Should campaigns be publicly funded? star indicating that this topic is a Unity08 pick

posted by Base on June 8, 2006 - 9:21am

With campaigns costing millions of dollars, it's not surprising that candidates are beholden to the special interests and corporate PACs that finance their campaigns. Do you think campaigns should be publicly funded, and, if so, how would the funds be allocated?

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I do not think U08 is trying to fall in a hole labeled "moderate" or "centrist". I think we want to moderate the body politic enough to get the polarizing extremist away from the table so substantive matters can be addressed. That calls for personalities that can mediate a broad discussion and draw it to a position the serves us all very well if not perfectly.

Who is that? Someone that 4 out of 5 legislators will listen to based on respect and ultimately 3 out of 5 will accept or reject an agreement.

Public Funding of political campaignes may never pass that test.

Bill"for what we are together"

Campaigns should be publically driven! Party policy should be focused on providing the people with options and having the people make the policy, something not possible until today... This is the key, making the people our cabinet, really involved in policy decision using this website in a run-off policy format! We must lead and reform political process because nobody else will! This, our God given duty as the United States, not to funnel money to terrorists nations? www.appyp.com/fix_main.html

Response to: Absolute words
Bill713 on July 7, 2006 - 5:38pm

Surely Bill, your not naive enough to think that legislative issues are decided by one member agreeing with another member. Legislation is driven by constituencies and career protection as an alignment thereto. The politic body will bend to a overwhelming majority. That's where we fit in. Unity08 doesn't have to win.. it just has to get to a power position where it can articulate the issues to the populace.

here are my thoughts as I see it the money is the big problem but public campaign financing won't work because it has the opposite effect if you can raise A dollars you are entitled to B Dollars this doesn't solve the problem it tends to divide more than it supports open dialogue as each fringe competes for a smaller and smaller peice of the pie.

The answer is for Americans to stop voting for "bought and paid for" politicians in the Republican and Democratic parties. I have been voting for independents as protest votes since the early 1980s. As long as 99 percent of Americans continue to allow themselves to get sucked into voting for the lessor of two evils the problem will never be solved. If you think about it formulating campaign finance reform that can pass the Congress and Supreme Court, without the support of the current leaders, is just too difficult.

On June 20, 2006, Bill713again wrote ....
- - - - - "The voter will be impowered when all funds applied to an elective office must be raised only in the jurisdiction of that office. No other restriction and no federal program beyond enforcement would be needed."

I agree with the above ... but would add another funds restriction.
The electorate of any political jurisdiction .... precinct, county, district, state, etc. .... are the only ones who can legally cast votes for a candidate for office in that jurisdiction. Further, if such candidate is elected, it is expected that the elected official is to represent the interests of the electors of that jurisdiction.

The voter will be further impowered if campaign contributions can only be made by the legal electors of any jurisdiction. Why this restriction? Very simple .... money contributed by others could be an undue influence on the candidate to favor their views over those of the electorate. Hence unions, doctors, pharmacists, trade associations, corporations, political parties, candidates from other states, other states, foreign nations, etc., etc., ..... ALL persons or organizations not qualified to vote for a candidate ..... could not contribute funds to a candidates' campaign.

IMHO this should apply to ALL races for political office ..... including the POTUS ! !
This would take a huge amount of money out of the present campaign circus, and would certainly make any elected official responsive to "those that elected her/him".

I would support the public funding of all campaigns if the "opt out " option is removed..

There needs to be an amount set that can be spent on each election cycle or race... Not being able to buy an office is important... In Oklahoma astate senator is paid in low 40,000 , yet the average contested state senate campaign is over 125,000...

Second option, would be limiting personal funds with any addittional funds must come from inside the district.... only exceptions would be state party and relatives..... special laws to prevent Post office and local address being established by PACS to get around the spirit of this reform...

Since radio serves in the public interest... require that radio and newspars must devote 30minutes each day and one page daily or weekly to the various campaigns..

Anyone who has managed a political campiagn knows how politcal press releases go in the great black hole..

That only attacks, scandals and paid advertising see print..

Finally this issue doies not rank that high on my personal list, because the system in place has to be changes with electing local and district officials something that I believe is not the purpose of Unity 08

In some states I have lived in, the registered voters receive a book before the election that explains (translates from legal jargon) all the issues, has 'pro' and 'con' statements for the intitiatives, has short statements and biographies of the candidates. I found this a useful tool for deciding upon some of the the more obscure office-holders.

I think it would be helpful if this could be expanded to be universal across the U.S. It would be great if this could also be supported by a federal website that provided more detail, including the detailed voting record of every candidate.
This site could be maintained by a nonpartisan group that checks all statements for accuracy.

Maybe there already is such a site and I am unaware of it. I have found some informative sites, but I would like to have a site that I can be absolutely certain is completely honest.

Can this be regarded as public funding of campaigning? Honestly, the balloons, horns, conventions, canned speeches, etc.; I cannot see giving money to people for that garbage. But providing candidates a free site to post their speeches, either as transcripts or podcasts, that seems to me a cost-effective option.

I imagine the television and radio networks would like public financing to put money in their pockets. I would rather see the money go to improving public access to internet sites at public libraries. This plays to one of America's strengths rather than its weakness for the soundbite and infotainment.

Sketch

dead. We don't have any say in our government. Any attempt by an honest politician to inform the voters is clouded and seeds of doubt and double-talk are perpetrated by the opponent. Why would politicians change the system? Why would they bite the hand that feeds them?

We are free only in that corporate America keeps us fat, dumb, and the false appearance of happy and the majority of Americans are unable to tell the difference. This discussion is great but pointless. As long as they keep dangling "the American dream" in front of us like a carrot on a stick, nothing will change.

"None of us is as dumb as all of us."

Do not blame this on the people or the founders of this nation as neither is or was expected to see such things... as this is your frustrations of the failing world... understandable but nothing more... These things must happen and are written about in many places including scripture ... For the enemy is hatred in all its evil forms, manifesting to mass destruction ... And now the people and the leaders of the world have been made aware of the God given technology to resolve these things... As God himself has told us that he will not stop the bloodshed or natural disasters until man gives these gifts of technology back to man as they were provided by God to prevent such things! www.appyp.com/fix_main.html

One of those gifts from God being freedom of speech which has been destroyed at all cost by the two party system... for this is why they spew such awful things from their mouths...

All money that comes to a political movement that promotes the application of technology to remove crime and prisons, child abductions, jury trials and trillions in overhead is good money... And those that fight such a movement are loaded with the other kind of money... So it is the plaform of Unity08 which will decide whether this money is clean or dirty, not the television time it creates, for money can no longer sell lies to the people ... www.appyp.com/fix_main.html

Re: Clean/Dirty money...
Earn Snyder on July 21, 2006 - 2:38pm

Earn,
What do you consider to be clean money? What is dirty money?

Of course they should be. We already pay for them through the back door, and at hundreds of times more than if we paid for them up front. At a cost of $15 per taxpayer per year we'd fund both state and federal campaigns. See
www.WiCleanElections.org
for more detail.

Jack Lohman

Clean money comes from a public grant with no strings attached. Dirty money comes from private interests who want public assets in return.

See www.WiCleanElections.org

re:Clean/Dirty money...
Jack E. Lohman on July 27, 2006 - 3:00am

Let's see. You intend to steal money from private citizens to support causes and legislate policies that are against their personal interests. And not even being allowed to practice free speech or property rights to offer an alternative.

This is not progress, or progressive or even American. The heart of the american soul is enveloped in the individual rights of a free people. You intend to roll the clock back to the mid 16th century before individuals were empowered to speak and act on their own behalf.

re:re:Clean/Dirty money...
JimD on July 27, 2006 - 7:41am

Wow, JimD, that's exactly what's happening under our current system! You hit the nail on the head, except you have the nail reversed. Under today’s system the special interests that fund the elections get kickbacks from the taxpayers that are orchestrated by the politicians that are now beholden to them. Except in today's dollars it amounts to about $4000 per taxpayer per year at the federal level and over $1300 at the state level. Over 10% of our state (Wisconsin) budget is stolen from the taxpayers and handed out in corporate subsidies, tax breaks, roads to nowhere, and etc.

I’d rather pay for the elections up front, as they do in Arizona and Maine where full public funding was forced upon the legislatures by majority vote of the people! And taking public campaign grants is voluntary, so it passes constitutional muster. If you want to take private money for your campaign you can, but you’ll likely lose because the public is fed up with the private corruption. Over 70% of their current elected state legislators voluntarily accepted spending limits so they didn’t have to sleep with lobbyists and their clients. And they got elected because they were campaigning on a level playing field.

Oh, you say, you don’t want your money spent on politicians you don’t agree with? Guess what? Your tax money ALREADY IS going to politicians you don’t agree with through today’s back-door funding system. When instead you could be paying $5 at the state level and $10 at the federal level for a clean political system; a bargain at 200 times its price.

There are only two sources of money, public and private, and when voters weigh the benefits (as they did in Arizona and Maine), they will select the $5 tax every time.

See
www.WiCleanElections.org
 and these

stats from Arizona
and go to their main site at

www.azclean.org

Jack,

Publicly funding elections will not stop corruption. Not a bit!

Kick backs, Quid pro quo's, hotel room/lobby transactions, post service job promises, secret bank accounts, and self-serving legislation not only will still go on .. but will increase dramatically.

The problem is not private funded elections.. but with the sleezebags that run and win.

It may sound strange and counter-intuitive, but dirty campaigning may be the only way we find out what the true character of the candidates are.

I don't have any reason to believe that public funded candidates would produce a better candidate, in fact the opposite is probably true..

re:re:Clean/Dirty
JimD on July 27, 2006 - 9:18am

Not totally, but we can be assured that taxpayer assets are not given to campaign contributors. True, it will not stop cronyism

>> Kick backs, Quid pro quo's, hotel room/lobby transactions, post service job promises, secret bank accounts, and self-serving legislation not only will still go on .. but will increase dramatically.

Absolutely incorrect. In Arizona one legislator that promised not to take outside cash did so anyway and was evicted from office, and the courts ruled in favor of the publicly funded system that ejected him. Will it stop illegal back door gifts? No. But the illegal cash is not the problem, and prosecutors will continue to deal with those. It is the LEGAL cash that buys legislation that is driving the country into ruins.

>> And not even being allowed to practice free speech or property rights to offer an alternative.

You clearly understand that money buys votes, mostly through advertising that buys name recognition and rhetoric. Voters are pretty lazy and they don’t track incumbent votes. They listen in awe.

But that said, my wealth or your wealth, under the voluntary Clean Money system below, can still be given to politicians, parties and 527’s just as it has been in the past. But those politicians that don’t want to take your money won’t be forced to because they will have an adequate public grant to run a competitive race.

And that’s what the special interests most despise. They do not want competitive races or level playing fields. Unless we want 100% rule by corporations we had best fix the system today.

Let’s not mix apples and oranges here. Nothing’s ever going to stop the personal corruption that results in the occasional politician like William Jefferson stuffing $90,000 in his freezer. What public financing does is reduce the institutionalized, legalized corruption of our current campaign finance system that requires candidates to take campaign dollars from groups that will expect special access or favors in return.

Publicly financed candidates not only have to spend less time schmoozing with fat-cat donors, but are required to spend more time talking to regular voters in order to qualify for the public financing. In Arizona, even a lot of the corporate lobbyists like it because they don’t have to turn into sleazy “bag men” collecting money for candidates every election season.

But that’s only half the story. Public financing allows a larger group of more diverse candidates to run for office, increasing voters’ choices. It has also demonstrably reduced the advantages of personal wealth, wealthy connections, and incumbency.

It’s said that you can judge a man (or a policy) by his (its) enemies. Public campaign financing is universally opposed by the chambers of commerce in every jurisdiction where it’s come up. Conversely, recent polls have shown it’s supported by 75% of regular voters in both parties.

By the way, in Arizona we don’t finance the system with tax dollars, but from a surcharge on civil and criminal fines. If you don’t want your money given to politicians you oppose, stop speeding and running red lights and you’ll be just fine.

Re: Clean Money
Eric Ehst on July 27, 2006 - 5:44pm

Eric, Did you submit this comment on behalf of yourself (common citizen) or as a paid lobbyist for any following organization that you assume a leadership position?

1.Campaign treasurer and chairman for Democrat Laurie Larson

2. Spokesperson for the Phoenix/Scottsdale NOW Chapter and Political Action Committee Chairman

3. Chairman of the BOARD OF DIRECTORS - Arizona Advocacy Network (a coalition of 27 progressive nonprofit orgs)

4. Proponent Healthy Arizona, the state's health insurance program for the poor

5. Lobbyist for the League of Women Voters

6. Honor roll member of "The Nation" and writer for the "The Empowered democrat".

In the interest of full disclosure, it would have been decent of you to introduce yourself as a professional paid political activist and lobbyist instead of the stealth submittal.

