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Buying the Election

9:52 AM, Nov 3, 2008 • By GARY ANDRES
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I'm not a fan of campaign finance "reform." I believe it always results in unintended consequences--usually worse than the status quo. But Democrats have changed directions so quickly on the issue, the party may have to issue neck braces to manage their strained principles.

Look, I get it. The system now favors them. Obama and various Democratic committees combined raised over a billion dollars this cycle. And that doesn't even include labor and other liberal 527s. Still, the party's hypocrisy on the issue is breathtaking. This article in the New York Times today demonstrates how Democrats now waltz away from their support for campaign finance reform:

Democrats, in particular, who have traditionally supported limits on campaign spending, are grappling with whether they can embrace Mr. Obama's example without being seen as hypocritical. They are keenly aware that they have developed through the Internet a commanding fund-raising advantage over Republicans, much like the direct mail money machine that conservatives used to lord over them.

And then there's Tad Devine who never let expediency get in the way of first principles:

I think there is going to be tremendous reluctance on our side to yield any of that advantage," said Tad Devine, a senior strategist for Senator John Kerry's presidential campaign in 2004.

At least give Bob Kerrey credit for honesty--he flip flopped because the current rules advantage the Democrats:

Mr. Kerrey said in an interview that part of his change of heart might indeed be because the existing system was benefiting Democrats, and he said he believed that many others in his party were wrestling with the issue anew because of the changed calculus. But he added that Mr. Obama's army of small donors had altered the terms of the debate, causing him to believe that he had been wrong about the need for such limitations.

"I think the reformers' arguments have been substantially undercut by the facts on the ground," Mr. Kerrey said.

Then there's Rep. David Price, one the most outspoken proponents of campaign finance reform in the House:

"Democrats may decide this is working pretty well," said Representative David E. Price, Democrat of North Carolina, who last year was the lead sponsor of a measure in the House to update the presidential public financing system. "I don't really know what might materialize in the way of views on our side."

I can tell you what "might materialize." If the current system benefits Democrats don't change it. Wait until Republicans reclaim the financial advantage. That's when money becomes "corrupt" again.