Character Key to Campaign Finance Reform

Cal Thomas | Syndicated columnist | Wednesday, March 21, 2001

Character Key to Campaign Finance Reform

Kentucky Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell said something on one of the Sunday talk shows I thought was on point. He was echoed by Rush Limbaugh on his radio program Tuesday.

Both men said the problem with the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform measure isn't the money it would supposedly restrict, or the likes of Denise Rich who would be targeted by the legislation. The problem, or the blessing, is who takes the money. In other words, it's about character. If a Denise Rich were to hand President Bush money for a favor, the likelihood is that he would throw her out of his office if, in fact, she got in the door. But with Bill Clinton, everything that couldn't be stolen was for sale.

So it isn't the money. It's the character, or lack of character, of the one on the receiving, or refusing end. It isn't the money that corrupts. It is whether the person who is targeted for the donation or bribe is corrupt. Keep honest leadership in office and you won't have many campaign finance scandals in the first place.