Friday, January 20, 2006

Charities believe Green, ask for DeLay $$$

Poor Mark Green. He said he'd give his tainted Tom DeLay money to charity, and now charities are asking him for some of the $29,000.

They didn't hear the part about how he wasn't going to do it now, because it requires a change in state law, which could take a long time. Or else he'll have to wait until he disbands his campaign and closes the account, which could be in 30 years or so, since he is a career politician who's bound to run for something else even after he loses the governor's race.

Green could have avoided all of the confusion by simply giving the money to a non-partisan voter education and registration effort, like the League of Women Voters. That's perfectly legal right now.

Instead, he chose to hang on to the money, but says he won't spend it for his campaign. Why not get rid of it? (He used to say he had already spent it, but that statement is inoperative, as Richard Nixon would say.)

But back to those requests from the charities.

One reason state law requires campaign money to be used for political purposes is to prevent candidates from trying to buy favor -- and to prevent organizations from shaking them down, to put it bluntly.

"You're running for governor, you have a million dollars, and you won't even contribute $1000 to (fill in the blank with your favorite charity here)?"

It's far easier to explain that you can't contribute because it's illegal.

That's one reason it might not be a slam-dunk to ask the legislature to change the law.

Any campaign manager will tell you it is already hard enough to cope with the many requests that come for "advertising" in newsletters, organizational publications, and programs for events, which may buy a little goodwill but probably don't win one extra vote.

Green could do himself and every other candidate a favor by just giving that $29,000 away now.

Politically, it would also let him say that he had gotten rid of it. Right now, it is no doubt still sitting in his campaign bank account, despite his announcement that he would somehow get rid of it.

2 Comments:

At 10:41 AM, Blogger I'm Fine said...

League of Women Voters a non-partisan group? That's hilarious.

 
At 2:40 PM, Blogger Epilogue said...

"Green could have avoided all of the confusion by simply giving the money to a non-partisan voter education and registration effort, like the League of Women Voters. That's perfectly legal right now."

From Wikipedia:

"However, the league does take official stances, typically progressive, on various issues. Historically it supported child labor laws, civil rights legislation, the Equal Rights Amendment, and the Motor Voter law. More recently, it has supported campaign finance reform, gun control, and electoral reform, and has taken positions on a growing number of public policy areas."

While the first batch is laudable, the League can hardly claim objectivity. Aren't you the one feigning contempt over issue advocacy and funding sources?

Green giving money to the LWV is tantamount to Doyle giving money to WMC.

 

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