Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Sexed-Up Virgins

For the better part of 20 years, we've been told by shadowy interest groups and their spin doctors and hired guns that the campaign ads they run aren't political ads at all. They are merely discussing issues. Never mind that most of the groups never say a word about these issues when they are actually being debated at the Capitol. They only feel the urge to discuss in the weeks before elections. And never mind that the groups that are lobbying at the Capitol choose to discuss entirely different issues when election season rolls around.

Never minding all that, these groups insist that their ads aren't aimed at influencing voters. They insist they have nothing to do with the candidates and are not taking sides in elections. They are just bringing up issues. And because they are just discussing issues, they claim their ads technically have no political purpose. The technicality is the absence of words like "vote for," "vote against," "elect" or "defeat" in their messages (as if saying such words is the only way to make it plain as day in an advertisement what you want the viewer or listener to think and do). Exploiting this technicality, they do not have to obey campaign contribution limits and they do not have to publicly disclose where their money comes from.

This has always been a farce, but it is a farce that has been blessed by a generation of lawmakers, election officials and judges.

This farce has been very, very good to them. It has put them in the captain's seat of the ship of state. But they are not satisfied. Now they want to "discuss issues" in a way that enables them to evade contribution limits and disclosure requirements while also plotting strategy with candidates and coordinating their activities with the candidates' campaigns. The same candidates they've insisted they had nothing to do with for the past 15 or 20 years.

They want it both ways. They want to be legally regarded as virgins while getting laid at the same time.

And they are counting on the current batch of judges to grant their wish.

No comments: