Thursday, October 23, 2008

Campaign Duds

In 1993, a Stone Age in political years, an outraged guardian of the Treasury rose on the Senate floor to introduce an amendment to the campaign finance bill then under consideration. The Amendment, eventually adopted although apparently killed somewhere on the path to becoming law, read as follows:

a) An individual who receives contributions as a candidate for Federal office--

`(1) may use such contributions only for legitimate and verifiable campaign expenses; and

`(2) may not use such contributions for any inherently personal purpose.

`(b) As used in this subsection--

`(1) the term `campaign expenses' means expenses attributable solely to bona fide campaign purposes; and

`(2) the term `inherently personal purpose' means a purpose that, by its nature, confers a personal benefit, and such term includes, but is not limited to, a home mortgage payment, clothing purchase, noncampaign automobile expense, country club membership, vacations or trips of a non-campaign nature, and any other inherently personal living expense as determined under the regulations mandated by paragraph (f)(2) of this subsection.'.

The outraged senator, began:

Madam President, the amendment before the Senate is a very simple one. It restricts the use of campaign funds for inherently personal purposes. The amendment would restrict individuals from using campaign funds for such things as home mortgage payments, clothing purchases, noncampaign automobile expenses, country club memberships, and vacations or other trips that are noncampaign in nature.

Does anyone yet doubt who the senator was?

Let’s put it this way, if Sarah Palin spent $150,000 on campaign duds (but I repeat myself), John McCain has spent twice that much on flip-flops.

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