by Goldy, 01/31/2007, 4:55 PM

From the Give ‘Em Enough Rope and They’ll Hang Themselves Department, Darren McKinney of the American Tort Reform Association eloquently makes the conservative argument against public financing of elections:

The Jan. 24 letter to the editor from Nick Nyhart and Chellie Pingree (“Full public funding of elections proven to work in states, cities,”), respective presidents of Public Campaign and Common Cause, lament the lack of public financing for all American political campaigns: “A democracy should be about all of us and not just about those who can write huge checks.”

But if Nyhart and Pingree had their way, black helicopter conspiracy theorists off their meds, the dysfunctionally unemployed, irresponsible young men and women who have multiple babies out-of-wedlock, repeat felons and various other burdens to society without means might have as much to say about our nation’s political leadership and direction as folks who soberly get up every morning, lovingly raise their children, productively hold jobs, responsibly pay taxes, and occasionally write checks, huge or otherwise, to the political campaigns of their choosing.

[...] There’s a lot to be said [...] for having most of our big political decisions influenced in greater measure by those who have succeeded in life and thus have a better sense of what it’ll take for our nation to succeed in the future.

Well… um… you gotta respect his honesty.

Conservatives like to accuse liberals of being elitist, but as we continue to debate Governor Gregoire’s proposal to publicly finance state Supreme Court races, remember that at least some of the opposition stems from the concern that us average folk simply aren’t as qualified to participate in the democratic process as the wealthy. Uh-huh.

by Goldy, 01/31/2007, 3:33 PM

The HA community is just incredible. With 10 hours remaining on HA’s first “Pledge Week”, 106 readers have contributed $4,043.91, blowing past my $3,500 target. That’s a couple mortgage payments and then some, and certainly takes a bit of the edge off my short term financial situation. Thank you all for giving so… well… liberally.

But as much as I can use the money, the very fact that so many of you have been so generous is at least as gratifying as the cash itself. Opening your wallets not only tells me that you appreciate my work, but that you recognize the important role us bloggers play in transforming both the media and political landscapes. It is tremendously reassuring to know that I am not the only one who believes that we are in the midst of creating a more vibrant, informed and democratic democracy.

I look forward to working with all of you over the coming year, and promise to do the best I can to make your investment in me pay dividends far into the future.

Oh… and if you haven’t yet contributed to the pledge drive, it’s never too late. Your financial support is always appreciated, and will never be spent frivolously.

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by Goldy, 01/31/2007, 9:32 AM

From the What-The-Fuck? Department:

Raw cougar meat eaten by a deer hunter is the apparent source of Washington state’s first case of trichinosis since 2001, a health official says.

The hunter was hospitalized for a time after eating the uncooked meat in October but has since recovered, Klickitat County Health Director Kevin Barry told the Yakima Herald-Republic.

Dollars to doughnuts the raw meat this tragically macho hunter ate was the cougar’s heart. What a douchebag.

Anyway, whatever the circumstances, here’s a suggestion for the next time this guy bags a cougar:

COUGAR STEAKS

Serves: 2

1 pound cougar steak
Marinade
Flour
3 Tbsp. cooking oil
1 teaspoon bacon fat

Marinate steaks for 2-3 hours in your favorite meat marinate. Dry steaks and flour both sides of meat. Fry in skillet with oil and bacon fat over medium heat until cooked.

Yum.

by Goldy, 01/31/2007, 2:08 AM

96 readers have contributed $3,450 to HA’s pledge drive… just $50 shy of my $3,500 target with one day remaining. At this point I’m pretty sure we’re going to reach our goal.

I thank you all for your incredible generosity.

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UPDATE:
Target reached! I’ll post a full accounting later today, but in the mean time, please feel free to take me well past my goal. Thanks!

by Will, 01/30/2007, 5:09 PM

I’ll be at tonight’s Drinking Liberally at the Montlake Ale House, and I’ll be staying late because I have no radio show to go home to. If you are going to DL, read my question and think about it, and then we’ll argue about it tonight.

