Gun debate reveals thin line between campaign contributions, bribes

The flaws in the campaign finance system were fairly humorously exposed today when a group trying to counter campaign contributions to pro-gun senators started an ad campaign to bribe other senators.

Campaign contributions are legal. Bribes are not.

“Honestly, we started this whole thing with the intent to fundraise for the bribes,” Simon Bruyn, one of the architects of the ad campaign tells the AdFreak blog. “But the lawyers were very adamant that this was go-to-jail illegal. Not just for us, but for anybody who donated. So we had to change our approach late in the game.”

“We get it. Bribes are bad. You can’t pay a politician to change their vote,” Emil Tiismann, another of the site’s creators, said.

But, of course, you can make a campaign contribution.

“Next time we will form a proper political lobbying organization so that we can collect unlimited cash in order to have a meaningful political conversation with our elected officials where we strongly express our opinions,” he said.

What’s the difference between a bribe and a campaign contribution? One is called a campaign contribution. The other is called a bribe.