A few weeks back, Ralph Luker raised the interesting question of why the $100,000 allegedly offered Smith for his son’s campaign warchest differed from the traditional tactic of trading votes for patronage or pork-barrel projects in the member’s district. In one way, I’d agree that there isn’t much difference—in some ways, the latter approach is worse, since it’s government money that’s being spent. On the other hand, though, political corruption statutes dating from the Progressive Era have focused on attempting to contain the role of campaign contributions in influencing legislation, which makes the Smith matter so egregious.
On the question of the Democratic race, Jerry Sternstein recently chided me, correctly, for commenting that Al Sharpton is in any way interested in advancing anyone’s cause but his own in his presidential campaign. Further confirmation of this comes from this week’s Village Voice, which has a fascinating article on GOP attempts to keep Sharpton in the race by financing his campaign. The Voice also has an excellent piece by one of my favorite authors, Rick Perlstein, on Howard Dean’s effect on this year’s race.
Finally, those who need an additional reminder as we head into the campaign season on how precipitously the competitiveness of House elections has declined should check out this great site, which has the tallies, listed comparatively, on every House race since 1968.
comments powered by Disqus
- Holocaust Victims Mocked in Ohio State Band Parody Songbook
- Memphis attempt to drop name of Nathan Bedford Forrest runs into state law
- Overlooked: The 25th anniversary of Captive Nations Week
- In confession to historian, George McGovern revealed he had a secret child
- Revised AP U.S. History Standards Will Emphasize American Exceptionalism
- U.K. Released Hundreds of Nazis After the Holocaust, Says Leading Historian
- NYT History Book Reviews: Who Got Noticed this Week?
- Academic Seeks Death Certificate for Outlaw Billy the Kid
- Murderer of historian of Czech Jewry goes on trial