Thursday, April 19, 2012

Campaign Finance

Sophie Meunier on French campaign financing:
Money is a good thing to have in a French electoral campaign, to be sure, but there is not that much money can buy: a good Web team; campaign posters; computers; t-shirts and gadgets; airfares; tolls and fuel for the cars of the party operatives who criss-cross the country; and the organization of campaign rallies -- some small, some massive -- such as Sarkozy's recent meeting on the Place de la Concorde and Hollande's big rally in Vincennes. That's about it.
And yet we keep hearing all these stories about kickbacks from Pakistan, money raised from fake invoices, no-show jobs to finance campaign staffers, suitcases full of cash from Qaddafi, etc. etc. Surely this doesn't all go to finance collections of Japanese prints, post-election fêtes at Fouquet's, or luxurious holidays. So where does the money go?

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