ARRA News Service
ARRA News Service facebook page  
News for social, fiscal & national security conservatives who believe in God, family & the USA. Upholding the rights granted by God & guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, traditional family values, "republican" principles / ideals, transparent & limited "smaller" government, free markets, lower taxes, due process of law, liberty & individual freedom. All content approval rests with the ARRA News Service Editor. Opinions are those of the authors. While varied positions are reported, beliefs & principles remain fixed. No revenue is generated for or by this site - no paid ads accepted - no payments for articles. Fair Use doctrine is posted & used.
Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
Contact: (Pub. Since July, 2006)
    Home Page

One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Are Political Contributions Really Corrupt?

by Rod Martin, Contributing Author: Donald Trump has made a lot of hay with his line that “I can’t be bought,” a function of his self-funding of his campaign. It’s a good line, and his willingness to spend his own money in the pursuit of public service is certainly admirable.

Even so, the necessary implication of Trump’s schtick (and to be clear, Trump isn’t just implying anything), is that anyone who takes a contribution is thereby bought and paid for. And however politically convenient that may be, it’s both false and dangerous.

Now it’s certainly true that some lobbyists are corrupt, that some PACs are corrupt, that some candidates are corrupt. But if we take this to its logical conclusion we quickly see the problem. Your church takes money. Your favorite charity takes money. Does this mean they are “owned”? Maybe. But in an age of growing transparency, with search tools in everyone’s hands, filing and disclosure requirements and donor’s own healthy skepticism, it gets harder every year to be corrupt, at least for very long.

Perhaps more to the point, is Donald Trump going to fund your church’s budget? Probably not. People banding together to do something worthwhile is not corruption: it’s civic responsibility and charitable goodwill. Labeling it something sinister – as the left never tires of doing, in pursuit of its socialist agenda – is corrosive of civilization.

Likewise, does a candidate who accepts contributions (which is as nearly all of them, with a handful of notable exceptions) necessarily corrupt himself? I hardly think so: I’ve seen politicians go against their contributors all my life, which was one of the bitterest complaints against Mike Huckabee in Arkansas (I note this because I served in his administration). Contributions did bring a certain amount of access – you tend to have meetings with those who support you, or at least see them at fundraisers – but nowhere near the influence some contributors expected (which is not to say those contributors weren’t sometimes in the right with regard to policy).

I have rarely seen this work otherwise with other politicians, and when I have, prison sentences frequently followed.

Let’s look at this from the other direction. If we buy into the idea — explicitly rejected by brilliant minds like Antonin Scalia — that political money necessarily corrupts, then surely we must abolish it (and all other contributions with it), and we must demand that the state finance all elections. There are over 500,000 political offices in this country, and nowhere near that many billionaires. Ergo, state financing.

But wait. Three things have to happen if we want to go that route.

First, we have to abolish self-financing too (because it would be grossly unfair to allow Donald Trump to self-finance beyond the legally mandated resources given to his opponents). The Equal Protection Clause would necessarily require, if contributions are abolished, that Trump put his pocketbook away; and now, one of the things people most like about him is gone.

Second, we have to trust the government. And we know what happens when we do that: Obama’s IRS has done everything in its power to subvert conservative groups and prevent them from operating during elections, quite against the law and quite without remedy. The state has interests too, and a monopoly on force: if it chooses to be corrupt, the abolition of private contributions would in some ways be more devastating to liberty than the confiscation of firearms.

And then third, that Equal Protection Clause again. Contributions create a sort of free market in candidates: those who can gain widespread support thrive, those who can’t don’t. This winnows the field. But in a system where we eliminate this crucial component of First Amendment speech, 14th Amendment equal protection will require either that the state finance every candidate — and I do mean every, from the Nazis to the Flat Earthers — equally; or if not, set up some kind of arbitrary and easily manipulated system of thresholds, like that which the networks have used to control which Presidential candidates may and may not debate this year.

No, that certainly won’t be corrupt at all.

Demonizing voluntary association, political speech and the cash that makes those things possible cannot help but lead you down some very bad roads. Of course people are fallen and they all fall short of the glory of God. But this does not mean that a free, transparent system cannot guard against most corruption; and indeed, it does far better than the more, ahem, supervised systems elsewhere in the world.

