In Michigan this year, the holiday and campaign finance are connected only by the coincidence of a controversial campaign finance act bill sitting on the Governor's desk as Christmas approaches. But Roll Call's Money Line draws a more explicit connection between the Christmas and campaign finance. Writing about the Federal Election Commission's recent request to Congress for permission to receive gifts and use them to facilitate transparency in federal campaign finance data, Kent Cooper asks provocatively, "If Santa Asked For A Gift, How Could You Refuse to Give?" Generally a fan of disclosure, Cooper the idea of asking for gifts to a federally funded regulatory agency could do more harm than good:
If Congress permits these gifts, it may put those in the regulated community in an awkward position. It may be similar to Santa, or the Justice Department, or a judge asking for a gift. How can you say no? If you have been good, you may worry that if you don’t give, you might be moved to the ‘bad’ list. If you have been naughty, you might feel a gift would move you to the ‘good’ list. And like any good government agency, they’ll keep a list, and check it twice. Almost sounds like a member of Congress asking for a campaign contribution.