Friday, February 02, 2007

What we have in common with Bill Murray

We're feeling a little bit like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day. In the movie, weatherman Phil Connors is sent to Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania to cover the ceremonial emergence of the groundhog who shares his first name. To his horror, Phil discovers that each day after that dawns not anew but as that same Groundhog Day.

For us, the nightmare is waking up every day and reading about the same people doing the same thing: New York politicians, with their nearly 100% reelection rates and few viable challengers, legally raising astronomical amounts of campaign cash that, after the election, they can use for things clearly unrelated to campaigning.

Next week we’ll get a fresh reminder of this constant fundraising; a law passed in 1995 is set to cause contribution limits, already sky-high, to escalate even further. Every four years (this is the third iteration), the limits are adjusted according to the Consumer Price Index, which has risen almost 12% since the last adjustment in 2002.

The resulting change in the New York contribution limit for individuals giving to gubernatorial candidates, shaking out to around $4,000, will actually be larger than the entire allowable contribution in 21 states.

In the words of Phil/Bill: “There is no way this winter is ever going to end as long as that groundhog keeps seeing his shadow. I don't see any way out of it. He's got to be stopped. And I have to stop him.”

We echo the sentiment and vow to keep pushing for more reasonable contribution limits and other critical campaign finance reform.

Categories: General, Campaign Finance

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