2014-04-06 – “We need a new approach!”
Thus began the press conference, held in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision Tuesday in McCutcheon v. FEC, striking down dollar limits on private contributions to federal election campaigns. Democratic leadership was united in announcing a new legislative initiative.
“It will be called,” said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, “the Affordable Corruption Act.”
“It will be an uphill struggle,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
“The outline of the plan is simple,” Reid continued. “We’ve taken issue in the past with Supreme Court rulings that money is speech, protected by the first amendment. That has gotten us nowhere. If money-speech is a Constitutional right, we need to support it as a right for all the people, not just a few. We want to bring the price of corruption down to where the middle class can afford it.
“The Affordable Corruption Act will set up a system of insurance that ordinary people can buy for reasonable prices that will enable them to make contributions to federal candidates when the need arises. The system has gotten so out of hand that many citizens are forced to go to the emergency room whenever they need to buy a member of Congress. Emergency corruption has proven to be many times more expensive than preventative corruption.”
Republicans oppose the effort.
“Sheldon Adelson doesn’t need a government program to make his voice heard,” said a spokesman for Speaker of the House John Boehner. “A program like this simply discourages people from saving up a billion dollars or two on their own.”
Republicans are calling the program PelosiCare. Democrats say that the program is modeled on BoehnerCare, which has been in operation since 2008. (You did it first. No you did. No we did. No, I forget who did.)
In addition to needs-based campaign contributions, the Affordable Corruption Act will provide basic preventative benefits like ticket fixing. Fund-raising galas will be subject to a sliding system of co-pays, depending on income level.
If approved, citizens will enroll in the program at AffordableCorruption.gov.