FILE - In this Oct. 20, 2015 file photo, Rep. David Jolly, R-Fla. speaks to reporters in St. Petersburg, Fla.  Jolly says that as of this month, he personally has sworn off fundraising. He’s leaving that duty to his professional campaign fundraisers, vowing not to spend a single second of his own time wooing donors.  (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

FILE – In this Oct. 20, 2015 file photo, Rep. David Jolly, R-Fla. speaks to reporters in St. Petersburg, Fla. Jolly says that as of this month, he personally has sworn off fundraising. He’s leaving that duty to his professional campaign fundraisers, vowing not to spend a single second of his own time wooing donors. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

Over the weekend, Florida Republican Representative David Jolly and candidate for the nomination to fill Marco Rubio’s open seat, was on 60 Minutes bitching about having to raise money for his campaign. Who is David Jolly, well, according to the Heritage Action rating, not much:

jolly hafa

Rep. David Jolly: It is a cult-like boiler room on Capitol Hill where sitting members of Congress, frankly I believe, are compromising the dignity of the office they hold by sitting in these sweatshop phone booths calling people asking them for money. And their only goal is to get $500 or $1,000 or $2,000 out of the person on the other end of the line. It’s shameful. It’s beneath the dignity of the office that our voters in our communities entrust us to serve.

Norah O’Donnell: But you may not have a job if you don’t fundraise.

Rep. David Jolly: I’m willing to take that risk.

A risk because David Jolly has pledged to stop personally asking donors for money. And that’s not all. In February, he introduced a bill called the “Stop Act,” that would ban all federal-elected officials from directly soliciting donations.

National Journal’s Josh Kraushaar smelled a rat:

He also noticed the symbiotic relationship the media has with any political figure that adheres to their favorite talking points. In this case, it would would be the idea campaign finance reform.

In this case, Jolly, by hewing to the liberal line on campaign contributions is rewarded by a high profile friendly interveiw; a big, wet, spit swapping, tonsil-hockey kiss; that is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Of course, what 60 Minutes doesn’t note is that Jolly’s problem is largely the creation of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA), aka McCain-Feingold. It was that bill, that made both John McCain and Russ Feingold media darlings, that set a $2700/person limit on campaign contributions. A limit that is not indexed for inflation and which makes fundraising much more labor intensive.

Exactly. McCain-Feingold was written to protect incumbents. The fundraising limit doesn’t have the same impact on an incumbent as it does upon a challenger. Other parts of that bill limiting when it was legal to criticize an incumbent were thrown out by the Supreme Court. The irony here is that Jolly is trying to shame his opponents — and his colleagues — by his faux swearing off of donations. He is relying upon a super PAC he created:

Now David Jolly has one as well. A super PAC, that is. It’s called FloridAmerican Conservatives. “The United States Senate seat in Florida will be open in 2016, and the national liberal Democrats – Obama, Clinton, Reid – will spend whatever it takes to put Florida in their column,” the Super Pac’s website reads. “We’re supporting David Jolly for the Republican nomination because he is the conservative who can and will hold this seat and protect our Republican majority.As a Congressman from the vote-rich Tampa Bay area, David Jolly has proven himself as a champion for the conservative cause. “ According to the Federal Elections Commission’s website, the PAC was formed last July, and lists well-known GOP campaign finance treasurer Nancy Watkins as the custodian of records and assistant treasurer, along with Robert Watkins, her husband and the chairman of the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority. Super PACs can accept unlimited donations as long as the groups don’t coordinate spending with candidates.

 

Ironically, Krushaar observes that Jolly is doing the exact same thing that Ted Cruz has been accused of: forcing colleagues to make very difficult choices for the primary benefit of himself.

There is only a superficial similarity. Cruz has done this on policy issues where he has forced alleged conservatives to put-up-or-shut-up. Jolly is simply doing it to win an election. Where Cruz, a conservative, gets lambasted for it, Jolly, a left-leaning moderate (I say left leaning because anyone who wants to stifle the ability of anyone to run for office is within spitting distance of being a commie) gets a free campaign ad courtesy of 60 Minutes because they like his issue. If you are in Florida, keep this in mind on August 30 when you go to the polls.

========

Visit my archive