For the first year of its existence, Unity08 maintained the following paragraph on lobbyists and the corrupting influence of large donations on its “What We Believe” page. The Wayback internet archive for July 7, 2007 preserves it:
Unity08 strongly believes the corrupting influence of special interest money is a major cause of todayâ€™s fundamentally broken political system. Lobbyist money plus pandering to the intense ideological bases by both parties yields the blame-game partisan bickering that has destroyed voter confidence. No other issue will get solved until this one does.
Unity08 intends to fix this broken system by electing a bipartisan â€œUnity Ticketâ€ to the White House in â€˜08 funded solely by small-dollar donations from everyday Americans. As a result the Unity08 President and Vice President will enter office not with favors owed to lobbyists and special interests but with a clear mandate from the American people to cooperate and provide courageous leadership on the most crucial, complex issues facing our country.
Of course, Unity08 never implemented these beliefs in its actions. It actually did the contrary. While railing against lobbyists, Unity08 quietly brought professional lobbyists into key leadership positions. Unity08 has sued the Federal Election Commission for the right to take loans and contributions of unlimited size. Analyses of Unity08′s 2006 and Jan-June 2007 donations reveals an overwhelming reliance on large donations, not small donations, for the bulk of its money. And the bulk of Unity08′s money in the first half of 2007 came in the form of massive loans on undisclosed terms from just three individuals.
A review of the “What We Believe” page on Unity08 today reveals that the paragraph has been deleted. The paragraph has not been relocated — searches reveal it has been removed altogether from the website and stuffed down the memory hole.
Is it better for Unity08 to be hypocritical but still mouth nice words? Is it better for Unity08 to embrace consistency and ditch the railing against lobbyists and big money? Or is it better for you to simply steer clear of Unity08? Hey, it’s a free country — that’s for you to decide.