Is it a good idea to send political money to nonprofits?

 Have you seen this article from Chronicle of Philanthropy?

Group Wants to Steer Political-Campaign Money to Charity
April 12, 2012, 10:48 am

A new Web-based company is seeking to reduce the influence of money in politics by creating a way for contributors to support candidates while actually sending their cash to charity, writes The Washington Post.

Repledge, which is seeking approval from the Federal Election Commission, would hold online fund drives for Republican or Democratic candidates, with charities as beneficiaries. Pledges will count against campaign-giving limits and be matched with those of donors from the opposing party; if one side gives more than the other, the excess would go to that side’s candidate.

“It’s for political opposites who would still like to support their candidate but are disappointed with the tremendous amount of funds going into campaign finances,” said Repledge co-founder Eric M. Zolt, a University of California at Los Angeles law professor.

To me, this looks like a bad idea.  Here’s why…

  • Political campaigns will still need money to operate and to purchase media
  • IF (and that’s a big if) this catches fire, it could shift a higher percentage of individual political contributions away from campaigns.  This in itself isn’t horrible, but the effect it could have is significant.  By shifting individual contributions out of politics it would, in effect, increase the value of every  corporate and special interest dollar to political campaigns.
  • As a result, individuals could end up with even less of a say than they already have in our political process.

Maybe I’m wrong.  What do you think?


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