Wednesday, December 13, 2006

News-Leader- Blunt request to forego campaign funds is cheap trick

An editorial in today's Springfield News-Leader decries Governor Matt Blunt's request for state officials to follow his example and forgo campaign contributions during a two-day window before the General Assembly convenes as a "cheap trick."
The two-day window occurred thanks to a new law that eliminates campaign contribution limits (despite the fact that Missourians were happy with the limits, it was the abuse of them they wanted eliminated).
The editorial makes the point that I have been making: It is easy for the governor to tell other people to forget about campaign contributions when he already has two million dollars in the bank:

"The governor believes that lawmakers and statewide officials should be focusing on the upcoming legislative session and the issues important to Missourians rather than spending their time on self-serving political fundraising created by a unique two-day loophole in state law," says Missouri Republican Party spokesman Paul Sloca. Keep in mind, Missouri Republicans and the governor created this two-day loophole. So ignoring it in order to gain political advantage is nothing but a cheap trick. If the governor really wanted to take a principled stand, he'd refuse unlimited contributions entirely and rely on the limits set by 77 percent of Missouri voters. But the fact is, he signed the bill. He said it was real reform.

The News-Leader editorial board also makes a recommendation that Governor Blunt and the legislature are unlikely to follow:

If the governor wants to tap into the post-election-season angst of Missouri voters, he should take his stand a step further. Don't take unlimited money between Jan. 1 and 3, and commit to submitting a bill to the legislature that fixes last year's failed attempt at reform. Missourians want limits on giving because the money in politics has gotten out of control. If Blunt stood up for that concept, he'd earn enough goodwill to more than make up for the money he might be leaving on the table.

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