Thursday, February 4, 2016

Why Won't Bernie do Public Financing?

Chuck Todd asked him that and I thought that was an excellent question. 

Bernie's answer was that the public financing system is antiquated and he couldn't have survived on it for a second. 

No doubt that's true. But this again, shows something I've tried to tease out: Bernie's campaign is all about drawing black and white lines. There's a litmus test for what makes one a 'progressive''-I like the world liberal better but any way.

He rails against money in politics but his own campaign has had plenty of money in it. Ok, it's been impressive that he's had so many small donations. He also while again and again boasting of having no super PAC does have some that have raised some money for him. 

"Distaste for big money in politics hasn’t stopped supporters from finding ways to back the presidential candidate."

"Take National Nurses United, the largest nurses’ union in the U.S. The group endorsed Sanders for president back in August. Its political arm—National Nurses United for Patient Protection—has so far spent more than $550,000 in support of Bernie Sanders, including doling out money for print and digital advertising. The group qualifies as a super PAC, according to the Federal Election Commission. Union organizers, however, reject that name."

“It’s not a super PAC, super PACs are corrupt,” RoseAnn DeMoro, the executive director of National Nurses United, said. “They’re a way for the billionaires to influence the political process and spend unlimited money. This is nurses who want to get our support for Bernie out there. That’s way different than the Koch brothers. This isn’t big money. I think people understand the difference.”

But this is interesting. It suggests that money in politics is the root of all evil-if you don't like who's doing the donating. 

I think that's a much more tendentious distinction than Bernie makes it-again, he makes it black and white. 

If what the nurse's union is doing is benign, then that's an admission that a super PAC isn't necessarily evil in and of itself but only who is pending the money. 

But overall this suggests the issue of money in politics is a little more complicated than Bernie makes it sound. 

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