As we approach Election Day, the lunacy of our current election funding system is becoming painfully apparent. There is so much cash in the system that candidates have no problem saturating the TV and radio airwaves with vitriolic commercials, clogging up our mailboxes with junk mail, and calling us multiple times every night with robo-calls. Is this the way we want elections to be held in our country? If we do nothing, it will be even worse in 2016.
This is the logical end of the decisions by the Roberts Court to open the floodgates of money to corporations and billionaires. There are currently no limits on the amount of money they can pump into campaigns. Naturally, they want nothing in return for all these campaign contributions! They are just civic-minded citizens who only want to …oh, who are we kidding? Of course they expect something in return!
And that’s the truly diabolical part of all this. We see the effect money has on the election process, and it makes us sick. But what should make us very sick are the favors and votes and access and loopholes these donors expect once their candidates get into office. A donation of a couple of million dollars to the right campaign can yield billions in tax write-offs and favorable laws written just for them.
That’s why, even though some may complain that the Clean Elections Amendment would be a big expense in the short term, it will ultimately save the taxpayers billions of dollars! And more than that, it will free up our elected representatives to actually spend time doing their jobs instead of fundraising all the time!
But here’s an important question…how will we accomplish this? I have no money and no influence. For this idea to get any traction will require your involvement. If this makes sense to you, you need to be an advocate for this. Share this with friends and family, share it on Facebook and other social media, and let those around you know that we don’t have to take this! Our elections don’t have to be like this!
P.S. – Even though Professor Lessig doesn’t recommend public financing of elections as a specific strategy, I do recommend his TED talk as a way to understand the magnitude of the problem: http://www.ted.com/talks/lawrence_lessig_we_the_people_and_the_republic_we_must_reclaim?language=en#t-999467