In Tweets, Axelrod Agrees with Romney on Blowing Up Political Money Limits

Former Obama adviser David Axelrod.<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/newshour/2296901210/sizes/m/in/photostream/">NewsHour</a>/Flickr

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.


David Axelrod, the long-time adviser to President Barack Obama, turned to Twitter on Wednesday morning to fume about the state of money in politics today. In doing so, Axelrod revealed himself to be of the same mind on how to fix our political system as Mitt Romney, Mitch McConnell, Newt Gingrich, Republican super-attorney Jim Bopp (who brought the Citizens United case), and many movement conservatives.

Here’s what Axelrod tweeted:

To be clear, what Axelrod is suggesting is a campaign finance system in which donors rich and not-so-rich can give without limit to the candidates they support. All those unlimited donations, though, would be fully disclosed soon after the donation is made. This is the no-limits-full-disclosure brand of reform, and it is straight out of the Republican/conservative playbook.

Consider this statement made by Mitt Romney in December 2011 on the issue of money in politics:

[W]hat we have right now is unlimited political contributions, but they’re not controlled by the campaigns. They’re controlled by unaffiliated or uncoordinated entities, which, in my opinion, is the worst of both worlds. It means that large contributions have a big impact, and it means that the campaign can’t control them, so if we’re going to have big contributors, wouldn’t it be nice to have the campaigns responsible for what those contributors say?

Romney told the Portsmouth Herald editorial board that “the best way” to fix our campaign finance system is “to let people make whatever contributions they want and have it instantly reported and know what conflicts exist so we know where the money is coming from.”

Those who favor more regulation of money in politics—banning super-PACs, say, or greater disclosure of dark-money nonprofits—hate this idea. They think it will corrupt the political process, and there’s plenty of historical evidence to bolster that claim. Which is why it’s surprising to see Axelrod, a dyed-in-the-wool progressive Democrat, essentially endorse the no-limits-full-disclosure approach.

David Donnelly, an advocate for taxpayer-funded public financing of elections and less big money in politics, tweeted back at Axe:

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate