Monday, February 5, 2007

Public office: not for the public

From the Philadelphia Inquirer:
Just a day after a new poll showed surging support for the self-financed Philadelphia mayoral candidacy of millionaire Tom Knox, City Council appears poised to temporarily erase the city's limits on campaign donations.

A measure introduced today by Councilman Jim Kenney says that the existing contribution caps don't apply in any mayoral election where a candidate gives more than $2 million to his or her own campaign.

Because Knox has already given his campaign $5 million, Kenney's bill means Knox's rivals are free to raise as much money as they want. Kenney is a supporter of one of those rivals, U.S. Rep. Bob Brady.

I can understand wanting to make public office accessible to people who aren't millionaires, but that isn't what this legislation is about. It's about the modern day Tammany Hall in Philadelphia maintaining its grip of power. People always point to the corruption in national government, but I think the malfeasance is thicker the lower on the scale, like human sludge.

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