Indeed, if anything, the trend has been extremely positive this year. The internet has enabled and inspired candidates to wean themselves off the major donors. Late last year, Jeb Bush’s ratio of large donor cash to small donor cash was a staggering 15:1. His brother’s 16 years ago – when online political fundraising was miniscule at best – was 7:1. But Ted Cruz’s was a virtually unprecedented 1:1.6. Ben Carson’s was downright staggering, at almost 1:15, as was Bernie Sanders’. Indeed, none of the three could possibly have been competitive without that massive small donor cash, which is to say, in no previous election could they have competed at all.

That’s absolutely amazing. It represents an incredible democratization of our politics. It’s good for us as a people, as more and more exercise their civic responsibilities and involve themselves in the process. And it’s a very sound barometer of who really has support from the people vs. who is really just backed by insiders.

Oh, and Trump’s ratio? 1:0. Not necessarily a bad thing, but not an unalloyed positive either.
Rod D. Martin, writes at, and is founder and CEO of The Martin Organization, a technology entrepreneur, venture capitalist, author and conservative activist. He is a member of the Board of Governors of the Council for National Policy, a Past President of the National Federation Republican Assemblies. and a contributing author to the ARRA News Service.

Tags: Rod Martin,, Political Contributions To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 12:29 PM - Post Link


Post a Comment

<< Home

National Debt
Don't miss anything!
Subscribe to the
ARRA News Service
It's FREE & No Ads!

You will receive a verification email
& must validate you subscribed!

You Then Receive One Email Each AM
With Prior Days Articles / Toons / More

Also, Join us at:

Recent Posts:
Personal Tweets by the editor:
Dr. Bill - OzarkGuru - @arra
#Christian Conservative; Retired USAF & Grad Professor. Constitution NRA ProLife schoolchoice fairtax - Editor ARRA NEWS SERVICE. THANKS FOR FOLLOWING!

Action Links!
Arkansas State Senators
AR State Representatives
Arkansas Governor Office
Arkansas Attorney General
Bankrupting America
US House of Representatives
US Senators
Family Research Council
Sunshine Review

Facebook Accts - Dr. Bill Smith
ARRA News Service
Arkansans Against Big Government
Alley-White Am. Legion #52
Catholics & Protestants United Against Discrimination
End Taxpayer Funding of NPR
Overturn Roe V. Wade
Prolife Soldiers
Project Wildfire 4 Life
Republican Liberty Caucus of Arkansas
The Gold Standard
US Atty Gen Loretta Lynch, aka Eric Holder, Must Go
Veterans for Sarah Palin
Why Vote for Hillary (Satire)
FB Groups:
Arkansas For Sarah Palin
Arkansas Conservative Caucus
Arkansas County Tea Party
Arkansans' Discussion Group on National Issues
Blogs for Borders
Conservative Solutions
Conservative Voices
Defend Marriage -- Arkansas
FairTax Nation
Arkansas for FairTax
Friends of the TEA Party in Arkansas
Freedom Roundtable
Let's Mine AR Lignite NOW!
Pro-Life Rocks - Arkansas
Republican Network
Republican Liberty Caucus of AR
Reject the U.N.


Request Via
Article Comment

Links to ARRA News
A Patriotic Nurse
Agora Associates
a12iggymom's Blog
America, You Asked For It!
Americans for a Free Republic
America's Best Choice
America's Whatchtower
An Ol’ Broad’s Ramblings
ARRA Twitter
As A Matter of Fact
As The Crackerhead Crumbles
Baaad Media!
Black & Right
Blogs For Borders
Blogs for Palin
Blow the Trumpet Ministry
Boot Berryism
Cap'n Bob & the Damsel
Chicago Ray Report
Chuck Baldwin - links
Citizen Pamphleteer
Common Cents
Conservative Hideout
Conservative Observer AZ
Conservative Voices
Conway Real Deal
Defeat Obama's Agenda
Diana's Corner
eGOP News
Florida Pundit
Franklin Online Outreach
Freedom For US Now
Free Zone Media Center
For God and Liberty
Garland County Republicans
Greater Fitchburg For Life
Guns and Religion
Lasting Liberty Blog
Liberal Isn't Amy
Liberty's Lifeline
Maggie's Notebook
Marathon Pundit
Monkey in the Middle
NASA Satellites
No Runny Eggs
Okie Campaigns
Our Voices Arkansas
Patriot's Corner
Publius Forum
Randy's Roundtable
Real Debate Wisconsin
Religion and Morality
Right on Issues that Matter
Right Reason
Rocking on the Right Side
Saber Point
Saline Watchdog
Secure Arkansas
Sentry Journal
Sultan Knish
Stop Obama Satire & Cartoons
The Arkansas Patriot
The Audacity of Logic
The Blue Eye View
The Bobo Files
The Born Again Americans
TEA Party Cartoons
The Conservative Citizen
The Foxhole | Unapologetic Patriot
The Liberty Republican
The Lid
The Looking Spoon
The Maritime Sentry
The O Word
The Path to Tyranny Blog
The Real Polichick
The War on Guns
Truth About Obamacare
Twitter @ARRA
Warning Signs
Women's Prayer & Action

