Sunday, November 25, 2007

Campaign Finance Reform Push Gets Shreveport Backing

The Shreveport Times is the first mainstream media outlet in the state to take up the call for campaign finance reform and placing it in the broader context of the widespread support for ethics reform in our state.

On Sunday, The Times carried another installment on campaign finance reform in what has become a series on ethics. The paper also published an editorial on Sunday that made the case that campaign finance reform is an essential element in any serious ethics reform package. Here's a key paragraph:
• Toughen campaign finance laws. Prohibit candidates from borrowing money to run their campaigns to avoid the potential murkiness of how they might retire those loans. Eliminate third-party spending that allows often previously unheard of groups from forming to smear a candidate through ads and direct mail, allowing the favored politician to keep his or her hands "clean."
Sounds to me like they might be thinking about the LCRM with that swipe at third-party spending. In a few days, the full picture of that third-party spending will become publicly available and the public push to eliminate this kind of destructive, systemic distortion of the electoral process should only increase.

Lamar White, Jr., at the blog CENLAMAR has an excellent exposition on campaign reform which includes a list of possible reforms produced by the Center for Responsive Politics.

Ethics reform is not a partisan issue. However, if Governor-elect Jindal and his leadership team don't include campaign finance reform in their push for ethics reform, it can only be because they profit from the existing lax system. As was seen in the run-up to the October primary election, wealthy individuals used multiple Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) under their control to circumvent campaign finance contribution caps. It just so happened that most of that money went to support Republican candidates, including the governor-elect.

The mantra in the weeks running up to the January special session on ethics should be: "Ethics reform without campaign finance reform is a scam." That's not because it's a Democratic issue. It's because it happens to be true.

The Shreveport Times gets it. Let's see who else joins that parade.

No comments:

Subscribe Now: Feed Icon

D2D Archive

Louisiana Democrat2Democrat