Monday, January 7, 2008

Perdue attack: huh?

The award for convoluted political attack of the season goes today to the Bev Perdue campaign.

Richard Moore made a set of proposals today to depoliticize DOT, one of which was to prohibit members of the board from raising money for political campaigns.

Seems like a good proposal to me on several levels. It's almost always good to reduce the role of money in politics. Also, the DOT board has tended to emphasize building new roads to the detriment of promoting alternative forms of transportation that are better for the environment. That's at least in part because the road building interests have a lot more money than the public transportation interests, and the former are the folks who have been raising the money and getting the seats on the board.

But of course no proposal goes unattacked in this campaign and barely two hours later the Dome blog had the response from the Perdue campaign.

Their word was that his proposed reforms didn't go far enough. That's fine.

What really didn't make sense though was that the Perdue campaign floated an August N&O article to the press that showed Moore had received at least 24k in contributions from current DOT board members and their families since 2000. The clear implication of putting that article out there was that Moore's proposal was hypocritical because he had taken DOT money in the past.

That's fine too. Except the same article said Perdue had raised more than three times as much, 73k, from those DOT folks in the same period of time!

It's kind of inconsistent to say 'your proposal doesn't go far enough and we're going to go further and here's this article showing you're a hypocrite' when you've engaged more in the practice that you're criticizing than your opponent has.

It would have been easier to take the Perdue campaign seriously on this issue if they had just left it at 'we need comprehensive campaign finance reform' and left out the posturing about a newspaper article that made them look more hypocritical than their opponent.

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