The Washington Post reported Sunday that Obama’s top donors gave more than $100,000 to his campaign by giving to various entities working to get Obama elected. The report is more evidence that campaign financing laws are not effective in preventing big money from playing a key role in politics.
Although the goal of campaign financing laws can count on general support, the laws themselves cannot. Especially conservatives complain that these laws are in breach with the first amendment guaranteeing the freedom of speech.
Ironically, liberals supported the campaign finance reforms Obama and his top donors circumvented successfully last year. Liberals argued for years that Big Money had too much influence. They favored laws that would limit the amount an individual could give to one candidate.
Not only did these donors circumvent campaign finance laws, the WaPo adds that Team Obama new about it and actively used these donors to receive more. He turned to these top-donors ‘repeatedly […] in financing his campaign, transition and inauguration,’ the article says.
Approximately 100 families and individuals are involved. They donated at least $100,000 each to Obama’s campaign and separate committees ‘independently’ working for an Obama victory. ‘The families gave to as many as five committees, records show, and 27 of the 94 families also bundled money from others, collecting millions of dollars on top of their personal donations.’
‘Among the supporters were well-known families such as the Rockefellers, as well as lesser-known backers such as New Yorker Frank Brosens, a leader in the hedge fund industry, who raised $500,000 for Obama’s campaign and inauguration in addition to the $182,000 he gave with his wife, parents and three sons.’
Although there is certainly nothing wrong with donating to a cause one believes in, the records show that campaign financing laws are ineffective. Clever and savvy rich individuals are able to circumvent the law and can give hundreds of thousands of dollars nonetheless; directly and indirectly.
Campaign finance laws have been disastrous. They add little to nothing; yet, they infringe on individuals’ right to the freedom of speech. The article shows that abolishing these laws is the best way forward; that way, the playing field will be leveled once again and it will simplify oversight of campaigns.
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