Question: Is universal healthcare the same as single-payer healthcare to you? That is, do those two mean the same things to you? Also, would you accept a healthcare compromise that used “conservative” means (ie, the free market, etc) to reach “liberal” ends (affordable, good quality healthcare for every American)?

Think about it, and I’ll see you tonight @ 8pm.

***UPDATE***

Good answers, everybody! Although the turnout was a bit low at tonight’s DL, there were some good answers to the question. Even the right-wing trolls got in on the act. I especially like this answer:

And by the way… nobody is entitled to anything in this world. Nothing. Including health care.

If you want good health care, get off your ass and earn it. It really is that fucking simple…

Unfortunately, lots of the folks without insurance are full time workers, not the “lazy poor”:

Today over 70 percent of the 41 million uninsured Americans come from families where there is at least one full-time worker.

But good try, folks!

by Goldy, 01/30/2007, 2:33 PM

The Seattle chapter of Drinking Liberally meets tonight (and every Tuesday), 8PM at the Montlake Ale House, 2307 24th Avenue E.

I’m filling in for Frank Shiers on 710-KIRO tonight from 9PM to 1AM, so I’ll just be stopping by the Ale House on my way to the studio, but I’ll be with you in spirit if not in spirits.

Not in Seattle? The Tri-Cities chapter of Drinking Liberally will be celebrating its one-year aniversary tonight, and a full listing of Washington’s eleven Drinking Liberally chapters is available here.

by Goldy, 01/30/2007, 9:38 AM

The Spokesman Review’s Rich Roesler reports that Gov. Chris Gregoire is likely to sign a proposed gaming compact with the Spokane tribe that could lead to a massive expansion of gambling in Washington state.

“I’m delighted they finally did come to the table,” said Gregoire, who as attorney general once sued the tribe for offering gambling without a state compact. “They have stayed the course and negotiated in good faith.”

She spoke at her weekly news conference with reporters at the capitol.

Asked if she would sign the compact as it is now, Gregoire responded “I haven’t thoroughly reviewed it, every jot and tittle of it, but the parameters that I’ve heard about, yes I would.”

I’m not so sure what the governor is delighted about. The proposed compact ups the ante for tribal gaming, giving the Spokanes 4,700 cash-fed slot machines and high-stakes betting. Under federal law the other tribes have the right to reopen their compacts to demand equal terms, and if history is any guide, they will.

The compact is great for the Spokanes but it’s a bad deal for Washington state, which is already in the midst of a gambling epidemic. And my sense is that this compact is bad politics for Gov. Gregoire and her fellow Democrats. Just two years ago voters overwhelmingly rejected Tim Eyman’s I-892, which would have legalized slot machines statewide. (Spokane County voters rejected the measure by an even larger margin.) And Republicans are poised to make hay with the issue.

Speaking of which, I’ll be filling in for Frank Shiers tonight on 710-KIRO from 9PM to 1AM, and Rep. Bruce Chandler (R-Granger), the ranking Republican on the House State Government and Tribal Affairs Committee will be joining me at 9:05 to discuss the proposed Spokane compact. Um… he’s opposed.

by Goldy, 01/30/2007, 12:39 AM

86 readers have contributed over $2,900 to HA’s pledge drive, leaving us $600 shy of our $3,500 goal with only two days remaining. After a quick start, it now looks like we might come down to the wire.

Of course, I wouldn’t be asking for your financial support if I didn’t need the money, but the very fact that so many of you are willing to put up your hard earned cash to help me continue my work at HA is at least as gratifying as the money itself. If you are a regular reader, even a small donation is appreciated, so please help me reach my goal.

Thanks.

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by Goldy, 01/29/2007, 9:59 PM

While I was eulogizing a horse (sorta) Joel Connelly was remembering Rev. Robert Drinan, the congressman who introduced the first House impeachment resolution against President Richard Nixon back in 1973.

