Buddy Roemer’s little campaign takes on big money in politics

Alexis Levinson Political Reporter

GOP presidential long shot Buddy Roemer leveled attacks at both President Obama and his own party Monday in a speech about the corrosive influence of big money in politics, and called on his fellow Republican candidates to stand up against political corruption.

“It used to be one woman one vote, one man one vote,” the former Louisiana governor said during his appearance Monday at the National press Club. “Now it’s one big check, you win.”

Roemer had been out of politics for 16 years before he decided to jump in the 2012 race. There came a point, he said, where he felt he had to do something.

“I couldn’t stand by any longer,” Roemer said.

“Our capitol is institutionally corrupt,” he insisted. “I’m not pointing my finger at a person. I’m pointing my finger at the system.”

Roemer did in fact single out several people, Republican and Democrats alike.

He attacked President Obama for fundraising on Wall Street and taking money from people and institutions that have a clear stake in his policies. (RELATED: Long-shot Roemer is out to win the White House)

“The president is a great fundraiser. That’s just what I’m looking for in a president,” Roemer sniped. “I don’t mean to just pick on the president. He’s the worst, but both sides do it.”

Roemer also said the members of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction should insulate themselves from outside influences by not accepting money from special interests or PACs until their work on the committee runs out.

Super PACs are another Roemer target. He attacked them Monday for being unaccountable and having no donor-disclosure requirements, saying that candidates — Roemer specifically singled out Mitt Romney and Rick Perry — should not make use of Super PACs devoted to helping them.

“It’s not right,” he said simply, comparing it to “having a partner and not telling her or him things that affect them. This sort of hidden, shadow, kind of play, will not serve.”

With a minimally funded campaign, Roemer is realistic about his chances of having an impact. So he called on his fellow candidates to take up the cause or bringing honesty and transparency to American politics.

“I want a pledge from my fellow candidates, since they’ve pledged everything else” to reform the system, Roemer announced.

Roemer’s ideal is a candidate who accepts no money from PACs or Super PACs, employs no lobbyists as fundraisers, and limits individual donations to $2,500, though he said he would keep his own limit at $100.

“My remedies are clear, and can be done by anyone with courage,” he declared. “I challenge them to accept this pledge.”