Kenneth P. Vogel called attention to an important issue in a Wednesday Politico article – namely, the inherent hypocrisy of super-rich liberal donors who give big bucks to a Democratic party that repeatedly slams wealthy conservative donors like the Koch brothers.
Vogel’s article focused on this week’s annual spring meeting in Chicago of the Democracy Alliance, a club of wealthy Democratic donors. The political journalist apparently tried to ask several attendees about the irony of the Democrats’ position on campaign finance, but he was mostly stonewalled. Here's how Vogel opened his April 30 story:
Democratic attacks on the Koch brothers for secretive campaign spending have become a virtual plank in the party’s platform, but it turns out big-money liberals can be just as defensive when their own closed-door activities are put in the spotlight.
During a gathering here of major Democratic donors this week that has raised more than $30 million for liberal groups, questions about the party’s split personality on the issue were dodged, rejected or answered with an array of rationalizations. That is, when they weren’t met with recriminations or even gentle physical force.
Vogel went on to describe how top Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett, New York City mayor Bill de Blasio, and Kentucky U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes all refused to answer questions from “a reporter” – presumably Vogel himself – about Democrats’ hypocrisy on big money in politics:
Jarrett refused to make eye contact with a reporter asking such a question on Monday night, while de Blasio on Sunday night said, “My friend, we’re not doing media right now. We’re happy to talk to you another time,” as a handler stepped between the quick-walking mayor and a reporter. When Grimes, following a closed-door meet-and-greet with major donors Tuesday, was asked about liberal efforts to vilify the Kochs and other major conservative donors, she said, “I sure appreciate your time. You have to go through our communications department,” then stepped into an elevator and stood behind an aide.
Communications staffers for de Blasio and Grimes did not respond to subsequent requests for comment.
Vogel also wrote that a Democracy Alliance staffer grabbed his arm to stop him from following and questioning Jonathan Soros, son of George and a wealthy super PAC co-founder in his own right. He also claimed that the security supervisor at the conference’s hotel, under orders from the DA, said that, “If it’s not sanctioned by our PR department, we can’t actually have anybody approach anybody for any kind of interview or sound bite or anything like that.”
This is the type of aggressive reporting that we need from our mainstream media. But will any of the major broadcast networks, or any major newspapers, have the courage to follow Vogel’s lead and call out the liberal hypocrisy on wealthy campaign donors? They will if they want to maintain honesty and balance.