Monday, May 28, 2007

The Money Trail Is Sometimes a Rabbit Trail

With all of the demagoguery that is prevalent on the subject of money and politics, Karl Kurtz's informed discussion of the issue should be required reading. Mr. Kurtz is responding to a blog post by New York Times columnist David Pogue.

In response to Mr. Pogue's -- and countless others' -- assumption that a correlation between political contributions and voting records proves causality, Mr. Kurtz writes the following:

One specific example that Pogue brings up is California Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, whom he chastizes for receiving substantial contributions from labor unions and voting with them 94 percent of the time. Neither the web site that produces this information nor Pogue notes that Speaker Nunez was a labor union official before he was elected to the legislature. That was his background and experience in life. The voters in his district knew that and elected him to office, as did the members of the Assembly who selected him to be speaker. Even if there were no money in politics, we would expect someone with this background and experience to vote with labor. (I'm wondering more about the six percent of the time that he voted against the unions!)

Read the rest here.


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