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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Griper Blade: Driving Elections While Hammered on Foreign Money

Drunk driversImagine a world much like our own. In this world, drunk driving is just as illegal as it is here. Everyone agrees that intoxicated drivers are a menace and the world would be a much safer place without them. But, in this world, it's also illegal to pull a driver over and check to see if they're intoxicated. People who aren't crazy argue that this check would be essential to enforcement and we ought to start doing it, while people who are crazy argue that enforcement is unnecessary -- after all, drunk driving is illegal, so no one will do it, right? If someone's weaving all over the road, they probably have a good reason and pulling them over to see what that reason is would be an invasion of their privacy. Drunk driving has been eliminated by making it illegal and, if you need proof of that, then just look at the record -- no arrests ever. Success!

This alternate reality may strike you as a little on the stupid side, but welcome to the world of American politics post-Citizens United v. FEC. Foreign money in federal elections is still illegal, but there's no way to pull a candidate over to find out if they're soused on foreign money. Candidate X may be positively hammered on Bahraini dinars or Russian Rubles, but -- by the easiest money-laundering scheme in the world -- there's no way to prove it, because there's no way to check.

That's what we're beginning to see play out with the US Chamber of Commerce. The Chambers is running millions of dollars worth of attack ads across the nation and no one can find out for sure where the money comes from...[CLICK TO READ FULL POST]

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