Now I know why Democrats were in favor of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance legislation- it was just like any other law they write- it was for other people to follow. Clearly, they have no intention of adhering to the letter or the spirit of the McCain-Feingold bill:
Democrats are kicking off a backdoor way of financing their 2004 congressional campaigns today with the very type of unlimited donations from corporations, unions, and individuals that many party leaders had vowed to flush from the political system.
The strategy involves setting up two new groups unmistakably aligned with the Democratic Party’s longstanding campaign organizations for the House and Senate. Technically, the two groups are not arms of the Democratic Party, a key distinction, because the nation’s new campaign finance law bars lawmakers from soliciting ”soft money,” the unlimited money that politicians still crave.
House minority leader Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California, and minority whip Steny Hoyer, Democrat of Maryland, will headline a fund-raising event tonight at the Hotel George for a new group called the New House PAC.
Tonight, the group will raise ”hard money,” a limited, regulated type of donation that lawmakers can legally solicit. But the group plans to ask donors for soft money later this year and to serve as a sort of shadow campaign committee for the Democratic Party, according to sources familiar with the effort.
The overt blessing of Pelosi, Hoyer, and other party leaders is crucial to the group, which hopes to convince potential donors that it is the new surrogate for the Democratic committees no longer allowed to take soft money.
I would hesitate to blame only the Democrats for this type of behavior. From what I could tell during the discussions of campaign finance reform, the governing idea was to outlaw the other party’s financing sources. And it wasn’t just a Democratic idea.