SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Beware the reformers

Monday, Aug 25, 2014

* Tom Dougherty

It’s a scenario that has become all too familiar. You’re frustrated with the gridlock in DC; you’re sickened by the burgeoning national debt; you think the country has gone to “hell in a handbasket” under the current administration and party leadership; and then you get a direct mail piece, or an email, or see an ad on the web that promises change by supporting candidates who embrace your ideals.

Hopeful and excited to learn that there are organizations willing to fight for what you think will “fix this country,” you grab your credit card and fire off a donation, confident you have contributed to a worthwhile cause. […]

Here are five very recognizable organizations that spend vastly more on fundraising efforts than on support for any candidate.

* The chart…

* From the Atlantic

Journalists often lament the absence of presidential leadership. What they are really observing is the weakening of congressional followership. Members of the liberal Congress elected in 1974 overturned the old committee system in an effort to weaken the power of southern conservatives. Instead—and quite inadvertently—they weakened the power of any president to move any program through any Congress. Committees and subcommittees multiplied to the point where no single chair has the power to guarantee anything. […]

In short, in the name of “reform,” Americans over the past half century have weakened political authority. Instead of yielding more accountability, however, these reforms have yielded more lobbying, more expense, more delay, and more indecision.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Formerly Known As... - Monday, Aug 25, 14 @ 10:49 am:

    Dougherty’s article, while terribly lopsided against one particular ideology, should be read by every person in America.

  2. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Aug 25, 14 @ 10:57 am:

    I gave to some candidates, and now my email inbox is inundated on a daily basis with fundraising solicitations.

    There’s a lot of money to be made off of people’s insecurity and anger. In the 21st Century, I blame us. We don’t live in caves. We live in a wonderful world of instant data and news. We have to stop allowing ourselves to be bilked by political people stoking our emotions.

  3. - Anon - Monday, Aug 25, 14 @ 10:58 am:

    The “reformer’s” seem to be interested in regulating everything except the widespread problem of unregistered lobbying.

  4. - thechampaignlife - Monday, Aug 25, 14 @ 10:59 am:

    It doesn’t help that the number of people that a House member has to represent has increased from around 500,000 people per member to 721,000. In fact, the number of representatives hasn’t changed since 1910 during which time the population has more than tripled. I think there is a case to be made that we need to increase the number of representatives (and possibly senators) to get better results out of Congress.

  5. - bottom rung. - Monday, Aug 25, 14 @ 11:09 am:

    Cutback Amendment was in the same spirit as these misguided reforms.

  6. - Chicago Cynic - Monday, Aug 25, 14 @ 11:20 am:

    I’m not sure how that chart supports any conclusion other than the professional tea party organizations and their high profile spokesman like Sarah Palin are nothing more than modern snake oil hucksters just making a buck off of frustrated idealists on the right. Seriously, 90+% of SarahPac $$$ went to staff and principals and almost nothing towards electing candidates they support. Disgusting.

  7. - olddog - Monday, Aug 25, 14 @ 11:30 am:

    === Cutback Amendment was in the same spirit as these misguided reforms. ===


    So is term limits. It was in 1994, and it is today.

  8. - kiimocat - Monday, Aug 25, 14 @ 11:32 am:

    Agree, Chicago Cynic. The so-called “grass roots” tea-party groups morphed into a bunch of grifters ripping off frustrated (mostly white) folks. And Palin is their queen.

  9. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Monday, Aug 25, 14 @ 12:05 pm:

    @FKA & kiimocat -

    I hope no one reads it. I want the conservatives to keep feeding the consultants instead of grassroots campaigns.

    The TEA PArty movement was wholly manufactured by lobbyists…it never ‘morphed’, although it tapped into a much bigger pocket of oil than Dick Armey was expecting.


    To the Atlantic:

    The problem with Reform Movements is that they are often led by Reformers.

    To stop hackers, you hire hackers.

    To catch a thief, you hire a thief.

    And to reform Illinois’ political system, you ought to hire folks who actually understand its weaknesses and are pretty good at predicting future threats…or opportunities, depending on how you look at them.

    I know a dozen people from both sides of the aisle who could make our political system pretty secure if you put them in a room for a few weeks.

  10. - Anonymous - Monday, Aug 25, 14 @ 12:47 pm:

    Royko said it all those years ago….”Lord, save us from the Reformers”. Greed has always trumped honest efforts to make things better. Now, money tramples those efforts into dust.

  11. - downstate hack - Monday, Aug 25, 14 @ 1:57 pm:

    What’s the percentage of “MoveOn.Org” that gets to candidates it proposes to support.?

  12. - Formerly Known As... - Monday, Aug 25, 14 @ 2:10 pm:

    @YDD - well, there’s always that approach as well :) You are crazy like a fox.

