Campaign Finance For An Enlightened Age ‘s manifesto for the cash poor politico.

Aquarian Weekly 4/11/01 REALITY CHECK


Hey, goodbye all you punks Stay young and stay high Just hand me my checkbook And I’ll crawl out to die – Pete Townshend

I recently received a petition masquerading as a public relations memo faxed from the McCain/Feingold rah-rah group. It inadvertently alerted me to a growing problem in Washington called the Campaign Finance Reform bill. It was packed with twenty Senate phone numbers and instructions to flood their offices with calls demanding a ban on soft money contributions from corporations, special interest groups and Hollywood types.

A gentleman calling himself Cuddy signed the thing with a pleasant, “Thanks for your help”; an assumption that rubbed me the wrong way for reasons I will touch upon further ahead.

The whole Reform thing seemed like a good idea last year when everyone in the Republican Party attached the flimsy “reformer” ideology to every campaign speech. First John McCain was a Reformer, which helped him rap up the New Hampshire primary, and then George W. Bush became the “Real Reformer” and crushed the original Reformer. After a few months of this, Al Gore decided that being a Reformer was just as good as any other bullshit that might get him elected.

Meanwhile boatloads of cash came pouring into every campaign all the way to November. Ironically McCain rode the crest of the duplicitous wave that rode G.W. into the White House. Junior even had the old war hero up for a photo-op or two and then went about the business of making the Democrats pay for eight years of the Flying Clinton Show.

But a strange thing happened on the way to the inauguration hootenanny: John McCain wasn’t fucking around. He really wanted to reform campaign finance laws, and do it yesterday. Bush promptly dismissed this as grandstanding, gave McCain and his soldier-in-arms, Russ Feingold a friendly pat on the fanny and told them maybe.

Last week McCain bugged everyone within earshot to consider, vote, conclave and piss-fight over some measure of campaign finance reform. Proponents like Tennessee senator, Fred Thompson argued for stringent laws banning everything but citizen limits, making the NRA, union money, Exxon and the ACLU impotent in its wake. Opponents like Kentucky senator, Mitch McConnell, who told Time last week that the whole thing was “stunningly stupid”, join Nebraska senator, Chuck Hagel by adding fat to the bill with the hopes that it will be laughed out of Congress by happy hour.

But anyone discussing this with any serious hope of being elected to anything above and beyond dogcatcher needs to keep the soft, hard or sideways money coming from all ends. And I, for one, concur, because its high time I cash in on the American political sweepstakes.

It is my plan over the next two to three years, perhaps even the following 16 months, to earn an obscene payoff for illegal activities, including, among other gems, fraud, laundering, blackmail and journalism all wrapped up in a neat little package with one goal: Make myself independently wealthy enough to sufficiently create a special interest clan called the AAPGF: Artists Against Puritan Goat Fuckers.

I’m still working out the name, and not because Goat Fuckers is too strong and possibly offensive to the PETA crowd. On the contrary, Goat Fuckers stays, but if you really want to get something done inside the Beltway you need eye-opening political contributions and AAPGF is a difficult sound bite pronunciation for the producers of Hardball. And make no mistake, we’ll be spending quality television time making a ruckus and getting the ear of politicos with power dreams.

Initially the AAPGF would secure a finer ride for its president, maybe something in a Mercedes convertible and perhaps larger carnivorous fish for the recently manicured moat surrounding the Putnam Bunker. A close second would be the actual group, a heavy-bacon watchdog agency railing against any level of censorship. Major contributions from solvent creative types, huge studios and productions companies will help purchase the odd congressmen and senator, who we’ll ride through the system and crush any bill threatening the First Amendment like Campaign Finance Reform.

Plan B would be to stockpile the funds and go the other way for laughs. Ramrod the bill home with my pal Caddy over at the McCain office and pass the power of campaigns into the hands of the journalists. Then we’ll see who gets the serious kickbacks, that can, and will be funneled into a private cartel of freaks threatening anyone seen trying to regulate anything remotely creative.

Not that campaign finance reform is creative, but it does fall under the soothing blanket of the First Amendment. The National Rifle Association and National Organization for Women have every right to battle for their constituents as politicians do. And the AAPGF will not back down to any laws hampering our near-libel attempts at painting enemies of free expression as Morality Thugs orFear Pimps, our two favorite pejorative monikers. Murder and rape are worthy causes, but where is the support for people wanting to photograph 100 nudes on Wall Street or painting elephant shit on religious icons?

And while the freelance scribe business is both utterly degrading and grossly underpaid, it does have its setbacks. Why can’t an eager sod like myself take the American dream and abuse it to absurd degrees, with vague references to voicing the disgruntled nature of the bored and frightened, and cash in on the effort? I ask you: Can you deny a fellow patriot his right to buy happiness?

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