(Via Flickr.)

(Via Flickr.)

Well, it’s sweet of them to try (via USA Today):

More than 40 current and former corporate executives on Friday urged Congress to pass taxpayer funding for congressional campaigns — and stop asking busy business leaders for political cash.

The letters sent to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid were signed by executives with Ben & Jerry’s, Playboy Enterprises, Hasbro and others.

It’s part of a major push by watchdog groups to jump-start legislation that would bring public funding to congressional campaigns — and comes a day after the Supreme Court issued a sweeping decision that allows corporations and unions to spend unlimited amounts on ads to elect or defeat federal candidates. (The legislation has more than 120 sponsors in the House,  and six in the Senate, but has not moved beyond the level of committees. Public funding is already available in presidential campaigns.)

Give the good-government types some credit for finding a counter-intuitive hook (corporate execs opposed to the SCOTUS ruling) to sneak public financing into the news cycle.  But the last line above undercuts the whole premise… as most of you probably remember, the rise of online fundraising from individuals allowed Barack Obama to toss public financing aside as an antiquated, pre-Internet pipe dream (and had she won the nomination, Hillary Clinton would have done the same).

So, even in the unlikely event that voluntary public financing is instituted, it may find itself obsolete almost immediately as candidates try to beat the limits by pumping us for direct cash.  It’s just that instead of diluting the influence of special-interest money for a fleeting moment, we’ll be a ragtag army with only a small chance of competing — over and over again — on the unlevel playing field the Supreme Court has created.

And with economic times as good as they are, I’m sure you’ve got plenty of spare money to meet the challenge.

Swopa

Swopa

Swopa has been sharing prescient, if somewhat anal-retentive, analysis and garden-variety mockery with Internet readers since 1995 or so, when he began debunking the fantasies of Clinton-scandal aficionados on Usenet. He is currently esconced as the primary poster at Needlenose (www.needlenose.com).

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