Friday, December 07, 2007

Campaign lunacy gets green light from FEC

Professors Tweedledee and Tweedledum have gotten official sanction to raise money jointly in their campaign against Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, even though they are in opposing parties and supposedly running against each other as well as Big Jim.

The AP reports:

The Federal Election Commission has given the green light to an unusual joint fundraising plan by two candidates from different parties who hope to knock off Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis.

On Thursday, the FEC approved an advisory opinion that lets Democrat Jeff Walz and Republican James Burkee raise money together as part of their plan to campaign with each other and combine promotional efforts.

The two Concordia University professors told the FEC they wanted to form a joint fundraising committee, which would serve as a "clearinghouse" for contributions. Those contributions would be equally divided between the two candidates' campaigns, although donors could contribute to only one candidate if they choose.

The candidates also said they want to split the cost of joint campaign and fundraising activities equally, including personnel expenses. Solo campaigning by one of the candidates, however, would be funded solely by that candidate's campaign.

"The commission concludes that the Burkee Committee and the Walz Committee may engage in joint campaign and fundraising activities as proposed," said the advisory opinion, which was unanimously approved by the FEC.

Messages left with the campaign office of the two candidates were not immediately returned Thursday. Sensenbrenner's office declined to comment.

Walz, a political scientist, and Burkee, a historian, have worked together in recent years as speakers and commentators. Their goal, they have said, is to show what elections should look like, with an emphasis on decency, cooperation and collaboration. They say they will avoid personal attacks and refuse special interest group money.
So this is how they think campaigns should work.

The trouble is, as I've said here before, is that campaigns are supposed to be about drawing distinctions between the candidates, not blurring their differences.

If it doesn't matter who wins, why would anyone give either of them any money, let alone both?