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January 12, 2012

Romney On Campaign Finance Reform, 2002: Let's Force Candidates To Donate Part Of Their Donors' Free-Expression Contributions To Other Candidates

Now that we've got the Romney folks singing hymnals about the leveraged buy-outs being a cherished part of our Constitution, I'm sure we'll be hearing this proposed assault on free political expression likewise savaged.

2002: Mitt Romney’s plan to fund the state’s Clean Elections public financing program was to take 10% of the contributions made to privately financed candidates. As Romney spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom said at the time, “Under the plan, clean elections candidates would be entitled to 10 percent of the campaign funds of candidates who are running under standard campaign rules. The 10 percent would not entirely pay for clean elections campaigns but would supplement public funding.” (Associated Press, 9/8/2002. Accessed via Lexis-Nexis.)

There is an upside, though: He apparently abandoned that quickly. Big surprise.


1994: Mitt Romney spoke about the need to reduce the influence of money in our elections and said he would ban political action committees (PACs). “These kinds of associations between money and politics are in my view wrong and for that reason I would like to have campaign spending limits and to say we are not going to spend more than in certain campaigns... because otherwise I think you have money playing far too important a role,” he said.

Versus now:

July 5, 2011. On the support from outside groups, Romney campaign spokesperson Andrea Saul said, "We are pleased that independent groups will be active in fighting this entrenched power so the country can get back to work.”

As Baseball Crank wrote:

Every time I try to talk myself into thinking we can live with him, I run into this problem. It's one that particularly bedeviled Republicans during the Nixon years - many partisan Republicans loved Nixon because he made the right enemies and fought them without cease or mercy, but the man's actual policies compromised so many of our principles that the party was crippled in the process even before Watergate. We can stand for Romney, but we'll find soon enough that that's all we stand for.

We had the same problem with McCain. There was no such thing as a "McCainism" to go with McCain. There was only a belief in McCain's personal integrity -- that's all he ever talked about. The only political cause he firmly believed in seemed to be that he was personally incorruptible.

That's not a general politics people can get behind.

Because Romney has, almost literally, argued passionately on both sides of every issue, he also does not stand for any politics we could call "Romneyism." He only stands for his own purported competence, evidenced, he says, by an arcane area of financial business with little discernible relationship to government.

So when we pick Romney, we will stand or fall on Romney himself, not "Romney's ideas" (quick, name some), but Romney himself, personally.

I hope you're very satisfied that Romney is that kind of stand-out person who can win on a platform of little but himself.

Mitt Romney

He's everywhere you want him to be.

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posted by Ace at 04:33 PM

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