The Rev. Robert Drinan, 86, a Jesuit priest, spent virtually his entire adult life teaching law at Boston College and Georgetown University, and making law for 10 years as a congressman from Massachusetts.

As a member of the House Judiciary Committee, Drinan introduced a 1973 resolution to impeach Nixon based on the secret (and illegal) bombing of Cambodia. The panel ultimately picked broader grounds, chiefly abuse of power, to vote overwhelmingly in the summer of 1974 to impeach the 37th president.

Nixon resigned soon after the Judiciary Committee votes. He quit after the Supreme Court-ordered release of a “smoking gun” showing the president conspiring to conceal origins of the Watergate break-in.

Republican Senate leaders, chiefly Sens. Hugh Scott and Barry Goldwater, told Nixon that he could count on no more than 15-20 Senate votes against conviction and removal from office.

The “mad monk,” as Drinan called himself, served five terms in the House, retiring in 1981 after an order from the Vatican forbade priests from serving in elective office.

In remembering Drinan’s service to our nation it is also important to remember that Nixon’s resignation was not simply a matter of Watergate. It was the bombing of Cambodia without congressional authorization that started the ball rolling. President Bush should keep that in mind as he continues his efforts to provoke a confrontation with Iran.

by Goldy, 01/29/2007, 1:38 PM

I suppose it is not surprising that the death of a horse is front page news when the horse in question is Barbaro, the 2006 Kentucky Derby winner who only a few weeks later at the Preakness suffered a catastrophic leg injury on national television. Horses are often immediately euthanized at the race track after suffering injuries like that, but Barbaro was only reluctantly put down today, and only after months of extraordinary veterinary care and multiple setbacks.

But more extraordinary than the efforts to save Barbaro — his owners are Rockefeller heirs after all, and his sperm was worth millions — was the outpouring of support from thousands of people, directed towards, well… a horse.

Almost immediately, fruit baskets filled with green apples and carrots, elaborate flower arrangements and get-well cards arrived by the truckload at the veterinary hospital. Online message boards were swamped with Barbaro news, and became a virtual waiting room.

I suppose the crusty, cynical response would be to berate the American people for lavishing so much love and affection on a freakishly talented $30 million race horse, at the same time our nation is busy spending its blood and treasure on a brutal, dehumanizing war in Iraq. During the months of Barbaro’s failed rehabilitation, how many Iraqi civilians and US soldiers lost their lives or limbs? How many children lost their parents? How many parents lost a son or a daughter?

For that matter, how many children slowly starved to death in Darfur while distraught animal lovers sent fruit baskets to a horse?

Yup, that would be the cynical response. And it is so overwhelmingly tempting to go there.

But I see another side to this seemingly misprioritized compassion, and while it may not paint our species in the most flattering light, it does portray a human quirk that I find oddly endearing. I’m talking of course about our innate ability to distract ourselves from the horrors of everyday life, and to find beauty in a world filled with ugliness… much of our own making.

It’s almost charming.

In The Leviathan Thomas Hobbes famously describes the condition of war as one of “every man against every man,” a condition in which life is “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.” This is the condition in which our species surely evolved, a harsh existence in which our ancestors found themselves not only in dire competition with other species, but with each other. This the condition that is so deeply ingrained in our species that one is tempted to define humanity by the inhumanity we wreak on our fellow man.

And yet us humans are equally capable of incredible displays of empathy and compassion. We can be filled with a love so immense and ungainly that following our heart is like squeezing a water balloon: it either uncontrollably oozes out between our fingers in every direction — or suddenly and irreversibly bursts.

We are an odd species, that can love animals and eat them at the same time. Hypocritical? Sure. But it also means that when it comes to us humans, anything is possible.

While thousands of Americans weep at the news of Barbaro’s death, countless Iraqis will die unnoticed from a war of our own making. But rather than view this cynically, I choose to view it as a sign of our humanity, and as a sign of hope. For if we can grieve for horse, surely we can learn to grieve for our fellow man.

by Goldy, 01/29/2007, 9:47 AM

Contributions slowed down over the weekend but we’re still on target. 79 readers have now contributed almost $2,700 to HA’s pledge drive, bringing us three-quarters of the way towards our $3,500 goal with three days remaining. Thank you for giving liberally.

