Private Campaign Donations

I know that the Left doesn’t like the ruling that allows corporations to donate to campaigns.  Or, perhaps more importantly, actively campaign for the candidate of choice.  The granting of free speech rights to corporations does seem, in some ways, a bit silly.

Further, I resonate with those who feel that massive corporations can impact a campaign in a way and manner that can seem, how to say, unfair.  And in many ways, this political donating is similar to how I feel about unions.  The individual members of the union, or the workers/shareholders of a corporation may not WANT their money going to candidate A or to party B.

But I don’t know how to fix it.

I know that individuals are limited in the amount of money they can contribute to a candidate.  But after that, if an individual wants to spend private money to purchase air time on the radio in support of a candidate, she can, right?

I think so.  Even if it means that this woman can donate massive amounts of money to Minnesota Democrats:

For more than 30 years, one of the most influential charitable and political donors in Minnesota has been a woman passionate about issues but guarded about her privacy.

Alida Messinger, an heir to the fabled Rockefeller fortune, has quietly given at least $10 million to candidates and causes over the past decade. Some recent gifts have been extraordinary: $500,000 to a group that last year backed her former husband, Mark Dayton, for governor. And before that, $1 million to help bankroll the ballot campaign for the Legacy amendment, which raised the state sales tax to create 25 years of new funding for conservation and cultural projects.

Now, Messinger is preparing for a new showdown that will be expensive, contentious and, for the first time, public.

She is vowing to do all she can to help the DFL regain control of the Legislature and get President Obama re-elected. Her millions could also become a force in the fight over the constitutional amendment on the ballot next year to define marriage as a union of man and woman — not gay couples. Messinger, 62, contends GOP politicians are harming Minnesota. “We are not a quality-of-life state anymore,” she said. “Citizens need to get involved and say we don’t like what you are doing to our state.”

A single citizen, full of money, is helping to shape the political climate of a state.  Going so far as to elect her ex-husband to the Governor’s mansion.  And that’s not all of it.  Part of her giving, $500,000, went to a GROUP that worked to elect the good governor.

I don’t like it when a single individual can influence politics that much.  I suspect that much of my chagrin this afternoon has to do with the fact that Ms. Messinger donates to Democrats.  But I get that for ever rich Messinger, there is a rich Koch, or two.  For every Steve Jobs, there is a rich….well, a rich Republican.  I get that.

And maybe just because I don’t like it doesn’t mean it’s not capital “R” Right.

Leave a Reply