Toward the end of a front-page New York Times news article about Republican donors "learning to love" presidential candidate Ted Cruz, this passage appears:
Andy Sabin, a former Bush supporter who runs a Long Island precious metals company, said that when a fund-raiser from Mr. Cruz's campaign reached out recently, he insisted on one condition.
"I told him, 'For me to have any interest in Ted, I need him to accept that the earth has warmed, and that we can solve the problem and create plenty of jobs,' " Mr. Sabin recalled. Mr. Sabin said that he was offered a spot on one of Mr. Cruz's policy advisory committees, but that when he still asked that Mr. Cruz publicly voice a belief in climate change, he never heard back. Even a signal in the right direction would have been enough for him, Mr. Sabin said.
"All he had to do was say, we think it's an issue for the general election, and maybe put Ted on the phone," Mr. Sabin said, adding, "I felt I was being hustled for a donation."
This is a remarkable anecdote. If it were someone on the other side of the climate change issue — say, a coal company executive — demanding that a presidential candidate publicly voice skepticism about climate change as a condition of a campaign contribution — it would be the headline of the New York Times article, the Times editorialists would cite it as evidence of the need for campaign finance reform, and a refusal by the candidate would be seen by the Times as evidence of the candidate's integrity and refusal to allow his positions to be auctioned off to campaign donors. Instead, the Times here frames it as a sign that Mr. Cruz's "uncompromising style" can "make life difficult on the donor circuit." It's a negative frame rather than a positive one. Who is the real hustler here? The Times frames Mr. Cruz as the hustler. But a different frame might see the real hustler as the donor who is trying to influence the candidate's public statements.
It's one of the big paradoxes of the supposed left-wing support for campaign finance "reform." The reality is that on many issues, from climate change to gay marriage, big money donors are more left-leaning than the Republican base, and campaign finance "reform" that would limit the sway of big-money right wing donors would probably hurt the causes that the left cares about.