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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Good PACs, bad PACs

Shira Shoenberg has lots of Congressional political fodder in her Capital Beat column today in the Concord Monitor. She also called us for comment on Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter's decision to accept Political Action Committee donations from businesses or corporations, but willingly takes money from Union PACs. Such a distinction has no legal standing. There is no difference under the law between one PAC and another.

In denying herself access to corporate money, Shea-Porter actually gave herself a higher standard to live up to than some. Donations from all PACs are legal, and money from both kinds of PACs are viewed in the same way under the law.

Grant Bosse, a former Republican U.S. House candidate who now works for the Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy put it this way: "She's willing to say she's taking money from unions, she's not willing to say she's taking money from employers."
In the past, federal candidates like John Ruah in 1992 and Jim Steiner last year made a point of refusing all PAC donations, in order to appear free from the influence of big moneyed interests.

The Congresswoman's stance seems to indicate that she thinks businesses contributing to Congressional candidates is improper, but labor unions doing so is just fine. I'm sure some voters agree with that. I just don't agree that some special interests are more special than others.

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