For many in Congress, fundraising is more important than legislating.

Some members of Congress are getting sick of it. “I don’t think I can spend another day in another call room making another call begging for money,” said Representative Steve Israel, Democrat of New York, explaining his retirement from Congress after eight terms. Last month Mr. Israel also wrote an article for the op-ed page of The New York Times in which he recalled “Lesson No. 1” from his congressional orientation sessions: “Raise at least $10,000 a week,” or kiss good-bye any hope of re-election.

David Jolly, a Republican congressman from Florida who is now campaigning for a U.S. Senate seat, is also tired of being in “a part-time Congress,” where fundraising has a higher priority than legislating. He announced in January that he will no longer personally solicit funds for his campaign, and he will file legislation prohibiting members of Congress from making those dreaded phone calls.

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Few would object to members of Congress spending more time on their official duties, but insulating them from the realities of campaign finance will not lessen big money’s corruption of U.S. politics. Mr. Jolly is not pledging to spend less money on his campaign; he is simply relying on his staff to make the fundraising calls. He also acknowledges that “super PACs,” which are exempt from limits on personal contributions but are prohibited from directly coordinating with campaigns, can still spend on his behalf. The rise of super PACs and “dark money” groups—which spend millions on political ads but can keep their donors secret because they claim nonprofit status—is even more worrisome than members of Congress missing subcommittee hearings to chase down $1,000 donations. We need a more comprehensive solution to the soaring costs of running for public office.

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J Cosgrove
1 year 9 months ago
The editors of America should get out more often. By that they should get out of their cocoons. One site that should be mandatory reading is Instapundit run by Glen Reynolds, one of the biggest bloggers on the internet. He is a law professor at the University of Tennessee. http://pjmedia.com/instapundit/ He also writes weekly for USA Today. Here is his latest article which is about what is wrong with the political class: http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2016/02/01/mia-love-single-subject-rule-constitutional-amendment--reynolds-column/79605158/ The title is "Want to know why voters are so mad? Mia Love has the answer: Glenn Reynolds" Reynolds is a libertarian but not a hard one. He is pro gun, small government, pro elimination of spending excesses, a lot of other things the editors are not in sync with but they should be aware his blog represents a well thought out opposition to the progressive movement in the United States which the authors endorse. If the editors are sincere, they would include opinions similar to those expressed on Reynold's blog.

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