Hypocrisy on full dis­play

The Review - - OPINION - » Low­man Henry

Ide­o­log­i­cal con­sis­tency is a chal­lenge for all seg­ments of the po­lit­i­cal spec­trum, but the Left in par­tic­u­lar wal­lows in hypocrisy. While I could fill a book with ex­am­ples, given the lim­ited space avail­able here we’ll just talk about a fa­vorite part of the so­called “pro­gres­sive” agenda: Cam­paign fi­nance re­form.

There is nary a left-wing can­di­date for a fed­eral or state of­fice who does not wail loudy, and rend their gar­ments over what they call the cor­rupt­ing in­flu­ence of money in pol­i­tics. What they re­ally want is to place re­stric­tions on con­tri­bu­tions and cur­tail the free speech rights of donors and groups on the Right. They rail against con­ser­va­tive donors like the Koch brothers, while hap­pily rak­ing in the big bucks from left-wing bil­lion­aires like George Soros.

Pro­gres­sives de­cry what they see as the cor­rupt­ing fac­tor of money in po­lit­i­cal cam­paigns and tout pub­lic (ie: tax­payer) fund­ing as a way to sup­pos­edly cleanse the sys­tem from the evil in­flu­ence of pri­vate in­di­vid­u­als freely giv­ing to the can­di­dates of their choice.

While still mounted on their soap boxes call­ing for fur­ther re­stric­tions on in­di­vid­ual rights, the Left ag­gres­sively rakes in money from large donors. Not only are those do­na­tions be­ing used to in­flu­ence cam­paigns, but it is used to di­rectly in­flu­ence pub­lic pol­icy as sev­eral re­cent eye­brow rais­ing ex­am­ples prove.

It is pos­si­ble that sev­eral left­lean­ing groups ac­tu­ally crossed the line be­tween in­flu­ence and bribery in threat­ing Su­san Collins, a U.S. Se­na­tor from Maine by of­fer­ing to do­nate $1.3 mil­lion to any can­di­date who chal­lenges her un­less she votes against the con­fir­ma­tion of Judge Brett Ka­vanaugh to the Supreme Court.

Collins is one of two Repub­li­can U.S. Sen­a­tors who could pos­si­bly vote against the ap­point­ment, al­though she has sig­naled her sat­is­fac­tion with Ka­vanaugh. Thus did Main­ers for Ac­count­able Lead­er­ship and the Maine Peo­ple’s Al­liance is­sue the mil­lion dol­lar threat against Collins.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), an ac­com­plished con­sti­tu­tional lawyer, sug­gested the threat rises to the level of “po­ten­tial il­le­gal bribery.” Prom­i­nent Repub­li­can elec­tions at­tor­ney Cleta Mitchell told News­max the un­usual fundrais­ing ef­forts by the group may vi­o­late elec­tion laws be­cause it links of­fi­cial ac­tions to mone­tary re­wards. Collins her­self minced no words say­ing “I con­sider this quid pro quo fundrais­ing to be the equiv­a­lent of an at­tempt to bribe me.”

Mean­while, here in Penn­syl­va­nia, Gov. Tom Wolf, who has him­self de­cried the in­flu­ence of money in pol­i­tics, will be the ben­e­fi­ciary of $2.5 mil­lion in spend­ing on be­half of his re­elec­tion cam­paign by the proabor­tion group Planned Par­ent­hood. Wolf has also ac­cepted sub­stan­tial con­tri­bu­tions from a PAC funded by busi­ness in­ter­ests that sells med­i­ca­tions of ques­tion­able value through the state’s work­ers’ com­pen­sa­tion sys­tem. The gov­er­nor re­cently ve­toed legislation that would have ended that du­bi­ous prac­tice.

An­other ex­am­ple of the left pour­ing mas­sive amounts of money into in­flu­enc­ing pub­lic pol­icy is the Penn­syl­va­nia Supreme Court. In 2015 la­bor unions con­trib­uted mil­lions to the cam­paigns of three can­di­dates seek­ing seats on the high court.

Their can­di­dates pre­vailed and just re­cently the jus­tices re­paid the fa­vor by rul­ing an ex­ec­u­tive order by Gov­er­nor Wolf union­iz­ing home health care work­ers con­sti­tu­tional. Unions stand to rake in mil­lions as a re­sult of the forced union­iza­tion of such work­ers.

The Demo­cratic Supreme Court Jus­tices also im­pacted the po­lit­i­cal process ear­lier this year when they ruled Penn­syl­va­nia’s con­gres­sional dis­trict­ing plan un­con­sti­tu­tional, then hired a Cal­i­for­nia col­lege pro­fes­sor to re-ger­ry­man­der the lines which they put into ef­fect by ju­di­cial fiat. The new lines have been drawn to ad­van­tage Demo­cratic can­di­dates in the up­com­ing Novem­ber gen­eral elec­tion.

And so, the next time a left­wing can­di­date or elected of­fi­cial starts pon­tif­i­cat­ing on the evils of money in the po­lit­i­cal and pub­lic pol­icy pro­cesses, keep in mind their own seg­ment of the ide­o­log­i­cal spec­trum has un­apolo­get­i­cally used such money to fund crass po­lit­i­cal power plays in fur­ther­ance of their own agen­das.

Low­man S. Henry Colum­nist

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