Today, Democrat State Rep. Emily Sirota’s bill to set individual campaign contribution limits to candidates for county level office flew through the Democrat-controlled State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee. The measure is wrapped in the age old battle cry “let’s get big money out of politics.”
Currently, there is no limit on what an individual can contribute to county level offices, which include commissioner, treasurer, clerk, assessor, coroner, and surveyor. Sirota’s bill would set the combined primary and general limit at $1,250 for an individual, $12,500 for a small donor committee, and $22,125 for a political party.
Notice that there is no limit listed for independent expenditure committees. This is not an accidental omission.
Democrats have massive infrastructure around well-funded organizations such as unions, which can provide both human and financial capital to campaigns. They have also proven to have a deep bench of rich donors ready and willing to stand up shadow groups of dark money. This legislation does not impact that in the least.
Democrats don’t really want to take the money out of politics, they simply want to mute the effect that a Republican’s dollars would have on a race. All this bill does is send money underground without disclosure, which we imagine Democrats would claim they want.
Of course if they actually wanted to take money out of politics, they would simply endeavor to reduce the size and influence of government – but we know that is not going to happen under the current regime.