Also, John Barelli, a regular in the comment threads, was the first local businessman to take me up on my suggestion to advertise here on HA. That “mini” ad for Tides Real Estate out in Gig Harbor costs only $25/week, or $40/month with a three-month frequency discount. If an ad like that only generates one good lead every few months, it more than pays for the cost.

Advertising on HA and other local blogs is a great way to show that you support the progressive community while getting your message out to a very focused audience of like-minded customers. And patronizing the local businesses that advertise here is a great way to “buy blue” and help build the local progressive infrastructure. Be sure to tell them that you saw their ad on HA.

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by Will, 01/28/2007, 11:16 PM

I’m watching C-Span right now. They’re showing the recent “March for Life” on the Capitol Mall. Republican congressman after Republican congressman are declaring that the “pro-life” movement is gaining ground.

How can this be true?

South Dakota recently rejected an abortion ban. If you can’t pass an abortion ban in a conservative state, where can you? South Dakota doesn’t even have a full-time clinic, so what gives?

Maybe the anti-abortion movement will succeed somewhere else. Mississippi is basically without an abortion clinic. Perhaps Alabama should be next. Or South Carolina. When the rubber hits the road, lots of conservative are unable to ban abortion. Some ideas are great in theory, but pictures of doctors being put in jail (and women too, right?) isn’t something the GOP wants in the nightly news.

All those GOP congressfolk, elected to oppose abortion, must feel guilty. They promise a lot for the anti-abortion folks, but they deliver little. Vote for “pro-life” laws, receive a capital gains tax cut, as Thomas Frank said in his famous book.

As a Democrat, I hope these folks don’t come to their senses. As a someone who honors dignity, I hope the “pro-life” movement realizes that it has been taken advantage of for far too long.

by Goldy, 01/28/2007, 6:56 PM

Join me tonight on “The David Goldstein Show” from 7PM to 10PM on Newsradio 710-KIRO. I like to go with the flow, so things could change, but here’s what I have lined up for tonight’s show:

7PM: TBA

8PM: Will a rebuilt Viaduct sink the Marshall Islands? And should we care? The Marshall Islands stand an average 7-feet above sea level, and risk being submerged by global warming. King County Executive Ron Sims suggested this week that any replacement alternative for the Alaska Way Viaduct should consider the impact of carbon emissions. Can we afford to? Can we afford not to?

9PM: Is the initiative process perfect? You’d think so, hearing professional initiative sponsor Tim Eyman defend the current system as inviolate, but over thirty legislators have already signed on to a bill banning pay-per-signature signature gathering. Fellow blogger Andrew Villeneuve was at the hearing Friday morning and joins me in the studio for a first hand report. And TJ from Loaded Orygun will call in to tell us how a similar law is working down in Oregon.

Tune in tonight (or listen to the live stream) and give me a call: 1-877-710-KIRO (5476).

by Goldy, 01/28/2007, 5:57 PM

The Republic of the Marshall Islands is a nation consisting of twenty-nine atolls and five isolated islands, about 69-square miles of land scattered over 3/4 million square miles of the western Pacific. Settled by Micronesians about three thousand years ago, the inhabitants have managed to survive German, Japanese and U.S. protectorates, the latter during which their “protectors” detonated 67 nuclear weapons, contaminating a number of atolls with nuclear fallout.

Having survived all that, sometime over the next century or so, the Marshall Islands may disappear completely, swamped by rising sea levels.

Marshall Islands President Kessai Note was in Seattle this week to sign a Statement of Shared Action with King County Executive Ron Sims, the first such agreement signed between his nation and a U.S. municipal government. The agreement calls for sharing scientific and technical expertise, coordinating activities to advise international and U.S. policy makers, and developing a “shared international network of action to help slow, stop and reverse the growth of greenhouse gas pollution.” It also recognizes shared interest in mitigating the impact of global warming.

