February 16, 2004

Foreigner's Election Temptations

William Murcheson's recent Washington Time's piece on the signals Kerry is sending foreigners got me a bit concerned. Putting myself in the shoes of said foreign interests, the question arises whether I would abide by the restrictions on foreign donations for US electoral politics in such a crucial US election?

Certainly, the history of our last major excursion into funds coming in via the PRC during the Clinton years did little lasting damage to the PRC's DC standing. So what's to stop them from doing it again? What's to stop others from following the PRC's lead? The election will be long over by the time such crimes are uncovered and, if the right candidate wins, there will be gratitude, if the wrong one ekes things out, there is an old american tradition of magnanimity in victory to draw on.

So, especially with campaign finance systems in flux and untried new laws creating all sorts of interesting opportunities, wouldn't today's Johnny Chung just open up his own 527 committee and skip the country when the investigators finally catch up with him? What's the practical reason not to do this?

Posted by TMLutas at February 16, 2004 12:51 PM