John McCain was half of the McCain-Feingold effort to stem big money in electoral politics. Their effort was undercut by the Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United, and seems to have gone the way of the Dodo bird with millions awash in the 2012 electoral season.Nonetheless, McCain seems committed to the effort to stem the tide. In an interview on PBS's Newshour, he pointed out the potential for foreign money (illegal in the U.S.) to be channeled through Big Donors to the Super-Pacs. Sheldon Adelson (the last supporter of New Gingrich) is cited as such a potential channel. McCain notes Adelson's connection to the gambling interests in Macau (Chinese?). In Sunday's New York Times, Nicholas Confessore goes further and underlines Adelson's deep Israeli commitments. Adelson has contributed $10 million to Karl Rove's Super-Pac and more is on promise. Confessore also notes that Adelson attended the annual Koch Brothers fund-fest this year. Confessore's story. More details on the contributions at Politico.There are many ways to look at this: As long as the U.S. is up for intervening around the world, why shouldn't the rest of the world have a say in our elections? If billionaires aren't going to be taxed by the representatives they buy, how else can they contribute to civic life? Will the feckless FEC look into McCain's suspicions?No doubt, you will have your own take on this.
Margaret O’Brien Steinfels is a former editor of Commonweal.
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