  13. - wordslinger - Monday, Aug 25, 14 @ 3:47 pm:

    Those Tea Party groups have quite a scam going. Big surprise.

  14. - Timmeh - Monday, Aug 25, 14 @ 5:23 pm:

    How isn’t this fraud?

  15. - VanillaMan - Monday, Aug 25, 14 @ 7:12 pm:

    A whole lot of blathering!
    These are the same “experts” who have been predicting the end of the Tea Party for the past four freaking years. If these people were employed in any other business they would have been ignored since 2012.

    They don’t get it. They haven’t suddenly got it either.

  16. - kiimocat - Monday, Aug 25, 14 @ 7:20 pm:

    VanillaMan - I don’t think the authors were predicting “the end of the T-Party.” They were just pointing out what scammers the organizers are.

  17. - Not a Statistician - Tuesday, Aug 26, 14 @ 9:33 am:

    According to FEC year-end data,, in 2012 (the last Federal election year), raised 12,202,107.77 and spent a combined total of 3,350.840.35 on contributions to candidate committees and on independent expenditures. 27% of funds raised.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Yikes, man
* The Credit Union Difference
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Kotowski bash, event list
* Question of the day
* Dimas: "There's a chance we will have to introduce the FY17 budget before we have an FY16 budget"
* Unclear on the concept
* Rhetoric vs. reality
* Supremes snub Illinois Policy Institute appeal
* Aren't we forgetting something?
* True, but...
* Things are tense all over
* Unclear on the concept
* Rep. Leitch won't run again
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Supplement to today’s edition and a Golar replacement update from AlderTrack
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Yesterday's blog posts

Visit our advertisers...







Search This Blog...

Search the 98th General Assembly By Bill Number
(example: HB0001)

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

* Review: The Incase x Parabellum Travel Folio Wraps Your Apple Watch in Expensive Bison Leather
* Surface Book makes a fake “click” sound effect during screen removal to reassure its users
* iFixit takes a look at the Google Chromecast 2015’s innards
* Samsung’s Galaxy J3 pops up in benchmarks as the SM-J3109
* Sony bolsters its growing image sensor business by acquiring Softkinetic Systems
* Elephone’s P9000 will feature a side fingerprint scanner and razor thin bezels
* Apple may start taking iPad Pro, new Apple TV orders before the month’s out

* After second base, it was no-go White Sox
* Scouting, player development key for White Sox
* Arbitration-eligible White Sox won't put dent in payroll
* Hawk Harrelson's reduced schedule creates opportunity for White Sox...
* Holliday, Ventura connection goes way back
* 2015 in 3 words: Sale, Abreu, inconsistency
* Hawk cutting '16 broadcast schedule


Main Menu
Pundit rankings
Subscriber Content
Blagojevich Trial
Updated Posts

October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005


RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0


* Rauner ends quarter with $19 million in campaig.....
* Rauner Says 'Time's Up' On Budget Impasse—But I.....
* Gov. Bruce Rauner ends quarter with $19 million.....
* Gov. Bruce Rauner ends quarter with $19 million.....
* House Speaker Madigan: Gov. Rauner's Failure to.....
* Rhetoric vs. reality - The Capitol Fax Blog (blog)..

* Chicago cab driver group calls for 24-hour strike
* Indiana man chose as 1st national Pig Farmer of Year
* 2 Illinois congressmen heading to Cuba on Sunday for ag trip
* EXCHANGE: Sudzy Bath and Biscuits in Anna caters to canines
* Group says interest in Chicago Halloween parade growing
* Impact of Chicago Marathon felt from now to Sunday event
* Chicago Democrats to meet to fill seat of late Rep. Golar
* Illinois approves 3,100 medical marijuana patients
* Urbana schools ease fingerprint requirement for volunteers
* Rauner tries to put pressure on Democrats for budget deal

* Gov. Rauner ends quarter with $19M in campaign fund
* Prosecutors say former Congressman Aaron Schock is 'grandstanding'
* State Rep. David Leitch won't seek re-election
* Rauner to Democrats: 'Time's up' in budget impasse
* Illinois panel OKs medical marijuana for 8 health conditions
* State Sen. McCarter to challenge Shimkus in Congressional primary
* Rauner increasing pressure on Democrats for budget deal
* Local health departments warn of budget impasse impact
* Illinois panel OKs medical marijuana for pain conditions
* Providers, clients bash Rauner administration changes to day care eligibility

* 'Uber for auto repair' sends freelance mechanics to your home or office
* The songbird you must see now, Chicago Ideas Week bonanza
* Medical marijuana rolls grow to 3,100
* Strike dodged with Fiat Chrysler deal
* AB InBev turns up the heat on SABMiller

