The nation has been crying out for our leaders in Washington to work together.
The incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has been talking about wanting to put together bipartisan agreements and legislation.
But I don’t think the destruction by Republican Leader McConnell and Senate Majority Leader Reid of critically important anti-corruption campaign finance laws is what the American people had in mind.
Senator Reid is quoted in POLITICO as saying that part of his new job is to stop Republicans from doing “all this crazy stuff.” Apparently, Senator Reid was not willing to start this new responsibility until next year.
The campaign finance provisions in the Omnibus bill if enacted would represent the most destructive and corrupting campaign finance provisions ever enacted by Congress.
The provisions ignore the interests of more than 300 million Americans to focus on the interests of the millionaires and billionaires who can give the massive contributions permitted by the provisions.
President Obama should make clear that he will not sign the Omnibus bill if it contains the destructive and corrupting campaign finance provisions placed in the bill by Senators Reid and McConnell.
If the President does sign the bill, he will join hands with Senators Reid and McConnell in destroying the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 and in reopening the door to the massive corrupting contributions banned by this law. President Obama along with Reid and McConnell will own this legislation and the corruption and national scandals that are bound to follow.
Under the new order created by Senators McConnell and Reid, a single individual could donate $777,600 per year or $1,555,200 per two-year election cycle to the national committees of the Democratic and Republican parties.
A couple could contribute to these committees a total of $1,555,200 per year or $3,110,400 per two-year cycle.
These provisions never could have ended up in the Omnibus Appropriations bill unless both Senator Reid and Senator McConnell wanted them in the bill. This is Reid and McConnell’s deal.
These huge contributions will create the opportunity for the wealthiest Americans to buy and federal officeholders to sell government decisions. The provisions return our nation to the auction block in the same way that existed at the time of the Watergate scandals in the 1970s and the “soft money” scandals in the 1990s.
It is very hard to fathom just whom Senator Reid thought he was representing when he joined hands with Senator McConnell, the nation’s leading opponent of campaign finance laws. Together, Reid and McConnell have crafted legislative provisions to destroy the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 and return the massive contributions to the national parties prohibited by that law.
The argument has been made that these new huge contributions will strengthen the political parties in light of the role being played by outside spending groups. This argument is wrong.
You cannot strengthen the parties by opening the door to massive corrupting contributions being raised by federal officeholders for the parties. You cannot strengthen the parties by legalizing the buying and selling of government influence and decisions.