Tuesday, June 12, 2007

NRCC Extravaganza Warplans Revealed

The New York Times political blog has gotten their hands on the packet from Roy Blunt and Joe Wilson [PDF] to all the other Republican members of Congress detailing the fundraising goals for this years NRCC Presidents Dinner. It really is an eye opener in my humble opinion.

The NRCC war plans call for the poor Republican Congressional members to call various big wig money donors and corporations like common money grubbing telemarketers. The Congressmembers are given a list of people to call and talking points to try to reach the financial goals set for them by the NRCC. The memo is very helpful, providing a list of past big money contributors to the NRCC, and listing all the Republican house members with their committee assignments and fundraising goals.

Odd... looking through the talking points, we see that the Republicans have heard the message of the American voters as expressed last November, but performing a search for the word Iraq in the document will not offer one instance in which that word is used. Not one. Yet we are to believe that the Republicans heard the message of the voter last year? Please! If I were considering a donation and my local Republican toady were foolish enough to ring me up and start blabbing about having heard the voters, my first question would be what is the plan to get out of Iraq.

We learn in the talking points that President Bush is committed to helping the Republican effort at winning future elections, but oddly enough he intends to do this by actually going to their dinner rather than disappearing for the evening! I wonder how many Republicans up for re-election in the coming cycle will conveniently skip the opportunity to mug it up with the President in front of the cameras? If the example provided by last years midterm election is any indication, where-in most Republican candidates avoided the President as if he were infected with e bola, the answer is not many.

But then again there is always lower taxes. You just can not have a list of Republican talking points without hammering on lower taxes. Odd though... searching for the word deficit or budget in the memo also offer no hits. Here is the distillation of Republican policy in regards to the budget. We can have our children's cake, and eat it too.

About 1/3 of the way through the memo is a massive list of donors... and as can be expected some familiar names are there. Halliburton, R.J. Reynolds, Northrup, Clear Channel and so on. Every now and then there is a name that made me wonder "what the hay?" For instance, Major League Baseball... I would be very interested in seeing how all of these big monied corporations legislative interests fared when the Republicans held unchecked power in Washington D.C.

To be honest though, I don't believe this is a Republican problem. Most likely the list kept by Democrats for their dinners carries many of the same names. This is a problem through out our government and will remain a problem until we are able to force the public financing of campaigns into law.

I think we are far far removed from any public financing of campaigns, and one of the major reasons is that these same Congressmembers feed at the trough of the corporations in their personal finances. How many of the Congressmembers listed in this memo will retire from their Congressional office straight to an office in some board room, making millions and lobbying for their cause?

The next hurdle I see to public financing of elections is the bias of the mass media to the proposal, again for prurient reasons. The media accrues billions of dollars in revenue every election cycle, and that would dry to a trickle if public financing were passed. Beyond that incentive, the media (beyond the intertubes) is owned by corporations, many of which can be found on the list in that memo.

There is one thing going for us in getting public financing passed. These Congress critters can't be happy when they are called to the telephone bank to fill their quota for the NRCC or the DLCC. They might get rich eventually, but they must feel a bit dirty getting there.

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