Campaign Finance

Schumer's Campaign-Finance Chutzpah

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Free speech hero Bradley A. Smith catches New York's cereal-killing senator with his pants in the usual place:

In a fund-raising letter sent last month to Wall Street and various corporate political action committees (PACs), he says, "We've been making terrific progress with our DISCLOSE Act, the legislation we've proposed that would rein in corporate spending on elections." Then the demand: "But while all that's going on in Washington, right now I need your help with my campaign."

The end of June, Schumer explained, would mark a deadline for Federal Election Commission reports—and thus his "last chance to dissuade a well-funded challenge from a corporate-backed candidate."

In other words, he was bragging about his hopes to ban independent political advocacy by the very people he was hitting up for donations—in order, he claimed, to intimidate out of the race any candidate whom the same sorts of people might back.

As it happens, Schumer is one of the Senate's biggest corporate fund-raisers. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, he's the No. 1 congressional recipient of contributions from individuals and PACs from the finance, insurance, real estate, securities, entertainment, business services and alcohol industries (among others). […]

So great is Schumer's chutzpah that he (along with Wisconsin's Russ Feingold and Vermont's Pat Leahy) is using discloseact.com—a Web site that's supposedly dedicated to backing the campaign "reform" bill—to build a fund-raising database.

Whole thing here; link via The Corner. Reason on Smith here, including this 2008 Reason.tv interview: