Lest anyone think that the Working for Us ad that so incensed the White House yesterday was something that the Edwards campaign didn’t condone, today the campaign released a new ad – with the candidate speaking directly into the camera – on the same subject with a different lie. She states that in response to Van Hollen’s efforts to get a campaign finance law passed in 2010, “I called them on it, and we won.”
Ummm, no. The bill passed the Democratic House over the opposition of Edwards and others, and only died as the result of a Republican filibuster in the Senate led by advocates for the Chamber of Commerce and other right wing groups that would have been covered by the bill. So unless by “we” Edwards means big money, right wing forces, she didn’t “win” anything. But the use of “we” does highlight the fact that for all the focus on right wing tea party extremists, we have our own extremists here on the left, who won’t settle for anything that smacks of even the slightest degree of compromise.
Ask yourself this: would a bill that largely negated the most pernicious aspects of the Citizens United decision have been a good thing? Six years later, I think any serious advocate of campaign finance reform would say “hell yes” (I’d use a much stronger epithet, but I’m trying to cut down on my profanity). But Donna Edwards went the purist route and here we are. For her now to attack Chris Van Hollen – via a super PAC, no less – for trying to do something about campaign finance reform takes a special kind of hypocrisy. If you want to know why she ranks so poorly on effectiveness, attitudes like this go a long way to solve that puzzle.
At a minimum, ads like the following tell you that Donna Edwards will say anything, no matter how misleading to her audience or to the truth, to get elected. That’s something else to consider when you contemplate your vote beginning in just under 24 hours now.