Tom Foreman | BIO
Reporter's Note: President Obama and his fellow Dems (especially the big important ones) are teeing off on the influence of “secret money” in the election. I once found $1.35 under the seat of my car. That was kind of secret money to me.
Dear Mr. President,
Oh what a delightful way to start my week! I was given the task of tracking down some of these groups that you have complained about so much, the ones that take money from anonymous donors and then spin it into campaign gold, which of course means vicious attack ads.
I realize that your gripe has been with Republicans who do this, but your Democrats are far from squeaky clean. According to the folks who track such things, outside groups have spent about $200 million helping out the GOP, but the Dems have scored about $100 million. So, you know, just saying, when you’re swinging the bat at that particular piñata you’ll want to be careful that you don’t take out a friend.
See? This is what rips through both parties like rust in an old Chevy. Seems like every time one side accuses the other of some kind of wrong, it takes about six minutes before it becomes clear that the accusers are also in it up to their necks.
I think a lot of voters would agree with you that it’s a problem for people to be secretly pouring money into elections with no public accounting for who they are or what they might want in return. I mean, if we were talking about a police department, we’d have a name for those hidden “donations.” But when your own party is playing the same game, any complaint your make is weakened. And when you lodge those complaints precisely at the time that your side is being badly beaten at this game, it makes you look less like defenders of justice than sore losers.
The simple equation: If you want to lead the charge toward driving all this secret cash out of elections, you have to attack the problem just as vigorously where it helps you, as where it hurts you. That’s the essence of credibility on such measures.
But then, what would I know about credibility, eh? I’m in the news media! Ha!
Give me a call if you have some time. I’d love to get your prediction on what the next few days will bring. Hey, one week to the big vote!
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