The Best of Notable Quotables; December 28, 1998

Vol. Eleven; No. 27

The Everybody But Us Shut Up Award (for Promoting Campaign Finance Reform)

“For those of us who worship the constitutional guarantee of free press and speech, the spectacle of political hustlers like Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) using the First Amendment to justify legalized bribery is offensive.”

Wall Street Journal Executive Washington Editor Al Hunt, March 12 column. [82 points]


“Republicans kill the bill to clean up sleazy political fundraising. The business of dirty campaign money will stay business as usual....Good evening. Legislation to reform shady big money campaign fundraising is dead in Congress. Republican opponents in the Senate killed it today. It was the latest in a long-running attempt to toughen loose laws that shield hidden donors with loose wallets and deep pockets. As CBS’s Bob Schieffer reports, when it came to the crunch today on campaign finance reform, it was all talk and no action.”

– Dan Rather, February 26 CBS Evening News. [71]  
“It was a bill that was doomed to die. The last time you heard people so eager to claim responsibility for something like this, they were terrorists.”

– NBC reporter Gwen Ifill, February 27 Washington Week in Review on PBS. [49]
“The Senate has effectively killed political campaign finance reform for the foreseeable future, which means that even though a majority of Senators declared themselves in favor of trying to change the way politicians raise and spend money, there were not enough votes to end a Republican filibuster. Together the Senate and the House of Representatives spent more than $9 million dollars to hold more than 30 days of hearings on how to change the rules, and even though so many Americans believe that money is more important to the process than their vote – which is not a pretty picture – and though many, many  politicians believe the system is flawed, they will not be fixing it, just yet.”

– ABC News anchor Peter Jennings, February 26 World News Tonight. [27]