There’s the honest way to go about running for president, and then there’s former Gov. Buddy Roemer’s way, illustrated by another announced contender’s proclamations about his anticipated campaign.
Former Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson recently declared his candidacy for the nation’s highest office through the vehicle of a new political party, mouthing the same conspiracy theories about moneyed interests controlling America, and in doing so trumped Roemer’s on credibility in three ways. First, Anderson, although like Roemer personally wealthy, made his fortune the old-fashioned way of liberals, as a trial lawyer, not through the system that Roemer used to supplement his family’s wealth and now criticizes. Second, he’s been a hardcore, fringe leftist his entire political career, not shifting views as has Roemer.
But, third and most relevant to the current election cycle and the issue on which Roemer has asserted purifies him relative to other candidates, Anderson also says he’ll accept no campaign donation over $100 and actually means it by running for this new party.
By contrast, Roemer has indicated that if he fails to win the Republican nomination (he may fail to win even a single delegate), he’ll pursue actively winning the endorsement of the Americans Elect group. The organization plans to have a nationwide referendum on candidates it selects, with the winner among them receiving potentially tens of millions of dollars in campaign assistance along with general election ballot access in many states.
By accepting any such endorsement, much less attempting to get it, Roemer proves himself a hypocrite on the donation/”big money” issue. A founding member gave over a million dollars to get the group started, and, as it legally may keep its donors names and amounts secret, there’s no public knowledge of how many and who they are who gave sums over and well in excess of $100. There’s no moral distinction between using large donations given to you directly and indirectly, which will be the case if Roemer succeeds in getting ratified. At least a Republican nomination would be by an organization regulated by the states that spends on behalf of a candidate, whose donors must be made public (and who can give much more than $100), and whose assistance would constitute just a tiny portion of its nominee’s total spending, while Roemer hopes to get aid from a private, unregulated organization whose assistance would constitute the vast bulk of expenditures for his campaign.
Roemer has claimed he’s against shadowy, big money interests playing a major role in supporting a campaign. Yet he invites that through his solicitation of the Americans Elect coronation. It’s just another example of the lack of credibility that Roemer has as a candidate when his actions past and present are contrasted with his message, making him seem more a candidate of convenience than conviction
Posted by Jeff Sadow at 08:40