I’ve opted not to take an active role in any campaign this primary season. This is a departure from years past where I’ve done everything from volunteer, to blog about, or even consultant on one primary campaign or another – not to mention once running as a candidate in a primary. For the most part my decision to stay out of the primaries (although, you can bet I’ll vote) is due to the fact that, with a few exceptions, there are very few candidates running in the Republican primary that I would have a problem supporting in the general election. And, those candidates I would not vote for in the general election have ABSOLUTELY no chance of winning their respective primaries.
With that said, I have to take issue with a recent post put up by fellow blogger Joe Monahan. It’s been awhile since I’ve given Joe a hard time, and his recent innuendos regarding the large contributions received by Susana Martinez from the Perry’s of Texas definitely warrants criticism:
Those previous Perry donations raised some fuss, but were not as sensitive as they are today because they did not come in a climate filled with news of corruption and alleged corruption–mostly all stemming from campaign contributions.
A Martinez operative points out that Perry does not currently do business in the state. But with the size of this donation, if he did choose to do business here would it buy him access? Or what about his associates who might want to set up shop in New Mexico?
So, first let’s deal with the facts. A very large campaign contribution is made to a candidate by a donor with no business in the state of New Mexico. A donor who has a significant history of making large contributions to Republicans in previous campaign races in New Mexico without pursuing business in the state. So, why does an outsider do this? Well, historically especially while the Democrats have controlled the political reins, it’s because that’s how business is done in the Land of Enchantment.
But, the Perry’s have not given large donations to Democrats in New Mexico to buy political favors when the number of recent indictments has shown those favors were clearly for sale. So, what’s the motivation for the Perry’s to give such a large sum of money to a campaign? Well, this may be hard to understand for people who put their personal self-interests above all else, but looking at the Perry’s contribution history, it’s clear that you have folks who are willing to put their money where their mouth is. Or, more specifically, invest in their principles. This is actually pretty common in America. Every day, all over our great nation, people make donations and contributions to politicians, not-for-profits, religious organizations, etc. without expecting any “payback” in return. Some of those contributions are very, very large. In fact, the return they expect on their investment is that the receiving party will do what they promised to do.
When it comes to Republican candidates, this generally means enforce the rule of law, limit the size and reach of government and demand accountability. Every candidate is a person, and every person has flaws or has made mistakes. However, “being for sale” is not a flaw. It’s not a mistake. It’s a felonious act. And, let’s face it, if Susana Martinez was guilty of these type of crimes, she would of long ago been run out of Las Cruces where she has been elected and re-elected as a Republican to be the District Attorney in a county that has a strong Democratic majority.
I long ago said that the pushing of ethical reforms is nothing more than political posturing. It sounds great on the stump, but means absolutely nothing in practice. Crooks will be crooks regardless of the ethics adopted by others. Unfortunately, one of the worst legacies of the culture of corruption of the eight long years of the Richardson/Denish Administation is that everyone now assumes the worse. The simple act of stepping up to the plate and giving to people and causes you believe is assumed to have an ulterior motive.
It’s time to get back to a time where we can trust one another. Where we can believe the best, rather than the worst of those we elect to represent us. Where we celebrate the contributions of citizens rather than the farewell parties for criminals. Everyone is going to be aware of the contribution made by the Perry’s, and that’s how it should be. If the Perry’s wanted to buy political favors, they wouldn’t have made a single huge contribution that was bound to attract everyone’s attention. Instead, they would have done it in the manner that has been cultivated into an art form in the Richardson/Denish Administration – less conspicuous bundling of contributions to purchase political favors in return.