"Blagojevich has put pay-to-play on the agenda"


The Wall Street Journal reports that campaign finance reform advocates are busily making the most of the Rod Blagojevich scandal:

Good-government advocates have stepped up their calls for states and the federal government to crack down on money in politics, particularly so-called pay-to-play practices in which businesses give favors or gifts to politicians in the hope of getting some benefit in return. State legislatures across the U.S. are considering laws curbing campaign contributions, efforts that civil-liberties proponents say could threaten free speech.


"Blagojevich has put pay-to-play on the agenda" nationwide, says Craig Holman, a lobbyist for Public Citizen, a Washington nonprofit that advocates for campaign spending limits. Mr. Holman says he has received requests in the last two weeks to work on possible play-to-play legislation in Georgia, Montana and Pennsylvania.

More here.

Back in October, former Federal Election Commission chief Brad Smith spoke with Reason.tv about how campaign finance laws pervert politics and punish political speech. Click below to watch.

NEXT: Surgeon General-To-Be Votes No on Pot, Will Wear Epaulets

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Wow, Nick, who’s the hottie you’re autographing there?

  2. And where’s your jacket?

  3. What Blago did was ALREADY ILLEGAL. Goddammit I hate these people!

  4. We got the money out of politics with McCain-Feingold. Next article…

  5. FrBunny,

    Let me answer that for you. It’s not about illegality, it’s about temptation. Remove the temptation, and no one will break the law. Ever. For ever and ever, amen.

  6. What Blago did was ALREADY ILLEGAL. Goddammit I hate these people!

    Blago is like some mad evil genius in a movie that you end up rooting for in the end.

  7. What better time to trot RC’z Third Iron Law:

    Money and power will always find each other.

  8. Money and power will always find each other.

    And, as demonstrated above, hotties will always find both of these things.

  9. Being a politician looks fun.

  10. The photo, its subjects and this blog give new expression to the phrase “money is the mother’s milk of politics.”

  11. Paul- In other words, chain gvt. to its constitutional design and there is no need for campaign finance reform.

  12. Paul- In other words, chain gvt. to its constitutional design and there is no need for campaign finance reform.

    FrBunny likey. 🙂

  13. libertymike


  14. Episiarch

    Check out the opening scene from “Charlie Wilson’s War” and you’ll be yearing become a congress critter–it’s not just ‘fun’, it’s flat-out awesome.

  15. “yearing” should be “yearning”

  16. So where were all these Campaign Finance Reform Advocates when Obama bailed out of Federal Campaign Financing and out spent McCain by huge amounts?

    Were they all taking a vacation? Or do they only come out when they don’t like certain politicians?

  17. Or do they only come out when they don’t like certain politicians?

    I hate seeing the moment innocence dies. Looks like somebody is going to have to break the news to DJF about Santa Claus next.

  18. yawn, signing blondy’s boobs. pretty standard evening at any NYU bar I would say.

  19. In NY, it’s illegal for a private party to bribe a legislator, but not for a legislator to take the bribe. Oddly enough, that system hasn’t seemed to reduce corruption in this state.

  20. we need more campaign reforms to make the system fair.

  21. We need an election tsar. The candidates would be required to turn over all campaign contributions to him. He (or the tsarina) would then would take the pooled funds and redistribute them fairly amongst the candidates.

    With the right guy in charge, the system would work perfectly! And we would have the best government ever!11!

  22. Other Matt, Blago isn’t the evil one. He was just doing what they all do. The evil is all the other crooks, who play the same games, turning on him. Although Blago deserves his plight for running with the wolves, I definately want him to inflict as much damage as possible to his betrayers. Not to mention pictures like this make him hard to hate.

  23. two thumbs up on the blonde. i’d pay to play with her. what’s this article about, anyway?

  24. I wasn’t sure if the “autograph” picture was taken at Wrigley Field or the Cell, but then I noticed the girl has all her teeth.

  25. I’ve never wanted to be a governor, until now….

  26. “We need an election tsar.”

    Damn right! And since Blago was trying to sell a senate seat, we need to declare a war on the senate. Better yet, we’ll just declare a war on elections that the election czar can run. Uncle Sam will pony up $14 billion/year for the rest of eternity to fund the war on elections and nothing will get done, other than handing $14,000,000,000 over to KBR every year for overpriced toilet seats and MREs.

    By the standards of the war on drugs, that would be a resounding success.

  27. My election reform idea: any citizen may give any amount of money to any political candidate or group provided the receiver, in a timely fashion, reports it in a way that those who vote may be informed about who supports what. And since corporations and unions and non-profit entities aren’t citizens, they can’t give money. Groups and lobbies can stick to group efforts and lobbying, but they can’t do it with an open checkbook. I know that there are loopholes and problems, but it sure sounds better than the current ridiculous system.

  28. Jon, the system you propose works for me. I have a policy to never hire anyone who contributes to the Democratic party. A nice registry should save me some time.

  29. I got no problem with jon’s proposal. I might limit “any citizen” to “any registered voter”, though.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.