The internet is buzzing with a new campaign finance reform proposed by Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet, but not because it’s great policy, but because it’s so brazenly hypocritical. Bennet’s bill would prevent lobbyists from bundling contributions. Bundling is when a person raises money from multiple sources or people and delivers it to campaigns in one bundle.
But, here’s where the hypocrisy comes in. Bennet himself raised over $410,000 from lobbyists throughout his career, and as the head of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, he raised $4.3 million from lobbyist-bundled contributions.
Given that he is a large user of this rule, you would think that after introducing this legislation, he would stop taking lobbyist-bundled contributions in a show of leadership. You would be wrong. Here’s what his spokesman told the Center for Public Integrity:
“Asked whether Bennet, a Colorado Democrat, would personally continue to accept contributions bundled by lobbyists, Bennet spokesman Adam Bozzi said the senator wishes campaign finance rules were different and is fighting for reforms, but ‘until then he will continue to abide by the rules.'”
Excellent display of leadership, Sen. Bennet. This is just another piece of posturing legislation meant to convey that Bennet is a campaign finance reformer when that couldn’t be further from the truth. We certainly hope that local media won’t help him on this campaign of hypocrisy.