POLITICS

SuperPACs as a check on the special interests and the lobbyists

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Timothy P. Carney

SuperPACs could represent a new way for money to corrupt politics, but I think they might actually provide a check on the undue influence of lobbyists and the corrupting revolving door.

For instance, look at Charlie Rangel’s plight.

Two SuperPACs are trying to take out the scandal-plagued senior Democrat on the tax-writing House Ways & Means committee. That puts a lot of money behind the effort to oust him, and it means he might actually lose.

One reason Rangel has held on so well in past years was that he had a huge money advantage. He was able to get a huge money advantage because lobbyists and corporate PACsalways want to be in good standing with the top Democrat on the Ways & Mean Committee. They will donate to him and bundle for him.

When donation limits are inoperative — as in SuperPACs — lobbyists’ inherent bundling advantage isn’t worth as much.

When rich individuals can spend hundreds of thousands or even millions, suddenly there are sources of money that might not be seeking favors from government.

And when donors can remain secret, they are now free to piss off the top Democrat on Ways & Means.

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