Richard Mourdock has gotten himself into a sticky situation by selling his political soul to the Club for Growth. The State Treasurer turned Senate candidate cannot finance his campaign through traditional fundraising from donors in Indiana and must rely on outside money for television and radio ads and even yard signs. This is not a good sign.
For someone who claims to be anti-establishment, Mourdock certainly relies heavily on a questionable list of anonymous donors shrouded in secrecy by a web of complicated campaign finance laws. Senator Lugar’s campaign pointed out that by unequivocally stating that it would direct funds to support Mourdock’s campaign, the Club for Growth has essentially bypassed federal pay-to-play laws that help ensure groups who stand to directly benefit financially cannot donate to a campaign.
Does Senator Lugar have a vested interest in transparency in this case? Yes. Is he also correct when he says this creates a significant moral hazard? Also yes.
Even the most vocal critics of the Senator cannot deny that Mr. Lugar has a history of leading on the transparency issue. In 2000, he was the first US Senator to electronically file a list of his donors in an easily searchable format for public use.
Frankly, it is outrageous that the candidate who is campaigning on a “throw ‘em all out” message is operating like the most secretive of Washington insiders.
This situation should never have happened. But let’s give Mourdock the benefit of the doubt. At least he has come out in strong support of transparency and urged the Club for Growth to release their list of donors.
He did, didn’t he? Oh wait, he didn’t. What was he saying about needing change in Washington again?