The following editorial appeared in Tuesday's Kansas City Star:
The recent flood of campaign donations to Senate Democrats illustrates, once again, the unsavory connection between money and government favors.
The big donations promptly followed the shift in Senate power after Sen. James Jeffords of Vermont left the Republican Party in May. His decision gave the Democrats a Senate majority and the clout to channel government funding, special tax breaks, regulatory relief and other favors to certain interests.
The political action committee of Tom Daschle, the South Dakota Democrat who became Senate majority leader, raised more than half of its donations this year in June, for example.
Members of Congress in both parties generally insist that campaign donations do not buy government favors.
Yet it seems hard to imagine that certain organizations began pouring money into Democratic coffers in June because they suddenly decided that Senate Democrats were more imaginative and intelligent public servants than had previously been suspected.
The simpler and more credible explanation is that the Senate Democrats suddenly had more government favors to dispense.