(continued from the previous post)
Sen. John McCain noted soft money's influence on the recent spate of odious legislation affecting telecommunications and copyright:
I believe, based on my experience, that elected officials do act in particular ways in order to assist large soft money donors and that this skews and shapes the legislative process. ...Members of Congress who were involved in crafting the legislation were inundated with requests for meetings by soft money contributors... [T]he public interest had few lobbyists and no campaign contributors to protect it. The process was essentially hijacked by large soft money contributors and their lobbyists. The legislation, which dealt with issues of interest to big money donors, was poorly conceived and filled with internal inconsistencies designed to appease these competing donors rather than to serve the public interest.
I can't say if McCain-Feingold is the ideal way to reform electoral politics, but I can say that the current soft money system stinks on ice. Over an otherwise pleasant Thanksgiving break, I was exposed to even more odious campaign commercials thanks to Louisiana's upcoming runoff election--most of which were so-called "issue ads," from supporters of both candidates, and nearly all of which were tremendously distorted. I firmly believe in freedom of speech, but that freedom shouldn't encompass bald-faced lies, and it certainly doesn't support a system that's tantamount to bribery. Like I said, McCain-Feingold may not be the best fix, but the system that Senator McConnell and other defends is a system of bribery of public officials in which those who have the gold make the rules.