifts of money to a political candidate, a potential President, and a sitting Senator. Tell me that doesn't raise ethical questions.

Donating massive amounts of money to one's campaign raises some disturbing issues, but loaning the money is far, far worse. Hillary needs to immediately convert the loan into gift, and not do it again.

P.S. And if she does win the nomination, I'll still vote and volunteer for her. Part of the scandal of something being legal is that makes people think it's not wrong. My giving money to her became less likely though. An appearance of impropriety....

P.P.S. The only good news for Clinton is that post-Super Tuesday I now think she's going to lose the nomination, and given the past accuracy of my political predictions, Obama's in trouble.

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