Again: Exactly which elite, liberal institution does have to live up to the Left’s values?
posted at 9:21 pm on July 21, 2014 by Mary Katharine Ham
Liberal activists, politicians and institutions are never short of ideas for how they can use the government to force us to do as they say. The actions of the same activists, politicians, and institutions often reveal they may prefer the method of force because they need it themselves. Again and again, on the Left’s most prominent issues—the ones they use to make moral monsters of the rest of us—they fail to live up to their own standards.
Today, meet Mayor Bill deBlasio, the liberal light of New York City who was against money in politics until he needed a bunch of money to do politics. The new York Daily News rightly takes the mayor to task for talking the talk on dark money while benefiting from the generous donations of all manner of moneyed interests through and outside group that can collect unlimited amounts and not disclose its donors.
Say goodbye to the role public campaign financing has played in limiting the power of big-moneyed interests to sway mayoral elections. Mayor de Blasio is happily opening the door to donors with the fattest wallets in town…
Outside money, enabled by Supreme Court decisions, was crucial to toppling early frontrunner Christine Quinn and opening up a path for de Blasio. Those outside groups, some of whose big donors overlap with his supporters, can receive and spend nearly unlimited funds.
De Blasio continued that practice after his election win, with some of his closest allies and advisers founding UPKNYC, nominally to fight on behalf of his pledge to secure money from Albany for universal pre-K. That group accepted donations far beyond campaign limits and kept its contributors’ identities secret for months under lax reporting rules.
Now, de Blasio’s inner circle aims to make the group, rebranded as the Campaign for One New York, a perpetual presence, and he and they insist it will promote other issues close to the mayor’s heart without boosting his political fortunes.
The distinction is laughable. And revelations about how the group has already raised and spent money show it.
But hey, he’s in good company when it comes to committed campaign finance reform liberals destroying public financing systems of which they were formerly champions. Sky’s the limit, Bill!
This isn’t the first time deBlasio has been found crossways of his own rhetoric on this issue. In 2013, the passionate advocate for transparency and campaign finance reform allowed big donors with big business with the city to donate to him twice. First, they’d max out to his campaign, and then max out to retire his campaign debt from another campaign. Not illegal, but widely considered at least shady, and definitely not adherent to his own professed beliefs on the subject:
About two dozen individuals and unions that have given Mr. de Blasio’s 2013 campaign $4,950, the most allowed under New York City’s voluntary public financing system, have then turned around and given him more for his 2009 race, which has been in debt. In some instances, state records show, the donors, as well as their spouses, have given to the 2013 and 2009 campaigns on the same day.
The tactic is legal, and many candidates ask donors to defray debts shortly after an election. But it not typical to see debt-defraying donations so closely coinciding with the moment when donors max out to a current campaign, according to city campaign finance officials and watchdog groups.
“It stinks to high heaven,” said Meredith McGehee, policy director at the Campaign Legal Center, a nonpartisan organization in Washington, which analyzes campaign finance and ethics issues. “Clearly people are being solicited and are giving to these politicians in the hope that it will be noticed and they will get something — access and influence — in exchange for that donation.”
@BenHowe well first, because the kochs are in it for personal profit, not for improving the country.
— Oliver Willis (@owillis) July 21, 2014
In other news, the Washington Free Beacon discovered an OBGYN practice run by powerful liberal, Democratic physicians married to powerful, liberal Democratic politicians who all advocate for expanding Medicaid. But when it comes to their practice, they get very NIMBY about such patients.
John Foust has made his wife the face of his campaign for Virginia’s 10th District. Dr. Marilyn Jerome is an OBGYN, who practices alongside Attorney General Eric Holder’s wife at Foxhall.
Dr. Jerome claims that her husband is a better candidate because he will never get between a woman and her doctor. “As an OBGYN,” Foust attacks his Republican opponent Barbara Comstock for opposing Medicaid expansion. Failure to expand Medicaid to rural hospitals could be “devastating,” he says.
Dr. Jerome has also written in support of the Affordable Care Act on the Foxhall website, citing the Medicaid expansion as beneficial to low-income women.
“For over 30 years, John’s wife, Dr. Marilyn Jerome has practiced obstetrics and gynecology with Foxhall Ob-Gyn, a practice dedicated to providing compassionate reproductive healthcare for women in NW Washington, D.C., and the surrounding communities,” Foust’s campaign website reads.
It turns out, however, that not all women can receive “compassionate reproductive healthcare” from Foxhall. The practice doesn’t accept Medicaid.
That fact seemed noteworthy. I wrote a story for the Washington Free Beacon highlighting how, in public, Dr. Jerome is preaching the Affordable Care Act and praising the Medicaid expansion while, in her practice, she doesn’t accept it.
Read Elizabeth Harrington’s entire adventure in getting an appointment at this office for the elites. She heard morning appointments are reserved for “important people.” Was she able to convince these women of the people that she is indeed important?