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Cagle Post: “Fair Elections” Brought to You by Barbra Streisand and Alec Baldwin

Liberal Democrats, including President Barack Obama and Senators Dick Durbin and Charles Schumer, have long railed against the corruptive influence of money in politics. This is a bit ironic considering what prolific fundraisers they have been. President Obama raised $750 million for his 2008 campaign and is expected to raise $1 billion for his re-election (his wealthy and well connected bundlers have been asked to raise at least $350,000 each). Senator Schumer ended 2010 with over $10 million dollars in his campaign war chest; Senator Durbin only $2.25 million.

Despite benefitting from these exorbitant fundraising sums, liberal politicians continue to insist that money corrupts the political process. In order to prevent this kind of corruption, these politicians have repeatedly introduced legislation to “level the playing field” by allowing the government to determine whose speech should be protected.

Last year’s failed DISCLOSE Act is perhaps the boldest attempt in recent history to restrict our First Amendment rights. This bizarre piece of legislation, cobbled together by Senator Schumer with the aid of special interest lobbyists, thankfully failed to become law, despite the overwhelming support of President Obama and the rest of the liberal establishment.

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This year, Senator Durbin seeks to own the campaign finance “reform” mantle. In his effort to address the horrors of “big donor, special interest funded elections” he has re-introduced the Fair Elections Now Act, a bill he has been pushing since 2007. It failed to advance last year despite the support of such campaign finance luminaries as Barbra Streisand.

This year, Senator Durbin has again trotted out his proposal, bearing the same misleading name, but sought to up his Hollywood star power by enlisting the support of Alec Baldwin. Perhaps he hopes for more success with the aid of a better pitchman, or perhaps Mr. Baldwin’s razzle-dazzle was enlisted to divert the public’s attention from the nation’s high unemployment rate to the liberal pet project of campaign finance “reform.”

Read the full op-ed here

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