Friday, May 04, 2007

Brennan Center Op-Ed in Times Union

Our Executive Director, Michael Waldman, has an op-ed in the Times Union this morning, railing against the media and politicians who have criticized Spitzer for continuing to fundraise while he champions campaign finance reform. Here's a snippet:
While the Times Union has been a vocal supporter of campaign finance reform and Spitzer's most recent proposals to lower contribution limits, it has joined news outlets and editorial pages across the state in giving ink and credence to Bruno's attack on the governor for refusing to unilaterally disarm. Political reporters and editorial writers across the state have been gamely repeating Bruno's trope ad nauseam that Spitzer is somehow doing something underhanded by continuing to play by the rules of the game while actively seeking to change them.

Few of those stories have included even a sentence about Joe Bruno's own record raising special-interest dollars. Rather they gamely quote Bruno like Claude Raines in Casablanca as being just shocked -- shocked! -- that Spitzer would offer access for contributors. Of course, contributors are getting access.

That's the problem. Too much access often leads to bad public policy. That's why we want reform. Bundling should be disclosed. But it isn't illegal and it won't go away until we pass public financing.

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