Friday, December 29, 2006

Thanks to Talking Points Memo for pointing the way on this. The FEC has handed down over $6 million in civil fines for campaign violations. What I find so interesting is that Freddie Mac was fined about $3.8 million.
Freddie Mac is officially known as the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation. It was created by Congress, the President appoints five of the eighteen Directors, and it is extempt from taxation by statute. In other words, Freddie Mac is not just any other company- even if it is not part of the government (because it doesn't receive tax money, and is a publicly traded corporation with private shareholders), it has no existence apart from the government.

So here we have one government entity levying fines against another entity (kinda) of the government. Since Freddie Mac owes its existence to Congress, I can certainly understand that they have an interest in influencing elections. However, this strikes me as little more than a circle jerk- Freddie Mac makes improper contributions, the recipients of such contributions win election, the government fines FM, the fine money gets deposited in the Treasury, and then gets funneled back to FM through the two Federal oversight agencies Freddie Mac answers to.

If this seems a little conspiratorial, I admit that it is. But it just makes my eyebrows raise a wee bit....


just 6 dollars said...

It doesn't get much more confusing than that. Nevermind PACs and 527s, now we have contributions from government agencies factored into the campaign finance mess. One more reason public financing makes sense.