Send Me Money

     Now we know how all those wacko presidential candidates got the money to make their runs.
     Some people will contribute to anything.
     Hence the $200,000-plus contributed to the defense of George Zimmerman, the guy who shot a teen-ager in Florida. And that was just the amount he got before his website was shut down.
     There’s probably a Super PAC out there with millions to spend on ads attacking his prosecutors.
     Now imagine how much an “executetheguy.com” website might raise.
     The concept of trial by fund raising is certainly interesting and appealing. What we need is a way for courts to get in on the action.
     We can’t impose a tax on litigation fund raising because that’s a tax on free (or costly) speech. Spending money, as we know, is equivalent to talking.
     And we can’t charge higher court fees to clients who have raised funds because, well, that’s discriminatory.
     So the answer is obvious: the Superior PAC.
     Or the Supreme PAC for the highest court.
     The money raised should be used to keep courts open, ensure access to everyone, and run commercials telling people to stop sending money to high-profile litigants. They don’t need it.
     Ah, but you’re thinking (assuming one thinks while reading this column), contributors could have inappropriate influence over court decisions.
     Well, yeah, maybe. So rather than the PAC model, courts should be looking at Kickstarter. You put up a picture and a brief description of your project and ask for money from anonymous donors who can get little freebies in exchange – say, front row seating at a trial or lunch with a bailiff.
     If you don’t think this will work, take a look at Kickstarter.
     Some people will contribute to anything.
     
     A Feel-Good Story.
     Schadenfreude fans will enjoy a ruling last week from the South Carolina Supreme Court that went against both the Democrats and the Republicans in the state.
     Hee, hee.
     The case is Anderson v. South Carolina Election Commission, in which the court said that candidates – from both parties – had to actually abide by a state election law requiring disclosure of finances.
     Apparently, according to the ruling, there had been a “systemic failure of the political parties to follow the law.”
     That’s right. Both political parties in South Carolina were apparently arguing in court that a law passed by, presumably, members of those political parties, shouldn’t be applied to them.
     Bipartisanship at last.
     My favorite part of this tale is from a local media reportthat quotes a state senatorial candidate who claimed she filed online – but hit the wrong button.
     “That’s what made me so mad because I knew I did it. I knew I did it the day I filed and I hit the save button instead of the file button,” said the candidate (at least according to the news report).
     Next question: do you want to vote for a candidate who doesn’t know how to pick up a phone or try filing again?
     Now you know why some legislators never seem to get anything done. It’s hard to recover from the shock of hitting the wrong button.

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