Doubting Donors

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There's a new bonus in store for high-dollar donors to presidential campaigns: suspicion. Loath to unearth another Norman Hsu on their donor rolls, campaigns are gearing up efforts to research their donors and evaluate their motives for giving. This article by Sam Youngman in The Hill hints at the ridiculous circle of desperate candidates begging for cash, digging up dirt on their donors, and then returning any tainted money -- leaving them all the more desperate for cash.

I think Meredith McGehee of the Campaign Legal Center sums it up:


McGehee said the intensified efforts to identify potentially troublesome donors is “daunting,” particularly as “at the same time, you’re trying to raise more money.”

“At some point, you’re kind of chasing your own tail,” she said.

Moreover, devoting even more time to seeking out the bad apples in a huge barrel justs sucks more campaign time and resources into fundraising and away from more substantive contact with voters. Let's add the "all contributions guilty until proven innocent" procedure to the long list of reasons to chuck the current system of campaign financing and move towards public financing.