Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Campaign Reform needs to go further

The Washington Post reported that former Virginia Governor and Republican National Committee Chairman James S. Gilmore III has launched a new non-profit group, Americans for Freedom and Opportunity which has said it will engage in "policy discussions and persuasion." Gilmore (R) is the founder and chairman of the group.

As Gilmore’s group is a nonprofit educational institute, it can accept donations without any public disclosure. Last weekend’s inaugural event was expected to raise more than $300,000.

Despite the group’s nonprofit, nonpartisan status, Gilmore used the banquet to take numerous jabs at Virginia’s Democratic Governor Mark R. Warner and his tax policies.

Further, as the Post correctly points out:
Gilmore's advisers acknowledge with a smile the plan that his adversaries and critics have said they expect: that the group will serve as a highly visible platform from which Gilmore can again seek public office.

Americans for Freedom and Opportunity is not nonpartisan. As such, any donations to the group should be publicly disclosed. The Yellow Line believes Gov. Gilmore has the right to earn a living and utilize the organization to raise the profile of issues that the former governor cares about. However, the public deserves to know where the funding for these activities came from.


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