Monday, May 02, 2005

Campaign Finance Reform RIP

House Bill 1348 which would have fixed the worst excesses of the 2002 campaign officially died in committee today, despite having at its high-water mark 93 co-sponsors drawn from both Republicans and Democrats. This process was a sorry reflection on the state of politics in Texas today. It also demonstrates how difficult it will be to free state government from the grip of special interests.

This is from Campaigns for People and details how those who voted against the bill in committee profited from the same sleazy campaign practices HB 1348 would have outlawed:

Chairwoman Mary Denny benefited from some $5,000 in corporate-funded mailers promoting her candidacy in her 2002 Republican primary.

Subcommittee Chair Bryan Hughes benefited from nearly $80,000 in corporate-funded sham issue ad mailers in his 2002 general election.

Vice Chair Dwayne Bohac benefited from around $80,000 of corporate-funded mailers in his 2002 election and another $20,000 in corporate money apparently laundered through the RNC.

Rep. "Doc" Anderson accepted corporate checks in his 2004 election. His opponent made it a campaign issue.