Fred or Freddoso? You CANNOT have both! Fred Thompson appears to have, perhaps accidentally, hit on what seems to me the correct view of campaign finance reform, which is that you can regulate money donated directly to parties and candidates but you can't stop people from making independent expenditures if they arre outside of candidate or party control. The Corner's David Freddoso asserts with rather desperate force that
You CANNOT limit soft money without placing those restrictions on [independent] free speech.
Oh yeah? Why not? I can see how the authors of McCain Feingold wanted to restrict both forms of speech, but that doesn't mean others won't want to draw the distinction. Money spent independently is likely to be spent inefficiently, even at cross purposes with the official party. Ask MoveOn.org! It's therefore a less reliable means of bribery than a direct contribution. ... In any case, this is not a distinction you "CANNOT" make--which means you don't have to either keep all of McCain-Feingold or rip it all down. The Constitution is not a Hsu-icide pact! ... 1:05 A.M.
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Inside the Secret World of Jeff Toobin, Chapter II: Ann Althouse catches Toobin telling the same pathetic anecdote at two different points in his book--except that the words between quote marks, and attributed to Justice O'Connor, are different each time. Althouse's conclusion: "I think it's fair to suspect that Toobin assembles material into quotes that are not really quotes." ... 9:23 P.M.
Burkle Watch: 1) Burkle My Hsu! He's named in Hsu-related suit as someone who "introduced and/or endorsed Hsu as a friend, colleague and trusted associate." Of course this is just an allegation. Tobey Maguire is also named. [via Instapundit] ... 2) TabQuest '08 Fallout? He's sued by former L.A. Mayor Richard Riordan, accused of not letting Riordan and other investors sell their stakes in a venture in order to "perpetuate the myth that he is a billionaire, `legendary investor,' and to profit from millions of dollars in consulting, acquisition, and management services agreements and fees." He immediately settles, self-effacingly telling the L.A. Daily News**
"It doesn't do anything for me to have a couple million dollars of Dick Riordan's money."
Unexplored angle: Didn't the Riordan/Burkle investment involve Source Interlink, the media distribution outfit that's been talked about as a possible vehicle for Hillary-backer Burkle to purchase and effectively gain control of the tabloids (National Enquirer, etc) owned by American Media Inc. in advance of the 2008 election? I think it did! That raises various possible political subtexts, since last time I checked Riordan was nominally a Republican.
Of course, from Burkle's point of view, just negotiating to purchase the tabs might have the effect of neutralizing them, since aptly named AMI tab kingpin David Pecker doesn't seem like the type of guy to print a story that embarrasses someone who might be the salvation of his troubled company.