I am BARRY HESS > Blog

How John McCain Reformed

If you’ve read my blog at all you know I’d like John McCain to have a chance for a legitimate run at President. I’ve stopped short of throwing support behind him. I’d just like to have an opportunity to see what he is all about.

This article sullies his name a bit for me. It does appear that he is using some underhanded practices to improve his chances at the office.

Meanwhile, he is determined to close other people's loopholes. His odious Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 already prohibits "nonpartisan and issue-oriented groups" from criticizing politicians close to an election, and it may lead to regulation of bloggers and online journalists. Unsatisfied by this impressive assault on the First Amendment, McCain wants to ban the so-called 527 groups that raised such a ruckus in the last presidential campaign. McCain describes the danger they pose this way: "Some billionaire decides he or she doesn't like you in office, and they decide to form a 527 and contribute $10 million or $20 million and dive-bomb into your state or district. That should alarm every federally elected member of Congress." Maybe so, but why should it alarm anyone else?

Don’t get me wrong, I hated - hated - the libelous campaign ads run by 527‘s in the last Presidential election. But what does getting rid of 527 groups achieve? If a millionaire wants to spend all his money on ads about a politician, they are going to find a way to get those ads printed and aired. How do we avoid limiting free speech for a select few while still protecting our country from being steered by the same select few?

Ultimately it seems McCain is not pushing this legislation for anyone but himself and the establishment. He knows the 527‘s are going to take him out when he tries to gain the nomination from a party whose moral majority does not find him adequate.

I’d like John McCain to have a chance for a legitimate run at President.