Voters want to hear details of plan to rein in ‘big money’
As a member of Common Cause, I am a good government advocate. As such, I attended the attorney general’s press conference on June 1, where he outlined the chief elements of his program bill, the End Corruption Now Act. There are many important elements in the proposed bill, such as eliminating the LLC loophole, reducing limits on campaign contributions, improving accountability and enforcement – with the primary aim of reducing the corrosive effect of “big money” in our political system. There also are proposals to improve the ability of our legislators to serve the citizens who elect them more effectively and efficiently on a full-time basis.
I watched the local TV news coverage and thought it was rather pathetic. What is the point in watching the attorney general walking down the sidewalk? Describing the community activists who attended as “a handful” was inaccurate and did not do justice to the representatives from Citizen Action, Partnership for the Public Good, PUSH, League of Women Voters and others. There were many statements made by the attorney general and by speakers from the activist groups that would have made excellent sound bites as to the purpose and benefits of the proposed legislation. Yet there were no relevant quotes or interviews.
It occurred to me that there is an underlying motive for the poor coverage. After all, don’t television stations reap a significant windfall from the onslaught of political ads? Since “dark money” is the primary source of funding for the negative ads that most of us find so repugnant, why would the television industry support any form of legislation that would diminish its cash cow?
Barbara A. Rogers