AFA Cries Foul

AFA Cries Foul August 19, 2007

The American Family Association is throwing a fit because their political opponents give money to candidates just like they do.

The American Family Association lists nine current political candidates, mostly incumbents, who have accepted contributions either from the gambling industry or from other candidates that received the industry contributions. A bulletin this week from AFA points to House Gaming Committee chairman Bobby Moak, who — according to Secretary of State Eric Clark’s website — received at least $25,000 from casinos or casino employees, and made donations himself to at least two other political candidates.

AFA spokesman Randy Sharp says his organization considers that a breach of ethics — and says it shows no semblance of propriety from elected officials.

Why would only the political contributions of a group they don’t like be unethical? What’s the difference between political contributions from gambling companies and gambling advocates to politicians who don’t want to ban gambling and political contributions from religious right groups to politicians? The AFA shows a clearly hypocritical position:

Sharp says one cannot expect an elected official to accept money from the gambling industry and then not return the favor when legislation comes up that would benefit the gambling industry and the casinos. He cites it as another example of how the gambling industry routinely reaches into Mississippi’s legislative chambers and tries to influence the process for its benefit.

And one cannot expected an elected official to accept money from anti-gambling interest groups and then not return the favor when legislation comes up that would diminish the rights of those who gamble. There is one obvious difference between the two though: one of them seeks to control the actions of other people and violate their right to do with their money as they see fit, while the other does not. That is a far greater example of unethical behavior in my book.

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