But the impact on King County is nothing compared to projected impact on the Marshallese.

majuro-airport.jpg
Majuro Airport, Marshall Islands

The Marshall Islands stand an average 7-feet above sea level, with the highest point on the highest island rising to only 20-feet. In describing the Marshallese relationship to the land President Note stated that “even the loss of a few acres is devastating to every aspect of life.” Even if sea levels rise only a few feet, entire atolls will disappear or become uninhabitable. The 20-foot sea level rise predicted by a partial melting of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets would completely inundate the nation.

The Marshallese will be amongst the world’s first global warming refugees.

What does any of this have to do with King County?

At the press conference on Friday President Note emphasized that the story of climate change in the Marshall Islands is a story of how both local actions and local inaction has global consequences, while Sims strayed from his prepared text to talk for a moment about the Alaska Way Viaduct. Absent from our tunnel vs rebuild debate, Sims said, has been a discussion of the impact on carbon emissions, the primary cause of global warming. Both of our political establishment’s preferred alternatives are ones that increase traffic capacity. But if we were really interested in reducing carbon emissions — if we were really interested in acting globally — then we should at least be studying how we might meet our region’s transportation needs while reducing capacity and pushing more trips into public transit.

But we don’t have these debates in the U.S., not even in liberal, “metro-natural” Seattle.

Meanwhile, as we find it too difficult to even imagine getting out of our cars once and while, an entire island nation with a three-thousand-year-old culture is about to slip beneath the seas, largely due to our own environmental pollution.

As President Note said, local inaction has global consequences.

by Goldy, 01/28/2007, 12:36 PM

There’s a wonkish yet curiously fascinating AP story in the Seattle Times today about an FCC ruling that limits local government authority and oversight in negotiating cable TV franchises. Critics complain that FCC chairman Kevin Martin deliberately misrepresented facts while pushing through the new rules, which the Republican dominated commission passed on a party-line vote.

Supporters of the policy change — giant phone companies like AT&T and Verizon — provided dozens of examples of local governments making unreasonable demands on new competitors. And Martin repeatedly cited these claims without making any effort at independent verification.

It was one of those claims that raised the ire of David L. Smith, the city attorney in Tampa, Fla. He said the FCC chairman, Kevin Martin, made a “blatantly inaccurate allegation” about Tampa’s conduct during franchise negotiations with Verizon Communications Inc.

Martin was quizzing an agency employee during a commission meeting before casting his vote when he asked: “Is Verizon still required to film the tutoring classes for the math classes in Tampa, Florida in order to get a franchise?”

Rosemary Harold, a deputy chief in the FCC’s Media Bureau, answered, “Yes, Mr. Chairman.”

In fact, Tampa never imposed such a requirement. Tampa gave Verizon a $13 million “needs assessment,” required by law to obtain contributions for equipment used in public access production. The assessment may have included video cameras for filming math classes, but nothing like this was ever mentioned in the franchise agreement. Tampa’s existing cable franchise had already committed $6.5 million towards the needs assessment, and under Florida law a competitor would have been required to match that amount to obtain a franchise.

So how did such a “blatantly inaccurate allegation” get read into the public record by the chairman of the FCC himself?

The Tampa allegation outlined by Martin first appeared in a Wall Street Journal story in October 2005 that painted a sympathetic portrait of Verizon’s travails in gaining franchises.

The account said Verizon, seeking permission to offer TV service in Tampa, was presented with “a $13 million wish list” of items it needed, including “video cameras to film a math-tutoring program for kids.”

The story stated that “Verizon lawyers saw it as a demand.”

Uh-huh. Martin read it in the Wall Street Journal — a respectable newspaper — and that was good enough for him.

I have friends in the newspaper biz, journalists who I truly respect, who I think it is fair to say look down a bit at what me and my fellow bloggers and advocacy journalists do. They insist that it is their job to objectively report the story, not become a part of it. But of course, that’s impossible.

