The Federal Election Commission, which regulates the flow of political cash, has been plagued by persistent gridlock on some key areas of campaign finance. Why’s that important? Because, as a new report shows, more money is coming in and much of it is flowing in through new and barely regulated groups.
The Federal Election Commission has issued a “no reason to believe” decision in a complaint against U.S. Rep. David Scott, political blogger Andre Walker and Scott’s campaign treasurer, Hammerin’ Hank Aaron. The complaint, filed in March, charges Walker blogged favorably about Scott’s re-election campaign without disclosing $2,950 in payments from the campaign. The FEC’s general counsel accepted Scott’s explanation that the money was for maintaining the campaign Web site and no other purpose.
When it comes to golf, Sen. Saxby Chambliss has champagne taste. In California, he’s putted with his back to the thundering surf near the 7th hole at Pebble Beach, where a round of golf costs $495. In Florida, he’s driven the ball down the fairways of the Boca Raton Resort, with its signature island green on the 18th hole and its Waldorf Astoria interior. These are among the dozen premiere resorts where Chambliss played golf in 2007 and 2008 at a cost of a quarter-million dollars. Chambliss paid those golf expenses from a political fund, supported almost exclusively by lobbyists, political action committees (PACs) and corporate leaders.