The warped world of campaign finance

For years, Washington state law mandated that no political fundraising could take place during the legislative session, as well as, the 30 days prior to and after the session.   The purported reason for the ban was that accepting donations during this time period could corrupt the legislators.

Recently, Washington decided to move its primary up from September to August.  As part of the primary legislation, "lawmakers ended the post-session freeze to compensate for the lost fundraising weeks."

More simply, faced with the prospect of losing fundraising time, the politicians admitted that the post-session ban on contributions was more about political rhetoric than preventing corruption.

Taking advantage of the new law, two fundraisers were scheduled in Gregoire’s name by supporters during the former blackout period.   The fundraisers were clearly permissible under the law, but that didn’t stop some from labeling the fundraisers as "unethical."

Gregoire responded to the charges with a challenge: "To those who say there is some influence – prove it."

Unfortunately for Governor Gregoire, so-called "reformers" use a different burden of proof than most Americans are used to.   Actual corruption is just too darn hard to prove, so why bother?  Instead, they will say that the Governor must prove that the fundraisers were not corrupting.  Indeed, to satisfy the "reform" crowd, she must go further and prove that they do not even appear corrupt, a difficult task when the "appearance of corruption" amounts to nothing more than what self-appointed "reformers" declare it to be.

Welcome to the world of campaign finance "reform," where you are guilty until proven innocent.

You can read the AP story HERE.

The Center for Competitive Politics is now the Institute for Free Speech.