Having posted this morning on the problem with overly aggressive campaign finance laws, I should point out the latest evidence pointing in the other direction. This news about casino-game-company IGT’s big contribution to the Democratic Governor’s Association (DGA) shows that some level of transparency is a good thing, indeed, especially considering that the DGA has been bragging about its record fundraising under Democrat Governor Gina Raimondo’s leadership:
Records show that IGT donated $150,000 to the Democratic Governors Association in the last six months, while Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo was leading the group as chairwoman and former IGT Chairman Donald Sweitzer was serving as treasurer.
The contributions came while the Raimondo administration was negotiating a 20-year, no-bid Lottery contract extension with IGT. Twin River, which has led opposition to the proposed contract extension, donated $100,000 to the Democratic Governors Association on Feb. 28.
The association said Tuesday that it had broken its previous fundraising record during the first six months of the year.
Campaign finance regulations can become a way for political insiders to trip up newcomers. They also allow activists to create the impression of improper relationships based on the likelihood of people knowing each other in a small state like Rhode Island.
That said, the governor’s bringing in a giant donation for a political organization that she leads while also preparing a long-term, no-bid deal with the donor company looks a lot like a quid pro quo.