You see, every year, Republicans in the General Assembly have a hissy fit about the Jefferson Jackson dinner, because it occurs during the General Assembly session. The event is a fundraiser for the Democratic Party of Virginia and the funds are used to – gasp! – support Democratic candidates for office. Since members of the GA benefit from this, the Republicans feel like the Democrats shouldn’t be holding the event.
Let’s look at the law, shall we?
§ 24.2-954. Campaign fundraising; legislative sessions; penalties.
A. No member of the General Assembly or statewide official and no campaign committee of a member of the General Assembly or statewide official shall solicit or accept a contribution for the campaign committee of any member of the General Assembly or statewide official, or for any political committee, from any person or political committee on and after the first day of a regular session of the General Assembly through adjournment sine die of that session.
So if I read this correctly, the only people prohibited from fundraising during the session are General Assembly members or statewide officials. Not political parties or PACs unassociated with GA members or statewide officials. These groups are free to raise as much money during session as they want to. There’s no rule that I can find that says that if the PAC gives their money to GA members or statewide officials they are likewise prohibited. So if the RPV wants to hold its Advance during the GA session, have at it.
What got me going on this is that the Republican water carriers, aka blogs, got a memo Wednesday about next week’s Farm Team statewide meeting. Nevermind that the details of the event were posted on The Farm Team blog ten days ago. Nevermind that The Farm Team is carried on both blog aggregators. No, it took a memo to alert them that the event was taking place. The water carriers just picked up the RSVP link and ran with it, all carrying the “Democrats are holding a fundraiser during session” meme.
Acting like giddy children, they snickered at the use of the term “heifer” as one of the contribution levels. Of course, because they never bothered to look at The Farm Team blog, they had no clue as to the context.
But that wasn’t the worst of it. There was the insinuation that ActBlue, the clearinghouse used for the RSVPs, was somehow being used to skirt the fundraising laws. Um, doesn’t anybody know how third party collection situations work? It doesn’t change the financial reporting requirements. The donor information still has to be reported. So how that could be doing “their dirty work,” as one blogger said (get your own link) I have no idea.
And then there were the bloggers linking to the announcement of The Women’s Caucus breakfast being held in conjunction with the JJ. Again, had they bothered to actually read anything, it should have dawned on them that The Women’s Caucus and The Farm Team can’t possibly be the same organization. I mean – The Farm Team was just organized last fall, so how could it be holding the third annual breakfast?
This is one of those times when I think bloggers are as dumb as the rest of the world thinks they are.
What’s sad is that two bloggers I have heretofore had respect for helped to perpetrate this. (The rest just acted like the echo chamber the blogosphere has become.) To say they have fallen a few pegs in my eyes would be an understatement.
All of this because The Republican Party of Virginia™ is acting like a two-year-old who can’t get his way. Go ahead, have your own fundraiser during session. The rules allow it. And take this with you.