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March 13, 2004
Post: Kerry Won't Disclose Big Fundraisers

Today's lead editorial in the Washington Post demonstrates again the hypocrisy of the John Kerry campaign. After publicly referring to George Bush and Republicans as the "most crooked ... lying group," Kerry still stonewalls on the people who collect money for him -- unlike President Bush, who regularly updates his list of donors:

Facing the Bush campaign's outsize war chest, the Kerry campaign is planning a 20-state, $15 million fundraising blitz; overall, it is aiming to raise another $80 million by July. To get there, Mr. Kerry will have to rely heavily on both his own big financiers and those of his Democratic rivals. Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) -- who repeatedly rebuffed our requests for a list of his top fundraisers -- introduced Mr. Kerry to about 100 of them at a meeting on Thursday. Likewise, Rep. Richard A. Gephardt (D-Mo.), who was similarly unforthcoming with a list of big bundlers, is making his money men and women available to the Kerry campaign.

Kerry, after being the only Democrat to actually release a list of these "bundlers" in January -- before he actually started getting the big money after Dean's ignominious fall -- has so far remained silent when asked to provide updates. Apparently, secrecy is the DNC policy when it comes to donors and fundraisers. The Post, not exactly a bastion of conservative politics, notes in the next sentence: "Knowing the identities of the campaign's bundlers would be critical to assessing the policies and personnel of a Kerry administration." Indeed it does, and it gets back to what I wrote earlier about campaign finance in general -- that full disclosure works a lot better than attempting to create artificial distinctions between political parties and 527s.

Crooked people rarely operate in the open. If you want to judge the relative honesty of each campaign, one place to start is to see which is the most secretive about its financing. So far, Kerry's campaign fails in that test.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at March 13, 2004 8:42 AM

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