* Ex-CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett, 4 others charged in contract scheme
* The Rangers thought the Blackhawks celebrated too much before their game
* Two U.S. reps from Illinois plan Cuba trip
* Clinton’s email server subject to hack attempts from China, Korea, Germany
* Rangers spoil Blackhawks party in season opener
* Gary Bettman booed very loudly during Blackhawks banner ceremony
* Sweet: Emanuel in D.C. as Chicago’s gun violence in national spotlight
* Brown: An Illinois disaster you may be missing
* Combination of Accam, Shipp, Gilberto a positive for Fire
* Blackhawks show solidarity for Cubs postseason run

* Former Chicago Public Schools chief indicted in bribery scheme
* Want Cubs playoff tickets? Gas up the car.
* Jennifer Hudson on 'Chi-raq' character: 'I have the same story'
* 26.2 miles through Chicago: Interactive marathon map
* Mortgage rates fall sharply
* Chicago gun laws not as strict as GOP candidates claim
* Mike Ditka to appear on Oprah's 'Where Are They Now?'
* 'Shots were fired at the football game over at Garfield Park'
* Man tried to lure child on Northwest Side: police
* Police warn of robberies on Northwest Side

* Gov. Rauner ends quarter with $19M in campaign fund
* Prosecutors say former Congressman Aaron Schock is 'grandstanding'
* State Rep. David Leitch won't seek re-election
* Bernard Schoenburg: Supreme Court refuses to hear Illinois Policy Institute appeal over press access at Statehouse
* George Will: Impeach the IRS director
* Eugene Robinson: Obama is right to be cautious on Syria
* Elizabeth Austin: 'Lawsuit climate' no obstacle to business success
* Rauner to Democrats: 'Time's up' in budget impasse
* Illinois panel OKs medical marijuana for 8 health conditions
* State Sen. McCarter to challenge Shimkus in Congressional primary

* 10-08-15 Dr. Jared Rogers with Jim Turpin on Penny for Your Thoughts
* Updated: McCarthy withdraws candidacy for Speaker
* 10-08-15 Penny for Your Thoughts
* Illinois approves 3,100 medical marijuana patients
* Impact of Chicago Marathon felt from now to Sunday event
* Rauner ends quarter with $19 million in campaign fund
* Amid new attacks, Israel bars ministers from Jerusalem site
* Man to prison after probation violation
* Air Force: French train hero stabbed in California
* McCarthy, rivals make pitch for speaker as House GOP votes

* The Latest: UEFA backs Platini despite 90-day suspension
* Amid new attacks, Israel bars ministers from Jerusalem site
* Mount Prospect backs tax break for contractor's expansion
* GOP lawmaker: Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy withdraws his candidacy for speaker
* In St. Louis some fans worry; others say bring it on

* House lawmakers overcome hurdle on key tra...
* Rodney Davis talks funding with Bloomingto...
* The agency that fought Illiana gets a new ...
* Rep. Dold takes educational cruise down Ch...
* Lawmakers decry high turnover rate of VA h...
* CBD Oil, and politics
* Simon considering state Senate bid
* Killer Congressman Tom MacArthur trying to...
* Shutdown? State may not notice
* Rep. Bob Dold

* Sen. Durbin supports Sentencing Reform and......

* POLITICO Illinois Playbook: RAUNER-MADIGAN......
* New GOP Opponent Challenges Kirk in Senate......
* New GOP Opponent Challenges Kirk in Senate......

* What happened to my NEA RA New Business Item on the Confederate flag? I just received an answer.
* Americans Receive Out-Of-Network Medical Bills That Reach 'Exorbitant' Heights, Report Finds
* Cook County Proposal Seeks Fee On Big Businesses Paying 'Poverty Wages' (UPDATED)
* Update x1: Kevin McCarthy withdraws from House Speaker race
* Parents, Advocates Speak Out Against CPS Special Need Education Cuts
* Selling special education kids on Wall Street.
* Special education
* BREAKING: Kevin McCarthy withdraws from House leadership race
* Advocacy and the First Amendment: Should Nonprofits Disclose Their Donors?
* Public School Students Are the New Inmates in the American Police State

* IEMA Announces Elgin Community College Attains ‘Ready to Respond Campus’ Designation - Elgin one of five Illinois campuses to receive distinction
* New Mortgage Loan Interface Increases Efficiency, Compliance
* State Fire Marshal Ushers In Fire Prevention Week - “Hear the Beep Where You Sleep!”
* October Is Illinois College Application Month! - Over 130 High Schools Will Hold Events to Help Students Get to College
* Illinois Takes Part in Nationwide Community Banking Study, Findings Announced

    Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller