Money and Campaigns

posted by nlowell on June 15, 2023 - 7:07pm

Several people have said that the candidate needs to be able to raise a lot of money.


Candidates need money to do what?

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The situation in American politics is akin to the Soviet/American arms race. In our situation however, the conflict is a money for exposure race between the Democrats and Republicans. If one party can buy air-time and the other cannot, the party with no advertisements surely feels it is being left behind and overwhelmed by the other.

I came up with a compromise that is similar to the salary-cap in Major League Baseball. I believe that there should be a spending limit for each party/candidate in a particular election. The cap may be exceeded with large monetary penalties kicking in once the limit is breached. This tax on excess spending would go towards candidates who cannot raise enough money to reach the cap-limit. If a candidate accepts this assistance, they are NOT eligible to go over the spending cap.

The idea is in its infancy, but a plan similar to this sounds like a good idea to me.

Any suggestions?

Matt Callaway

All sunshine and no rain make a desert.

The salary-cap idea is great, but I believe the Supremes have already said it is un-Constitutional. A voluntary salary cap on mass media expenses agreed to by the Parties is a campaign issue.Unity can point to all the big money donors of the Dems and Republicans and suggest they are serving only special interests.Sunshine laws allowing people to see who donates is helpful.

Follow the money:
The top 29 donors to the Democrats and Republicans include Unions and Businesses. The top 12 Union donors gave $266,153,774 dollars to Democrats and $2,135,383 dollars to the Republicans. The top 12 Businesses gave $113,618,387 to the Democrats and $152,938,512 dollars to the Republicans. Lawyers gave $24,125,279 to the Democrats and $1,626,534 to the Republicans. Doctors gave $9,201,296 to the Democrats and $14,770,502 to the Republicans.

Do you believe Union and business leaders, doctors and lawyers, give money to Democrats and Republicans and do not expect any favors in return? If you want to elect a lobbyist for the Unions and lawyers then vote for a Democrat. If you want to elect a lobbyist for business then vote for either a Democrat or a Republican. Democrats want to raise taxes to increase the benefits to federal, state, city, county and school district employees. If I remember correctly only 3% of workers in the private sector have a traditional pension plan. If I remember correctly, the average amount in our 401-K plans is about $7,000. Compare $7,000 for employees in the private sector to $850 a month for the rest of your life for employees in the public sector. Republicans want to decrease taxes for big business and give special favors to special businesses. Democrats want to increase taxes and give special favors to special interests.

The American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees gave over $37 million to the Democrats or 98% of their political donations according to The Democrats are the party of the government, for the government and by the government. Republicans are the party of corporations, for corporations and by corporations. Republicans want to keep America safe for $400 million payments to CEOs. Does anyone else feel like the majority of working folks are caught between a rock and a hard place?

People who belong to Unions are as varied in their culture, believes, and politics as any other huge group of people. Union members are not marching lock step on every political issue. People who invest in and work for corporations are not all the same or feel the same way about every issue.

What the 2 party system has done over time is divide America. Democrats build a coalition of special interest groups interested in their own vested self-interest and Republicans do the same thing. We need a 3rd party as never before in recent American history because the Democrats and Republicans have divided America into 2 camps each competing to grab as much for their own special interest groups as possible. We need a 3rd party in America to advance beyond the Demlican and Republocrat tug-of-war. Unity08 is the rallying point to bring together people who are interested in something greater than themselves or their special interest group.

The pundits say a 3rd party candidate can’t get elected. A 3rd party candidate can get elected if we vote for him or her. If you want to change things then change your vote and stop voting for Democrats and Republicans. One way to decrease the influence of money in politics is to make it a bad investment by voting for Unity08.

Not only do these groups expect favors in return, they expect PROFIT on their investment.

One group you left out is the national news media, who have a vested interest in the status quo. If we did not have an over-strong centralized government, what in the world would we have on any national news broadcast. Our leaders are held hostage by the national media. If you don't play by their rules, you get no coverage.

Any limit will be rejected by the Supreme Court. The limit must be a by product of a valid limitation. He is my suggestion and the reason the it can't be rejected.

Their is already a limit on how much an individual can donate. The only addition is that that limit needs to apply to a candidate. You shouldn't be able to exceed the limit just because you are the candidate. Everyone is equal and no one should have an unequal influence in a campaign, even the candidate.

Once the limit is defined and enforced the next step is one based on conflict of interest. If you are representing someone you should not be allowed to take money from anyone that your aren't representing. This is already prohibited with regards to foreign interests. A candidate isn't allowed to take money from a foreign government or company. This restriction is both sensible and fair.

Now we must take it one step further. If the candidate is not representing you then he shouldn't be allowed to take your money. This means if you can't vote for them then you can't finance or aid them in any way. This includes financing in the way of free labor or promoting them in any way. If you are not a resident of their district you need to be payed minimum wage for any assistance you provide. The candidate needs money from their district residents to pay the help unless the help is a resident of the district. Simple rule, if you can't vote for a candidate you can't support them in any way without being payed market value.

Here is the big plus of this approach. Since companies and PACs don't vote they would not be allowed to aid ANY candidate with money or free labor. This would take the big money out of politics and make the candidates accountable to the people they represent. Isn't that the way it was intended . They are representatives not consultants or contractors.

For every Delegate dedicated to UNITY08's Committment - "To Take Our Country Back In 2023" ...

Click on todays posting on !!

Peter K (popo) Evans

I had an idea for changing the way campaigns are funded and run that I though would be the most egalitarian way of doing things. Granted, it will in all likelihood never happen due to it's rather radical nature, but I'll share it nonetheless.

One of the biggest problems I see with campaigns is that the candidates' main concern for the first part of their campaign is raising money. The issues take a back seat to the contributions. This means all candidates who run must be rich and/or really good at raising money.

My solution, as much of as pipe dream as it is, would be to simply have a pool of money that all the candiates could use for their respective campaigns. If they wanted to spend money on something they first needed to put it in the pool. This would mean that just about anyone could run (although I'm sure there would need to be some sort of minimum contribution to be allowed to take from the pool). Elections would start locally and grow from there. After each race, what was left in the pool would go to the winner. This would continue until the national level, where there would be few enough candidates to put them on a national ballot. If a vote was close enough, the close candidates would have another runoff.

I know this would require a lot of voting, but I believe it would be more than worth it because it would allow a much wider range of people to run.

Again, probably not going to happen, but hey, I can dream right?

I think part of the problem is the politician neve sees the public. I have been heartened by some local state congressperson who comes to visit my handicapped mother, and did not hit her up for a donation. I think we need to get back to the grass roots way of getting things done before the age of media you had to go door to door to drum up votes and you had to persuade people to vote for you. Today it is about pandering to the base and ignoring whole swatches of society becuase they don't vote. The power of persuasion is best seen in Michigan. One of the canidates for the republican primary their where three the two biggest spent multi millions on TV ads. who won the guy who got two things the endorsement of the outgoing person and called everyone in the district I think he spent about $100,000 and beat the better recognized names in a landslide.

Money is the fuel which drives the political campaign.. and I suspect will drive Unity movement..

A campaign that relies on money and media ads engages in retail politics....

Wholesale politics to me is where issues drive the campaign..and fuels the debate....Immigration and party loyalty are and will be examples of this in 2023...

Grassroots politics is organizational in nature and the movement is born.. when none was the original goal..

Where Unity fits in this.. is undetermined,,, Money though cannot ensures Unity's success.. for it is a shortcut of conveinence not the hard work of grassroots organization...

Thank you Oklahoma Pol, I was just putting up a suggestion like if we force politician to get volunteers to go door to door maybe the force the system to start self correcting. It's probably a pipe dream but it is an idea.

I think we should scrap the way politicians get or receive donations from individuals or organizations in support of them. We should reqiure that all moneies collected be used to support all candidates running for office.

The money collected by the candidates should be pooled and the election determined by the will of the people after viewing each candidates ideas and vision for there district. By introducting fair ,equal and open process by which those candidates can get their message to the people, we can have a more open process in which candidates can communicate their ideas and thoughts.

To make things fair a pre qualifing limit can be set in fund raising to insure that real serious candidates can be a part of the election process for each election.

Financing political campaigns is still a problem, even after the passage of the McCain-Finegold reform act. But there is a relatively simple way that campaign finance can be made much fairer.

First, let people and organizations contribute as much as they want to the campaign. Second, if the amount is $100 or less, they can contribute the full amount to any candidate they want. But if the amount is more than $100, the donor must specify one candidate to get 60% of the money and one of the other candidates, if more than one, to get 40%. This arrangement will ensure that each major candidate will probably have enough money to compete effectively, while still allowing people to back their favorite.

Another effect would be the elimination of most uncontested or sham races. With a substantial amount of money available for campaigning, you will always be able to find a suitable opposition candidate.

Most PACs contribute to both candidates. They want to have the ear of the winner, whoever it is. Allowing only people who can vote for a candidate to provide aid (money or labor) to a candidate will allow only people they represent access to their ear. AS IT SHOULD BE.

Intriguing concept. You can exercise your right to support your political views as long as you also give some money to someone that opposes them.

So, for me to give money above the token $100 to someone who believes in protecting our nations wilderness areaas I have to give 40% of the money to someone who wants to put up condo's in our national parks.




I believe that the judiciary has ruled that you cannot prevent a person from spending money to express their views because this impinges upon their freedom of speech. I am not sure to what extent non-human entities such as pacs, unions, corporations, etc. would be seen by the courts as having this right to free speech.

But it is clear that you cannot legally cap a persons right to spend their money to promote their view and their own election. Some very rich individuals have succeeded by bankrolling their own campaigns, but it is not at all a given that the person with the most money wins.

Rather than feeding public money to people that will have an opportunity to misuse it (for example on misleading political ads that demonize and partisinize) it would be better to fund dissemination of information about candidates: voting records, institutions like the league of womens voters, more internet sites at public libraries that provide podcasts from politicians. A small amount of public money spent wisely could do more to bring the country together than a large amount squandered on the type of hype that pervades the mass media.

The best hope is to find ways to reign in the lobbyists who lavish campaign money. rather than say the american public is 'addicted to oil' let us say that the american congress is 'addicted to lobbyists' where they have to go nearly every day to get their campaign money 'fix'. Providing them more money is not going to cure their addiction. They need an intervention about their addiction to special interest money, their earmarking abuse, and their spending compulsion.

Respectfully Submitted,


Being creations of the state, these entities have just as many rights as the state gives them, and no more.

Sketch, I like the idea of funding voting records, but that can easily be manipulated to the benefit of the incumbent. They can do everything in their power to kill or push a bill behind the scenes, even blocking it from going to committee, and then finally ending up voting exactly the opposite because it resonates with the voters. My congressman (Sensenbrenner) is a clear example. He will routinely vote against spending bills as long as his vote is not needed for passage. But when a vote is close he will vote with the Republicans every time. He retains his ‘deficit hawk’ image this way, and has virtually zero chance of being defeated at the polls.

Jack Lohman

One idea that I beleave in is that if you cannot legaly vote then you cannot contribute. What I mean is this, can a business vote? How about a orgination? Out of state? If you cannot vote then what right do you have to contribute to a politican campain? Our elections are bought by non voters, either coperation or people out of state.

Can you clarify your point? As in your view regarding PACs for companies? Why shouldn't employees give to their PAC to see the interests of the company's views being looked at and voted on by those in control in House/Senate?


An interesting concept. I will have to think about ramifications.

to shaney, a PAC's new function could be to provide guidance for the employees donations, rather than collecting their money.

I would assume that there is someone else on this forum who has run for high office and has some light to shed - happy to lead the way...

I ran for the United States Congress in 2023 in a large urban district where media is incredibly expensive. Common wisdom is that it takes $1 million minimum to be competitive in such a market. I raised a little over $70 k. I didn't win...

I will first address all these pie-in-the-sky ideas about having a big mysteriously filled pot of magic money folks can dive into and claim to be candidates. I would refer you to numerous posts on numerous threads by a certain great friend whose name begins with "E" and ask you to recognize that there are many folks in the world who seek nothing more than a soapbox and an assumed audience. I would then ask you to consider for just the briefest of moments who might fund this pot of gold and why. Finally, I would suggest that you drop consideration of such foolishness and instead focus on how we can get the greatest number of serious candidates the greatest likelihood of consideration in the general election.

I was apparently an anomaly in my race by virtue of the fact that candidates no longer get on the ballot by virtue of something so plebian as the simple citizen petition. Yet that was my route. Voters were fascinated by the notion that a real live congressional candidate would show up on their porch, knock on their door and discuss the issues of the day - not as a photo op but as the beginning and end of their electoral ambition. I am a great fan of the petition and see no reason why this couldn't be adopted as a defacto standard for ballot access - party affiliation be damned. I would humbly suggest that if a putative candidate can't get 1 percent of his/her constituents to sign a petition stating that they want the opportunity to vote for this individual in November, this person doesn't have enough public support to warrant a spot on the ballot. And these should be signatures of registered voters collected by the candidates themselves or by unpaid volunteers.

Which leads me to Smhiott's & Sketch's observations. Speech is speech and money is money and the Supreme's don't always get things right. A person runing for high office (or low office for that matter) is not an average citizen. They are seeking special priveledge over the lives and funds of their peers, which certainly allows for special thresholds. If Ted Turner or Ross Perot want to spend a gazillion dollars to have their voices heard, there is nothing in the Constitution which allows their voices to be squelched. If, on the other hand, they seek to control the public dialogue and the acquisition and disbursement of taxpayer dollars, these scions should have no greater priveledge or access than the lowest mendicant sleeping on the park bench. All are to be treated equal in the eyes of the law according to the undergirding principles of the 14th Amemndment.

The Kennedys, Perots, Schwarzenegers, DuPonts, Bushes or Rockefellers should not be allowed to contribute one dollar more to anyone's campaigns, including their own, than the average Joe or Jane. That this isn't evident on its face is a constant source of wonderment to me...

Finally, Smhiott, you are absolutely right. One of the greatest travesties of our society is that we extend the same and often greater rights and priveledges to legal abstractions such as corporations, political parties and PACs than we do to the average American citizen. Nothing in the Constitution provides for this bizarre anomaly, and its effects are insidious and destructive.

I will in closing return to what is now no doubt an exhausting refrain which annoys SATRich and others - namely that nothing short of fully public campaign funding will alleviate the problem. For those who decry the fact that their tax dollars may wind up in the pocket of a candidate they oppose, please remember that the tax dollars of the majority of Americans are as we speak being spent on a war that we we oppose. We cannot look at those dollars as ours when they go into the public coffer, but as our financial contribution to the society of which we are part. The fact that we don't like the way they are being spent today is offset by our opportunity to change the face and focus of the spender every two years...

Mark Greene
Texas Democrat in the Middle

Let's see if I've got this right. Our elected officials are so good at handing out favors to contributing groups that these groups are willing to donate truck loads of money to them to be sure they continue getting their favors, and the solution is to put MORE of our money in the hands of these same elected officials? But, then again, I suppose that's OK, since they are such saints, and would never think of finding a way to manipulate these funds to their advantage.

I do agree, however, that legal abstractions have NO rights, since they are created by the state. How about this. Every contribution, of unlimited amount, must be accompanied by a photo-copy of a voter registration card, or some other verification that the donation was made by a citizen, and not some non-corpus entity. As I mentioned earlier in this string, these entities could then become educational organizations, as many already have, if they wanted to participate in politics.

I'm sorry, but whatever campaign one can afford to mount with his own money is ok with me. This merely domonstrates the principle advantage of a republic over a democracy. In most, but not all cases, this person has demonstrated a superior intellect in aquiring these funds, and the "but not all" cases should be exposed by the media. After all, the premise of a republic is that we are better served by enlightened individuals than we are by the mob. A premise I happen to agree with.