Editor's Managed Twitter Accounts
Twitter Dr. Bill Smith @arra
Twitter Arkansas @GOPNetwork
Twitter @BootBerryism
Twitter @SovereignAllies
Twitter @FairTaxNation

Editor's Recommended Orgs
Accuracy in Media (AIM)
American Committment
American Culture & Faith Institute
American Enterprise Institute
American Family Business Institute
Americans for Limited Government
Americans for Prosperity
Americans for Tax Reform
American Security Council Fdn
AR Faith & Ethics Council
Arkansas Policy Foundation
Ayn Rand Institute
Bill of Rights Institute
Campaign for Working Families
Center for Individual Freedom
Center for Immigration Studies
Center for Just Society
Center for Freedom & Prosperity
Citizens Against Gov't Waste
Citizens in Charge Foundstion
Coalition for the Future American Worker
Competitive Enterprise Institute
Concerned Veterans for America
Concerned Women for America
Declaration of Am. Renewal
Eagle Forum
Family Research Council
Family Security Matters
Franklin Center for Gov't & Public Integrity
Freedom Works
Gingrich Productions
Global Incident Map
Great Americans
Gold Standard 2012 Project
Gun Owners of America (GOA)
Heritage Action for America
David Horowitz Freedom Center
Institute For Justice
Institute for Truth in Accounting
Intercollegiate Studies Institute
Judicial Watch
Less Government
Media Reseach Center
National Center for Policy Analysis
National Right To Work Foundation
National Rifle Association (NRA)
National Rifle Association (NRA-ILA)
News Busters
O'Bluejacket's Patriotic Flicks
Open Secrets
Presidential Prayer Team
Religious Freedom Coalition
Renew America
Ron Paul Institute
State Policy Network
Tax Foundation
Tax Policy Center
The Club for Growth
The Federalist
The Gold Standard Now
The Heritage Foundation
The Leadership Institute
Union Facts

Blogs For Borders

Reject the United Nations

Adopt Our Troops in Prayer

Thousands of Deadly Islamic Terror Attacks Since 9/11

FairTax Nation on FaceBook
Friends of Israel - Stand with Israel
Blog Feeds
Syndicated - Get the ARRA News Service feed Syndicated!
ARRA Blog Feed

Add to Google Reader or Homepage

Add to The Free Dictionary

Powered by Blogger

  • How To Exchange Links!
  • Comments by contributing authors or other sources do not necessarily reflect the position the editor, other contributing authors, sources, readers, or commenters. No contributors, or editors are paid for articles, images, cartoons, etc. While having reported on and promoting the beliefs associated with the ARRA, this blog/site is not controlled by nor funded by the ARRA. This site/blog does not advertise for money or services nor does it solicit funding for its support.
  • Fair Use: This site/blog may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available to advance understanding of political, human rights, economic, democracy, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a 'fair use' of such copyrighted material as provided for in section Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 of the US Copyright Law. Per said section, the material on this site/blog is distributed without profit to readers to view for the expressed purpose of viewing the included information for research, educational, or satirical purposes. Any person/entity seeking to use copyrighted material shared on this site/blog for purposes that go beyond "fair use," must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
  • © 2006 - 2017 ARRA News Service
Creative Commons License
Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.