Even if the WSJ reporter’s mischaracterization was an honest mistake (as opposed to being the result of intentional or unintentional bias,) the very act of reporting it influenced public policy. Despite a growing level of public cynicism, newspapers are still generally presumed to be credible sources of objective information, and thus not only shape public opinion, but routinely inform lawmakers as they shape public policy. This is just one of innumerable instances where getting the story wrong actually helped change the story.

Lacking the resources or journalistic training (or the desire for that matter) to do much original reporting myself, much of what I engage in as a blogger is media criticism. In the process I have come to know and like many of the journalists I cover, and so it bothers me more than a little bit to learn that they so often take personal offense at they way I critique their reporting and their publications. It wouldn’t surprise me if at this point in the post, some of my friends in the press angrily mutter something about how us bloggers have a track record that is certainly no better, if not considerably worse, than theirs. Hmm. I don’t know if that’s true, but it is entirely beside the point.

As a blogger, I’m not generally considered to be a credible source. As a newspaper reporter, you are.

When FCC Chair Martin wanted to authenticate the veracity of an anecdote, he cited the WSJ. On the other hand, when former FEMA director Mike Brown and his attorney wanted to discredit the Arabian Horse Association story, they cited the fact that it originated on (gasp) a blog.

So to my friends in the press who question who the hell I am to criticize them, I freely acknowledge that yeah, well, we all make mistakes. But the point is, yours matter more than mine.

(At least for now.)

by Goldy, 01/28/2007, 12:19 AM

With 71 readers contributing almost $2,400, we’re now over two-thirds of the way towards my $3,500 goal. Thank you all for your generosity.

Of course, if you don’t want to just give me money, you can always support HA by purchasing an ad via BlogAds. Advertising on HA is a great way to reach a targeted local audience at an affordable price, while demonstrating your support for emerging progressive media. Ads start at only $15/week. Click here to learn more.

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by Goldy, 01/27/2007, 7:07 PM

It’s double the fun on the AM dial, as “The David Goldstein Show” officially expands to two nights a week! Join me tonight from 7PM to 10PM on Newsradio 710-KIRO. I like to go with the flow, so things could change, but here’s what I have lined up for tonight’s show:

7PM: Did the state GOP really elect a pulled-pork sandwich as party chair? No, of course not. They elected former state Senator and political satirist Luke Esser to replace Diane Tebelius, while the Dems reelected Dwight Pelz. Joining me for a little inside politics is The Stranger’s Josh Feit, who had a chance to chat with the victorious sandwich Esser.

8PM: Did you march for peace? And if not, why? I was at the march in Seattle today and ran into fellow bloggers Lynn Allen and Geov Parrish. They’ll join me in the studio to talk about the war and the anti-war movement.

9PM: TBA

Tune in tonight (or listen to the live stream) and give me a call: 1-877-710-KIRO (5476).

by Will, 01/27/2007, 6:31 PM

In what can only be called the upset political victory of the year, Diane Tebelius was defeated in a vote of 71-43 for the position of party chair. The winner? A pulled-pork sandwich from Seattle area restaurant Longhorn Barbeque.

While the biggest challenge to Tebelius was thought to come from former state Senator Luke Esser, the sandwich from Seattle was able to convince wavering delegates that was time for a different form of leadership.

“I don’t care if he’s from Seattle, that sandwich has what it takes,” said Earl Murtt from Tonasket.

“The GOP got whomped last year. I figure a hamburger bun stuffed with delicious meat could get out the vote better than (Tebelius and Esser),” said Fay Wingenhauser from Liberty Lake.