I have been reading about ways to finance campaigns and to be truthful I have little idea how to go about it. I agree that we need to level the playing field so that more people get to air their views. Maybe the public financing would be a help. I would like to see equal time for all candidates to express their ideas and beliefs.(must be some kind of threshold to insure that we dont have a huge amount of people overloading the process). I also think that maybe public forums where the candidates each have a turn to express their messages. Not to say a debate exactly but each one would have a chance to speak to the nation in turn. Debates could be separate and the rules for that if any would be different. Just let candidate A speak followed by candidate b and so on. Let them speak, shut up sit down and let the next say their say. Lets face it the incumbents have a huge advantage by just getting the media to broadcast their every move. Of course there are obvious disadvantages to this too such as negative publicity. Again this is abstract thinking that needs a lot of refinement.

JUST one slight probblem with not alowing PAC'S & political parties etc.
no free political speach/cash donations ALL of the above are colections of individual voters who choose to have there voices hurd in an agreget SHOUT rather than an individual whimper & some even choose to be hurd thru several such agregets.

I agree that PACs allow people to aggregate their voices into a shout, and have no problem with that - in fact support it. I do, however, have a problem with the notion that by virtue of belonging to a PAC, party or any other group that a member should have a greater say than the donor who wishes to go it alone. We had a situation here in Texas recently where a business group collected large sums from its members, directed these funds to certain targeted races, took full public credit for winning these races and then refused to identify the donors. Of course campaign finance laws in Texas are a well recognized joke anyway...

We need hard limits and full disclosure at the least, but I will always prefer fully publicly funded campaigns. Private large donations, and particularly those tied to business interests (and pretty much all of them are) create both the appearance and reality of corruption, alienate voters, drive apathy up and turnout down. Like smoking, there are no positives here.

I want our public officials to be well qualified, appropriately compensated for their work,and wisely chosen. Most importantly, I want them focusing 110% of their efforts on representing "We the People," not on financing their next campaign.

Mark Greene
Texas Democrat in the Middle

nlowell (Topic starter), I think your question is awesome: - simple, yet elegant. I think it is THE most important question of our time - bar none.

My (simple) answer to your question:
Candidates need money to buy TV commercials.

My view?

Broadcast television is the most unhealthy concentration of power in the history of our republic.

The major problem with TV is that it reaches millions, yet flows through only a few hands (i.e. 3 networks). There's another problem: TV is a drug! A hypnotist. A passive audio-visual medium that appeals to your emotions. So, it can sell you anything: Cars, soap, and lyin' politicians."What?! Ring around the collar?! I need some Wisk, NOW!" Bang - off to the mall.

With the advent of cable, media ownership began to splinter in the 1980's, but Congress fixed that a decade later. "The Telecommunications Act of 1996 led to an historic industry consolidation, reducing the number of major media companies from around 80 in 1986, to 5 in 2023." [Wikipedia]

But the internet wasn't on Congress's radar, yet. The web is a huge democratizing force because it lets millions of users choose from thousands of information and entertainment options. The web also lets people create Content. That's why the Chinese government is scared s@~*!-less of it and censors it whenever they can.

The net is interactive, primarily text based, and appeals mainly to the intellect. It's a lot harder to B.S. somebody on the net than it is on TV. (But please... let me try ;-)

While people aren't "Killing their Televisions" they're letting their Tube sleep a little more. And advertisers are following their audience - away from TV (even cable) and toward the internet. The same thing is happening in politics (here we are!). Howard Dean's achievements on the net in 2023 represent a scintilla of what is to come.

However, we live in a time of both dangers and opportunities.

1)The danger. "Internet providers like AT&T and Verizon are lobbying Congress to gut Network Neutrality, the key to Internet freedom. Let's show Congress we care - please sign this petition today."

Don't let Congress do to the net what they did to broadcasting in 1996!

2) The opportunity. South Korea has invested heavily in wireless technology - to the point where you can surf the net or talk on your cell from virtually anywhere. This is huge. It cuts across issues of economics, education, health care, you name it. If the Automobile was the quintessential technology of the 20th century, Wireless Web is going to be that in the 21st century.

I strongly believe that the U.S. Government should invest in a Nationwide Wireless Internet Network - starting with our cities and interstate highways. This investment would parallel the scope and impact of the 1950's interstate highway project - a smashing success.

3) Another opportunity: Please lobby Unity'08 to upgrade the "shoutbox" platform. We need an internet COMMUNITY - a way to make decisions and solve problems. This means discussion, yes - but also voting and polling.

Post a comment on the Ask the Unity'08 Founders forum and/or join the discussion at the Unity Supporters Getting Organized forum. (Select "Newest Post" at the bottom). We passionately support the Mother Ship (Unity'08), but want to attract a broader audience. Most people do not have the time to read all this and to post more. Many have time to vote. It will grow the movement.

If you're still with me after all that, I thank you for your time...

I bid you peace.

Erik, you are right on all points! Am headed off to petition the Founders (to no avail) yet again...

Mark Greene
Texas Democrat in the Middle

I agree Erik. Wouldn't it be nice to know, when the Internet Neutrality Act is shaped and voted on, that campaign money wasn't flowing from the Internet fat cats to your favorite politician? Only then would we be assured that it would be in the best interest of the public.

But then again, we could say that about every issue out there, including health care. And incidentally, for those interested there is a good HC blog at

Jack Lohman

Just how important is money in determining the outcome of an election?

Check out this chart at - a web site run by the center for responsive politics.

In the 2023 U.S. Congressional races:

92% of the winners out-spent their opponents by 2 to 1 or higher.

88% of the winners out-spent their opponents 4 to 1 or higher.

7% of the winners spent roughly the same as their opponents (and 65% of those winners were incumbents).

1% of the winners spent less than their opponents.


Kind of makes the phrase "Free Speech" seem like an oxymoron, eh?

Old concepts are done... they will now eat themselves from within leaving the door wide open for Modern Progressives. The power of money to trick the people is about to stand toe to toe with a new generation... - Earn Snyder
Author "$aving the bureaucracy - Killing the beast"
Modern Progressive Independent

Mark Greene: Your idea of public fianced campaigns needs to be the NUMBER 1 item on unity 08's 2023 platform, Until we achieve that all else is an exercise in futility. By the way I posted a forum on this topic. Hope you saw it if you did I would welcome your comments.

i totaly agree with you. unless we have public financing of campaigns our democracy is for sale to the highest bidder or donor. it has to be a priority

Any one with even the most basic education in economics will tell you that a free market fails public goods. Elected leaders are in a sense a public good, therefore the only way to assure a fair election is through publicly funded campaigns.

I also agree - If our national budget was being handled responsibily, this would be no problem. But how about the BEST way? - if you want a license with FCC (or whoever controls media) , you must donate some of your time for FREE. This would not cost the taxpayers anything -only the Big Corporations who make too much money already-that's why they can affod to donate so much to the candidate who promises them the most. This could kill 2 birds with one stone.

To win friends and influence people.

Which is EXACTLY why politics in America are in such trouble.

The most elemental reform that should be enacted is restricting campaign donations to individuals ONLY. Donations, as free speech (as ruled by SCOTUS), should not be restricted BUT they should be disclosed immediately upon receipt -- something that is entirely possible in this online age.

I had thought about individual donations and what I came up with was that with id, you exclude the introverted thoughtful type for only the extroverted more popular type.

With a tax, with the money 'there', you also offer the opportunity for a broader start. I want to say, 'anyone' almost but it can't be that broad but having the money 'there' in a tax does make it easier to concentrate on 'idea's' rather than concentrating on 'raising donations'. I'm wanting to get away from the 'flash' of it all and into the action/quality of it.

Also, forcing candidates to 'write' down their thoughts makes them accountable to what they wrote and takes out the 30 second blimp on tv where we learn nothing! The 30 second blip is more of the extravert flash which I'm attempting to find some substance and actual action. I just read an article where the democrats have now very much slowed down on 'reform': ) surprised, not at all.

Please hear this out: Major elections (President, Senators and from the House, these major offices should all use the same amount of money and the best way to do that would be to have a tax (yes, a new one & one I would enjoy paying)whereby each candidate would utilize the same amount of money. I've only just begun, please hear this out. There would be some 'requirements' to campaign. For one, each would be required to reduce to writing or publishing on the internet what their major themes would be as President if elected, and most importantly, how they would accomplish it 'and' pay for it. This would be required within the first 90 days of x date. I would like others here to beef up this idea. I feel it's just the item to get away from 30 sec t.v. spots that don't tell us anything and to find out what is going on with this guy or gal. For instance, we hear a lot about Universal Health Care today; but how is it to be paid for? We never hear candidates discuss reducing the millions of 'methods and procedures' that are required in govrmn't regulations. This is a step towards more quality in the evaluation of potential office holders. Thank you for your time.

