Before McCain-Feingold, I really had no strong opinion about John McCain politically. I have great sympathy for his POW experiences, but politically, the man is The Devil. From an excellent Washington Post report:
But now the contrast between McCain the presidential candidate and McCain the reformer can be jarring. McCain's campaign says that he is still studying whether to forgo the public financing and spending limits he has long supported, but that he will not be handicapped by restrictions his competitors will not face in 2008.
McCain the reformer worked unsuccessfully through Congress and the courts to try to stop nonprofit political groups known as 527s from using unlimited donations to run political ads and fund other activities aimed at influencing voters in the run-up to elections. He reintroduced legislation last week to end 527 donations, but there appears to be little appetite in Congress to pass it.
McCain the candidate now expects Republicans to use the same big-money 527 groups in the 2008 elections to beat Democrats, if the groups remain legal. "The senator believes that both parties should be subjected to an even playing field. If Democratic organizations are allowed to take advantage of 527s, Republican organizations will, too," said Mark Salter, a senior McCain adviser. The senator declined to be interviewed.
I can understand hiding from the microphones and cameras. John McCain, could you please retire now? Dan Burton may fail to turn up for votes, but John McCain has worked long and hard to restrict political speech under the guise of 'reform', making sure only the biggest money players can play.
It is telling that Salter's comment references an even playing field for "both parties". The level playing field Salter refers to, and McCain created, virtually eliminates third parties, which are apparently not worthy of inclusion.
And, from Jeb Bush fundraiser and Florida lobbyist Brian Ballard:
Ballard said most of the big-money players he knows are not fazed by McCain's attacks on the political-money and lobbying systems, calling it more of an issue for consultants who make their living off big donations.
So screw John McCain. To the suckers who backed McCain-Feingold on the basis that it would 'take the money out'... well? Feast your sorry eyes on John McCain, the 'reformer' and the results of his 'reform'.
At least six of McCain's first eight national finance co-chairmen have given or raised large donations for political parties or 527 groups, campaign and IRS records show. In all, the finance co-chairs have given at least $13.5 million in soft money and 527 donations since the 1998 election.
They include former Bush moneymen such as lobbyist Thomas G. Loeffler and financier Donald Bren, whose personal and corporate donations total in the hundreds of thousands of dollars each in recent elections.
There are so few honorable people in our Congress right now, and so many of them want to be our next president. It's truly depressing. I kept asking honorable people to run for office along with me in 2006. I can see why they don't care to be associated with pond scum.