Friday, August 08, 2008

Campaign Finance Reform Dying Slow Death in Northampton County

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.


That T.S. Eliot verse sums up the fate of campaign finance reform in Northampton County. It's dying, not with a bang but a whimper. Last night, County Council referred the reform package to Lamont McClure's "law and order" committee, where it will never see the light of day.

Charles Dertinger worried that some "little citizen group" might actually get together and challenge campaign finances, keeping a candidate in court instead of letting him campaign. "This is over the top," he concluded.

"Is this really a problem?" asked Lamont McClure, who snarked Philly's campaign finance law as a "scheme."

Wayne Grube wanted to kill it on the spot. "I ran five campaigns. Nobody had to look over my shoulder. ... I don't know anybody lately who's gone to jail. I don't want somebody running my campaign. I'll run it the way I want to."

My hope was to start off small, with online disclosure, and see how that went. But with Chairman Lamont running the show, this proposal is dead. His boss, who has dropped whopping $210,000 on the Guv', would like to see Mrs. Lamont appointed as a county judge. Lamont knows pay to play quite well, and it's little wonder he would characterize the much-0needed reform in Philly as a "scheme."

5 comments:

Tom Foolery said...

You forgot to mention that even Angle appeared to oppose the legislation, asking whether there is a problem and whether the County really needs to do it. I thought he was Mr. Open government?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Tom Foolery,

Angle is the person who actually pushed this a few years ago and again most recently. I believe he supports campaign finance reform. What he said last night might be interpreted to suggest he does not, but he has made plenty of statements on other occasions to demonstrate his belief that something is needed. He has always been concerned over how to do it. I still say we start with something very minor, like online disclosure.

Julian Stolz said...

Bernie,

Good seeing you last night. Sorry I was late and missed this little bit.

Online disclosure is good for a start and maybe finish.

Some of us depend on big donors who happen to be on the side of good government.

Locally, I come to mind.

Across the state Eichleberger and Folmer in the State Senate.

Not sure how much it should be pushed past that.

Julian Stolz said...

Bernie,

Good seeing you last night. Sorry I was late and missed this little bit.

Online disclosure is good for a start and maybe finish.

Some of us depend on big donors who happen to be on the side of good government.

Locally, I come to mind.

Across the state Eichleberger and Folmer in the State Senate.

Not sure how much it should be pushed past that.

Anonymous said...

Didn't you mean:

"Campaign Finance Reform Dying Slow Death in USA"

It will continue as long as we keep every phony boloney "incumbent" in office!