Nobody is more passionate about the need for campaign finance reform than a presidential candidate about to campaign using unreformed finances. Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton said recently, between mouthfuls of money, that we need to “fix our dysfunctional political system and get unaccountable money out of it once and for all — even if it takes a constitutional amendment.” I suppose that constitutional amendment will be her first order of business as president, following a campaign that will reportedly raise up to $2.5 billion and accept donations from lobbyists and political action committees.
On the GOP side, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was in New Hampshire over the weekend with other potential and declared presidential candidates. According to the Washington Post, Christie said: “There has to be an absolute rule that 24 hours later you will reveal those contributions on the Internet, publicly available, so members of the public can scroll down on their computer.”
And that absolute rule should absolutely happen right after Christie becomes president using a vault full of campaign money from sources-to-be-named-never. Face it, our system for financing presidential campaigns is akin to our system for Girl Scout cookie sales.
A bunch of Scouts from one troop go out and try to sell cookies. One Girl Scout happens to have a benefactor (mom or dad) who is a high-ranking manager, and that benefactor quietly takes the cookie order form to work and tells people there’s “no pressure” to buy cookies. Every employee then buys at least 27 boxes, 40 if they’re in line for a promotion, and the manager’s daughter is honored for selling the most cookies in her troop.