Saturday, August 19, 2006

Pols give public service a bad name

I declare, as my hometown neighbor used to say, there are some real skunks out there. This reflection comes in response to the news that secret campaign organizations are growing and possibly the dominant factor in Florida's statewide elections this year. Near the bottom of The Miami Herald's thorough report, one finds the information that most offends me:
Unnoticed by many, an unknown person changed [former Senate President Tom] Lee's bill at the last minute and abolished a ban that prohibited ECOs [electioneering communication organizations] from coordinating with campaigns.
The changes render Florida's strict $500 cap on campaign contributions meaningless, since a candidate can now legally ask friends or special interest groups to raise large amounts of cash through ECOs to pay for television ads.
We ought to be asking every state senator we meet, how can it be that a bill in the Legislature is changed by hands that remain invisible? Such a system is an invitation to the grossest abuse. Actually, the present case is pretty darned bad.

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