Fresh off a Supreme Court ruling in the case of McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, a ruling which struck down overall limits on campaign contributions, the hypocrisy of the Democrat party in New York has been on full display.
Sean Eldridge, a congressional candidate in New York’s 19th district, released a statement in which he called the ruling “a disappointing step backwards for our democracy” and claimed that “the voices of everyday New Yorkers are being drowned” by big money and corporate interests in politics.
Eldridge echoed sentiments from February, in which he pledged to run a “different kind of campaign.”
Then, like now, the hypocritical Democrat call for campaign finance reform was on full display. Minutes after condemning special interest money in politics, Eldridge was asked by a liberal donor if he would be willing to accept contributions from labor unions. Eldridge replied, “Yes … That was easy!”
And here again, Eldridge ridicules the Supreme Court for their decision while simultaneously accepting special interest money.
Ian Prior, spokesman for the NRCC responded to Eldridge’s complaints about the Supreme Court ruling, referring to him as both a hypocrite and a phony.
“Sean Eldridge might be the most hypocritical phony in the history of American politics – and that’s saying something. While he pontificates about campaign finance reform, he is taking donations from PAC’s and liberal special interest groups while also spending millions of his own money to buy influence and votes in the Hudson Valley.”
While Eldridge claims to have grassroot support, he has poured over $700,000 into his own campaign to unseat Republican Chris Gibson. He also has the backing of some significant liberal billionaires such as George Soros, his son Jonathan Soros, and Jon Stryker, not to mention Tom Steyer, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, and Google’s Eric Schmidt.
The hypocrisy doesn’t stop with Eldridge.
In 2012, Jonathan Soros pledged to spend more money in future New York campaigns to prove a point about too much money in New York campaigns. Soros made this statement on the heels of helping the campaign of Democrat Cecilia Tkaczyk, to which he donated over a quarter of a million dollars.
Soros continues to spend millions on campaign contributions in a half-hearted attempt to get private money out of politics.
More recently, New York passed a budget with fresh rules for campaign finance disclosure requirements. Rules that require statements to be filed for outside groups targeting voters beyond their own membership. With the exception of course, of Democrat-friendly unions.
The state budget agreement passed late Monday evening in Albany requires more disclosure of the outside election spending that has skyrocketed following the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010Citizens United decision. But not all outside groups will have to disclose equally.
Spending by labor unions on campaign messages targeting their members and union retirees will remain exempt from disclosure under the state law, mirroring the carve-out that New York City Council members recently granted when they reformed the city’s campaign finance laws. Spending by corporations targeting their own members, or by trade and professional organizations, will also be exempt, according to budget documents.
On balance, the move is likely to help labor unions. For instance, in last year’s city elections the health care workers union 1199 SEIU, which spent heavily to support Mayor Bill de Blasio, did not have to disclose much of its outlays.
New York’s powerful labor unions steered millions of dollars in members’ dues into campaign coffers.
Health Care Workers Union Local 1199 East-SEIU donated $733,500. The fifth-largest contributor was the New York State United Teachers union, which distributed $717,343, while the city teachers union kicked in additional $347,800.
Cuomo’s office said he’s battling for changes.
Chief Justice John Roberts has explained how any infringement on the Citizens United decision would be an attack on First Amendment freedoms, union, corporation, or otherwise.
“The government urges us in this case to uphold a direct prohibition on political speech,” wrote Roberts. “It asks us to embrace a theory of the First Amendment that would allow censorship not only of television and radio broadcasts, but of pamphlets, posters, the Internet, and virtually any other medium that corporations and unions might find useful in expressing their views on matters of public concerns.”
Chuck Schumer (D-NY) disagrees however, stating that “I believe there ought to be limits because the First Amendment is not absolute.”
Warner Todd Huston responds to Democrats’ hypocrisy on campaign finance rules:
It is clear that these regulations are meant to harass donors that Democrats don’t like. The simple matter of fact is that Democrats are liars when they say they are against money in politics.
Contrary to what Schumer and Democrats would have you believe, the First Amendment is absolute for both sides of the aisle. It was reaffirmed by the Supreme Court yesterday, but continues to decay under Democrat rule in the Empire State.