Some aren’t excited that the Washington State Republican Party will be lead by an entrée. Former chair Chris Vance said, “I know a sandwich sounds good, but will it be able to appeal to swing voters in the suburbs?” State Senator Pam Roach had questions too. “I’ll do what I can to work with the sandwich, but as we all know, savory meats have a well-known liberal bias. Who’s hungry for that? Certainly not me”

Not every Republican insider was as skeptical. Radio host (and 2000 candidate for governor) John Carlson noted, “When I ran for governor, I was told- repeatedly, by great numbers of people- than a potted plant had a better chance to unseat Gov. Gary Locke. While a pulled-pork sandwich doesn’t have the media skills of a ficus, I’m excited to see what the little guy can do.”

Visit Horse’s Ass in the next several days for an exclusive interview with the pulled-pork sandwich.

For other updates on the pulled-pork sandwich, visit Longhorn Barbeque.

by Goldy, 01/27/2007, 10:10 AM

You’d think that in the wake of the Jack Abramoff scandal Sen. John McCain’s commitment to campaign finance reform would be stronger than ever. Well, not exactly, according to former TNT correspondent Ken Vogel, now writing for the Capitol Hill startup The Politico, who reports that McCain has been vacillating on his signature issue as he tries to thread the political needle of his presidential campaign.

Last session McCain co-sponsored a bill cracking down on 527 groups, but this session seemed to be backing away from it. Then all of a sudden, he’s sponsoring it again. And that’s not his only wavering.

This session, however, McCain has declined to support two other campaign finance measures that reformers consider priorities: one would expand the public financing system for presidential elections, and another would require grassroots organizations to disclose their funding and expenditures.

His lack of support for both worried campaign finance reformers who have considered him a champion of their cause.

McCain “has been supporting reform efforts for so long and has taken on the whole world when it comes to reform drives in Congress, so I’m convinced he truly believes in it,” said Craig Holman, a lobbyist on campaign finance for Public Citizen.

“But it’s very unfortunate that when it comes around to his presidential bid he’s suddenly backing off, especially at such a critical moment. This is the year in which we’re actually going to get some sweeping lobbying and ethics reform legislation, and he’s not working with us on that,” Holman said, adding that McCain’s staff over the last few months had become unresponsive to entreaties to support campaign finance reforms.

[...] One campaign finance reformer who has supported McCain’s campaign finance efforts said his recent equivocation should be understood in the context of the campaign. The people whose support McCain needs don’t count campaign finance as among their top issues, the reformer said, adding “some of the people hate McCain-Feingold and he’s not going to run from it. I don’t think he could, but he won’t try to.”

“There’s going to be ongoing tension between his interest in campaign finance reform and the political reality that some of the people he’s trying to reach are not interested in that issue.”

Well, so much for the Straight Talk Express.

by Goldy, 01/26/2007, 10:57 PM

61 readers have now given over $2,000 during the first two days of the first annual HA Pledge Week, bringing me more than halfway towards my $3,500 goal with five days remaining. That’s a very encouraging start, and I thank you all for your generosity.

It is particularly gratifying to see so much grassroots support, but I have noticed that my list of contributors does not yet include a single elected official, potential candidate or representative of a high-profile progressive organization. Hmm. These are of course the people who have the most to lose should I some day be forced to give up blogging. You’d think they’d want to help me sustain and expand my efforts.

I suppose one explanation might be that these public figures want to avoid the appearance of impropriety. For example, if I were to write something good about them — or nasty about their opponent — it might not look so good for it to be known that they had previously given me money.

Well, first of all, nobody needs to know. This is not a charitable contribution, and HA is no PAC. I am not required by law to reveal my donors, and I have no intention of doing so. Anybody who fears some repercussion from contributing to HA may rest at ease. I will not reveal your identity.

In fact, I don’t even need to know who you are. I’ve been encouraging donors to give through PayPal because there are no preset contribution limits, but you may completely shield your identity from me by making a donation via the Amazon Honor System. Personally, I think I’m at least as capable as the Seattle Times of maintaining editorial independence from my advertisers and subscribers/donors, but if you want to avoid even the possibility of influencing my future coverage, you can always give anonymously.

So there you have it. No ethical quandaries. No more excuses. If you think HA is worthy of support, then please give what you can today.

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