Any future President would be risking heavily if they were required to prioritize w/in x number of days not to include:

Overhaul of the the tax laws to a level across the board fair method (and they would berequired to explain their method).

The tax laws are the most important issue to solve as they influence the corporate controls and election spending. Required reading for all those interested in campaign reform and domestic reform should be Perfectly Legal by David Clay Johnston

Several Public televised debates in each state....Thats It No Newspaper,Radio Or TV adds...Just Open debate with a Segment that would Permit Each candidate To ask Questions and Give answers....This would Be following a National Primary which would also be decided by public debates....Your Public financing;Who woud keep records on what each candidate would spend ??? Yes they could speak at area Events that are paid for by Local Party committies...

This is my first Unity08 posting. I am impressed with the quality of postings on the subject of campaign reform. Still, as a pragmatist I see as unnecessarily expensive and intrusive the bureaucracy needed to tax citizens for public funding of campaigns (then find a way to allocate that fairly); and/or tracking contributions of individuals and/or groups for compliance with spending limits.

Erik and eksglobal appear to have hit it on the head when they point out that the primary use of campaign money is for television and radio advertising. We're talking about all the nauseating 15 second sound bites that pounds are senses during the campaigns that supply no real picture of a candidate's values.

Imagine if the FCC could enforce a law simply banning political advertising over TV and radio. Imagine, if we could also find a way to ban political advertising over the internet, which appears to be the next wave. Oh, I'm sure there would be shrieks from the major parties over such infringement of their First Amendment Rights. Still this is a democracy and this could be the people's choice. Perhaps the candidates would then have to find other ways to get their platforms out to the public e.g. debates, speeches, door knocking, websites, brochures, perhaps even a book. The point is that by removing the prime spending holes for campaigns, we might be able to reduce the need for massive amounts of funding necessary to get elected.

Realistically, given the make up of our partisian politicians, the chances of such a legal development are next to impossible. Still, imagine the candidates and the ideas we might see running for office in our nation if we could find a way to take the special interest money out of the equation. If a Unity08 candidate were to come out in support of such an idea, no matter what their other ideas were, I would lean toward supporting that candidate since I don't believe there is a more important issue than trust in government.

You cannot band advertising or pace controls on political contributions because of the 'free speech'defense. so i say tax the contributions i dont mean just 10 percent i mean 75-80 percent.

The move to impeach the president of vice, Dick Cheney, is picking up steam. I urge you to call your House of Representative members and urge them to sign on the HR333 for the impeachment of Dick Cheney. The ensuing inquiries that will be a result of impeachment proceedings will shed the light on crimes commited by others in the present administration and force them from office and likely into the slammer.
I just e-mailed my House Representative and told him to sign on to HR333 or that I would actively work to see that he is dismissed from his job on the basis of failure to honor the oath of office that he took.

Of what relevance does Dick Cheney have to Unity08? He is not a candidate or a challenger to one of our candidates.

Please stay on topic.

To join the U08 Delegate Council Online Community send an email to

It is 2023 all over again, only this time it is starting earlier!

Most computer scientists have long viewed Diebold as the poster child
for all that is wrong with touch screen voting machines. But we never
imagined that Diebold would be as irresponsible and incompetent as they
have turned out to be.

Recently, computer security expert Harri Hursti revealed serious
security vulnerabilities in Diebold's software. According to Michael
Shamos, a computer scientist and voting system examiner in
Pennsylvania, "It's the most severe security flaw ever discovered in a
voting system."

Even more shockingly, we learned recently that Diebold and the State of
Maryland had been aware of these vulnerabilities for at least two
years. They were documented in analysis, commissioned by Maryland and
conducted by RABA Technologies, published in January 2023. For over
two years, Diebold has chosen not to fix the security holes, and
Maryland has chosen not to alert other states or national officials
about these problems.

