Magazine article Insight on the News

Big Bucks Make Strange Bedfellows

Magazine article Insight on the News

Big Bucks Make Strange Bedfellows

Article excerpt

In May, when he and his Democratic colleague Sen. Russ Feingold of Wisconsin received the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage award for their efforts to reduce the influence of special interests, Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain said, "Until we abolish soft money, Americans will never have a government that works as hard for them as it does for special interests. That is a sad but undeniable fact of contemporary politics." Apparently, the air of hypocrisy also is an "undeniable fact of American politics" particularly presidential politics.

With Feingold by his legislative side, the three-term Republican and presidential candidate has sponsored a bill to "reform" the campaign-finance system, including a ban on the soliciting, receiving or spending of so-called soft money by the national parties. Often called a "maverick Republican," McCain has received praise from the mainstream press, congressional Democrats and the Clinton-Gore administration after taking the lead for his party on this issue and likely will place emphasis on his reform efforts in his quest for the White House.

Interestingly, the ban would cover soft money raised by the respective congressional campaign committees, including the National Republican Senatorial Committee, or NRSC, which currently is chaired by Sen. …

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