Precinct 333

Monday, March 21, 2005

Liberal Fraud To Pass McCain-Feingold

They tried to make it look like a grassroots movement for campaign finance reform, but it was really Astroturf.

What Mr. Treglia revealed in a talk last year at the University of Southern California is that far from representing the efforts of genuine grass-roots activists, the campaign finance reform lobby was controlled and funded by liberal foundations like Pew. In a tape obtained by the New York Post, Mr. Treglia tells his USC audience they are going to hear a story he can reveal only now that campaign finance reform has become law. "The target audience for all this [foundation] activity was 535 people in [Congress]," Mr. Treglia says in his talk. "The idea was to create an impression that a mass movement was afoot. That everywhere [Congress] looked, in academic institutions, in the business community, in religious groups, in ethnic groups, everywhere, people were talking about reform."

The truth was far different. Mr. Treglia admits that campaign-finance supporters had to try to hoodwink Congress because "they had lost legitimacy inside Washington because they didn't have a constituency that would punish Congress if they didn't vote for reform."

So instead, according to Mr. Treglia, liberal reform groups created a Potemkin movement. A study last month by the Political Money Line, a nonpartisan Web site dealing with campaign funding issues, found that of the $140 million spent to directly promote liberal campaign reform in the last decade, a full $123 million came from just eight liberal foundations. Many are the same foundations that provide much of the money for such left-wing groups as People for the American Way and the Earth Action Network. The "movement" behind campaign-finance reform resembled many corporate campaigns pushing legislation. It consisted largely of "Astroturf" rather than true "grass-roots" support.

But the results were spectacular. Not only did the effort succeed in bulldozing Congress and President Bush, but it might have played a role in persuading the Supreme Court, which had previously ruled against broad restrictions on political speech, to declare McCain-Feingold constitutional in 2003 on a 5-4 vote. "You will see that almost half the footnotes relied on by the Supreme Court in upholding the law are research funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts," Mr. Treglia boasted.

So let’s get this straight. They wanted the measure passed. They funded the movement to back it. The even created a few groups in the process. Then they provided the legal rationale for upholding the law. What we have here is a conspiracy to commit political fraud, with a few wealthy and powerful groups determining the outcome of the process. In short, they did precisely what they claimed to oppose, but justify it on the basis that their motives were pure.

Maybe what we need is not campaign finance reform, but charity reform. Is it time for a little bit of trust-busting, people?

Who are the guilty parties? Pew Charitible Trust, George Soros's Open Society Institute, and the Carnegie Corp., among others. They even bribed National Public Radio to give them favorable coverage with a $1.2 million grant to cover “financial influence in political-decisionmaking,” and paid for the publication of a special issue of American Prospect on campaign finance reform with an undisclosed grant of $132,000.

One more reason to take the Oath of Defiance – the law in question is the result of surreptitious liberal chicanery to silence their opponents.


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