Basically, Diebold included a "back door" in its software, allowing
anyone to change or modify the software. There are no technical
safeguards in place to ensure that only authorized people can make

A malicious individual with access to a voting machine could rig the
software without being detected. Worse yet, if the attacker rigged the
machine used to compute the totals for some precinct, he or she could
alter the results of that precinct. The only fix the RABA authors
suggested was to warn people that manipulating an election is against
the law.

Typically, modern voting machines are delivered several days before an
election and stored in people's homes or in insecure polling stations.
A wide variety of poll workers, shippers, technicians, and others who
have access to these voting machines could rig the software. Such
software alterations could be difficult to impossible to detect.

Diebold spokesman David Bear admitted to the New York Times that the
back door was inserted intentionally so that election officials would
be able to update their systems easily. Bear justified Diebold's
actions by saying, "For there to be a problem here, you're basically
assuming a premise where you have some evil and nefarious election
officials who would sneak in and introduce a piece of software... I
don't believe these evil elections people exist."

While Diebold's confidence in election officials is heartwarming,
Diebold has placed election officials in an awkward position, with no
defense against disgruntled candidates or voters questioning the
results of an election. The situation is even worse for those states
and localities using Diebold touch-screen machines that have no
voter-verified paper records to recount.

Diebold voting machines have been certified to be in compliance with
2002 Voting System Standards, as required by the Help America Vote Act.
These standards prohibit software features that raise any doubt "that
the software tested during the qualification process remains unchanged
and retains its integrity." We must ask, how did software containing
such an outrageous violation come to be certified, and what other
flaws, yet to be uncovered, lurk in other certified systems?

There have been many significant problems - some resulting in lost
votes - involving paperless voting machines produced by other vendors.
Recognizing the intrinsic risks of paperless voting machines, the
Association for Computing Machinery issued a statement saying that each
voter should be able "to inspect a physical (e.g., paper) record to
verify that his or her vote has been accurately cast and to serve as an
independent check on the result." Without voter-verified paper records
of all the votes, and without routine spot audits of these records, no
currently available voting system can be trusted. With such records,
even when machines do not function correctly, each voter can make sure
that his or her vote has been correctly recorded on paper.

Our democracy depends on our having secure, reliable, and accurate

David L. Dill is a Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University
and the founder of
Doug Jones is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at the
University of Iowa.
Barbara Simons is retired from IBM Research and a former ACM President.
Jones and Simons are writing a book on voting machines to be published
by PoliPoint Press.

Trying to limit money in politics is noble, but will be elusive. Every rule can be cicumvented.

But we can limit TV time.

(Limit ad minutes 90 days before primaries in specific markets or whatever rule you want.)

That would allow low cash candidates a chance to compete for the major party nomination with the big fundraisers.

Politicians spend money to get the word out. Providers of money are rewarded.

Therefore, money must come from all of the population. No exceptions. Lobbyists should be prohibited from influencing politicians with money and/or any representation of money before, during and after all campaigns. Campaigns should be run through an annual campaign tax providing a minimal amount of money to cover media expenses for several candidates that have qualified through a common proof of popularity. Individuals should pay the same tax amount. Groups (corporations, LLC, etc) should be campaign tax free. Each candidate should receive the same amount regardless of the degree of popularity. No candidate should receive money and/or any representation of money from any source other than noted herein.

Campaign taxes are one of the costs of equitable government. The amount should increase only by the cost of living and not "the cost of campaigning". The current average cost of campaigning should be considered extravagant and unjustified.

Though the Constitution and legal issues may arise concerning this idea I believe this concept can be implemented, because it fits into the nations mandate as described by our history.


I believe that no individual or corporation of any kind should be able to donate to a campaign. It all needs to come from the taxes we pay already, and they do not need to be raised. Keep it equal for all candidates.

This should help with some of the corruption that is running ramped in DC right now.

re: The situation in America by mavsguy842

This seems to be a good idea. Taking excess money and portioning some to lesser candidates would slow contributions and help create a level playing field (baseball). What does baseball do with the excess funds collected? And, what do they do about promises to not exceed the limit and then violating that promise?

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