So let's understand this: A former financial services industry executive, Edward W. Conard, starts a company, W Spann LLC, which contributes $1 million to Mitt Romney's presidential campaign without his name being mentioned. Soon after the donation is made, the company, W Spann LLC, is discontinued.
Apparently that's all legal, but it really stinks.
It's time for candidates to come to a mutual agreement on ethics in campaign spending. Voters should take note of which candidates will rely on cash from individuals, rather than huge donations from corporations who later visit these candidates through lobbyists and expect big favors.
This dysfunctional, current scenario is the result of the U.S. Supreme Court's January 2010 decision that allows corporations to dump money into "issue advertising" in political races. The unlamented, recently deceased "corporation" W Spann LLC funneled its cash into the Romney-supporting PAC, Restore Our Future. Had there not been a public furor over the anonymous donation, Conard would have never revealed his name, not would he have to, under the current laws sanctioned by the high court.
We'd love to know if W Spann LLC ever engaged in any business other than give $1 million to Romney. Its federal-disclosures forms did not provide any information.
Some may think we are picking on Romney at the expense of other candidates. It's true that both parties are guilty of gobbling up as much campaign cash as the law allows. President Barack Obama is expected to raise $1 billion by next year's election.
However, Romney has a history of collecting large sums of cash from anonymous-sounding business sources. According to the Washington Times, he has gathered $12 million-plus from 90 donations.
Much of his money comes from big business. Two of his donations came from obscure-sounding companies sharing office space in Provo.
These donations stink, but they are the norm in politics today. Is it any wonder Americans are so cynical and disgusted with politics?