Friday, April 08, 2016

Feigenbaum: Candidates, Special Interests Could Finance Delegates Convention Expenses

The Indiana Legislative Insight's Ed Feigenbaum points to a loophole in the law that could allow candidates and special interest groups to lavish money on delegates attending this year's Republican National Convention given the likelihood that no candidate will earn enough pledged delegates going into this year's national nominating convention in Cleveland to win the nomination outright on a first ballot. He notes the lack of laws restricting spending on delegates, federal or state.

Contributions to delegates at the federal level are the general restrictions imposed on corporations, labor organizations, foreign nationals or businesses and federal government contractors according to Feigenbaum. There appear to be no restrictions at the state level. That leaves the door open for a wide list of persons and entities who might underwrite a delegate's expenses to the convention to curry favor with them. That would include candidates, individuals, political actions committees, LLCs and nonprofit organizations.

Feigenbaum notes that individual expenses for delegates attending a convention could range from $3,000 to $6,000. It seems unlikely that payments made by others to influence delegate votes would run afoul of bribery laws since casting a vote at a party's national nominating convention is not technically a "governmental action." "Watch to see if any individual or entity in Indiana steps up with any cash or in-kind services to make delegate life easier . . . and help bind the delegation," Feigenbaum writes.

The last time Republicans faced an undecided convention at its start was the Ford-Reagan match-up in 1976. Reagan supporters complained a lot back in those days about how the Ford campaign was flying undecided delegates out to Washington to meet personally with President Ford at the White House where they were wined and dined and given Oval Office photo ops with Ford. Donald Trump owns a number of luxury vacation destination properties he could fly undecided delegates to woo them if he were so inclined, including his Mar-a-Lago property in Palm Beach, Florida.


leon dixon said...

You can bet money that Big Money will be very active-see accounts of their Republican 1952 exploits. Thing is, their cheating was a lot easier to cover up in 1952. It will not be easy in 2016 but given the decline in moral or ethical behavior it may not matter. In 1952, for instance, the Saudi Arabia sorts did not provide pensions for American State Department officials or contribute money to "foundations". As you have seen in Indiana, Republicans are quite flexible.

Anonymous said...

As an alternate delegate to the 1980 Democratic Convention I vividly recall Ted Kennedy's ploy to open the Convention for nominations from the floor. This was a serious movement which I witnessed first hand in the Waldorf where I was staying. Had the Carter delegates been freed then there was little doubt that Kennedy would not have won on the first ballot.

Anonymous said... Then, of course, there are rules in Indiana. One of them used to be that in a state wide race for Senate you had to have signatures of 500 people in each congressional district in order to run for that office. Arcane rule, no doubt, but it had the virtue of protecting us from Mike Pence's Common Core math. Or did it? Seems like one candidate who had already run this particular rodeo managed with ease to use all his fingers, toes, appendages and fading cranial hair to get over that impediment. The other guy, failed. Rebranded Common Core Math apparently does not allow computation past 497. However, Republican Math goes by Republican Rules. Briefly stated, $3,000,000 TRUMPS tiny minded rules like 500 because, groundlings, 3,000,000 is obviously a much larger number than 500 and it would be a crying shame to have $3,000,000 unrepresented.
Used to be that counting counted. Back in the day in Bloomington we learned that it need not. Democrats stole a seat in Congress and there was nothing any honest person could do about it. So, counting was discredited and Elephants do have long memories. Of course, what they remembered was that the people didn't care about arcane rules and before too long, not about any rules at all. Anyone think the R establishment sorts in Indiana are hot to trot about either Trump or Cruz?

Anonymous said... Politics ain't beanbag. Killing people is an old leftist practice. Wisdom comes from asking people who use CPAP machines for Sleep Apnea if they ever try to even take a nap without connecting their CPAP or BiPAP. Anyone running for office nationally that might have an unexplained death....?