Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Polite excuses to turn down a fundraising politician

Here are 5 approved by the FEC.

FEC: You can´t contribute Bitcoins to a candidate
FEC: You can't contribute Bitcoins to a candidate

Who knew that primary purpose of the individual aggregate contribution limits, just struck down by the Supreme Court in the McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission case, was to give big donors an excuse to hang up quickly but politely on a fundraising politician? "Love to help you, Diamond Jim, but I'm maxed out this cycle."

While our first reaction is to get our hankies out for the poor put-upon donors, it occurs to us that the McCutcheon decision may well be Chief Justice John Roberts' way of paralyzing the government. By forcing reluctant donors to hem and haw a lot more on fundraising calls while they try to think up a plausible explanation of why they can't part with their cold hard cash (see excuse number two), what little productivity there is in Washington might disappear altogether (not that that is necessarily always a bad thing).

In the interests of ensuring the smooth functioning of Washington's mercenary culture continues unabated, Sunlight suggests the following (actual reasons from the Federal Election Commission book) excuses for big donors who don't want to be that much bigger:

  1. Happy to contribute, but all I have are bitcoins.
  2. My dog ate my checkbook. Do you take cash?
  3. Would love to give, but I’ve shaved my head, donned sackcloth, and donated my entire fortune to the Church of Eternal Influence. Why don’t you give them a call?
  4. Did I mention that I’ve just become a federal contractor?
  5. I just renounced my U.S. citizenship and am now a foreign national.
The Sunlight Foundation is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that uses the power of the Internet to catalyze greater government openness and transparency, and provides new tools and resources for media and citizens, alike. A list of Sunlight's funders can be found here.
Bill Allison SUNLIGHT FOUNDATION
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