WARN: IT IS FOR THIS VERY REASON THAT PUBLIC FINANCING IS NOT A GOOD IDEA.

re: Clean Money
Sammy on July 27, 2006 - 6:56pm

>In the interest of full
>disclosure, it would have been
>decent of you to introduce
>yourself as a professional paid
>political activist and lobbyist
>instead of the stealth submittal.

I'm somewhat puzzled that for someone interested in "full disclosure" Sammy chose not to disclose who he is and who funds him. Sammy, are you part of the special interest establishment that funds our political system and expects taxpayer assets in return? Are you with a corporation or the Chamber of Commerce?

That said, I consider Eric and others who lobby for the good-government groups that you described, and who do not receive taxpayer assets in return for payola, as being a very positive and necessary part of our society. They are "lobbying" for the people and for the taxpayers, not against them. Can you say the same, either for yourself ot the fat cats you defend?

And in the interest of full disclosure, I am a retired CEO that volunteers and whose only income is from Social Security and investments. My special interests range in age from 1 to 49. They are called children and grandchildren. And if you simply hold your mouse cursor over Eric’s name you will see that he is with the Arizona Clean Elections group, contributing to a forum in plain view.

Wow jack, not even close. I'm retired like you but did not reach CEO status - only a IT professional.
Two children - no grand children yet. Libertarian by creed, no religious affiliations. Hard and fierce campaigner against corporate corruption - 17 current civil suits from the the early 2000's and 4 complaints filed with the SEC.

That said, now i turn my attention to politics. It must be balanced. I suspect that we have reached critical mass, where the number of public avocates way exceeds the private interests and common citizens and the gap is growing. Federal and state employee unions, non-profits (sorry, but thats what they call themselves), and ad hoc self serving committees of various types are the driving the agenda. Now they want to have the tax payers finance them. Who is left to resist them? If they succeed, what are the long term consequences to democracy? Bare witness to the inflammatory rhetoric used to describe those who push back. I'm sorry (not really) that someone that spent $120,000 to get a political science degree instead of a real science degree can't find a productive job, but it's not my fault and I refuse to support their agenda of invented victumization.

Sammy, there’s a big difference between the massive amounts of “public advocates” that have gotten mad enough to fight the current corrupt political system, and the 10,000 or so of paid lobbyists in Washington. The latter visit politicians with cash in hand and the former have only their activism to spend. And in case you haven’t heard, it is the former who is driving the agenda, not the latter.

You are right: politics must be balanced, and that’s the agenda of this “center” party. Let me reverse your question: what are the long term consequences of democracy if we succeed in Corporate Rule? Have you not envisioned where the final domino is going to fall when all of the wealth is in the hands of a few. Look at history? How do you spell a-n-a-r-c-h-y? Perhaps not in my lifetime or yours, but it is inevitable if we don’t stop it today. And as a Libertarian I am puzzled that you would condone the current system. When I owned my own company, if I had an employee taking money in return for company assets on the side, I’d have him jailed. In politics we just re-elect these types of people.

And finally, if the Libertarians ever expect to be part of the political system they will support the Arizona and Maine systems that level the playing field. Even Libertarians in Arizona accepted public funding, because it makes sense and it works for the public’s best interest.

Excuse the error: It is the paid lobbyists who are driving the agenda, not the activists.

re:re: Clean Money
Jack E. Lohman on July 27, 2006 - 8:18pm

One of us has a "Eureka" moment in our future. The question is who is driving the political agenda, the private interests or the public interests.

By definition, I regard citizens, companies/corporations, and entities that do not benefit or are associated with government are private. Federal/state/county/city employees ,agencies, and those that benefit from government departments, Unions, group associations whose intent is to influence government, NGO's, and non-profits are public.

What is disturbing is corporations/business that give equally to both parties.. an easy clue that its not a championing of an interest, but a pure bribe to ensure that they don't get shaken down.

My tools are fairly simple, google and opensecrets.org do the hard lifting. Motherjones and the WSJ help as well.

Sammy, there are three interests out there: public, private and government. And the important question is: who is getting the government’s attention? The answer is the moneyed interests instead of the public taxpayers, the shareholders of the government.

Again, there are only two types of campaign money: public and private. So if you want politicians to be beholden to the public you must have public funding of campaigns. Private interests will not give money unless they get something in return, and that “something” can only be public assets. That means taxes to the average citizen. It means tax cuts, subsidies, bridges and roads to nowhere, and no-bid contracts. And it represents $4000 per taxpayer per year, while publicly funded elections will cost just $15 per taxpayer per year.

But if you use opensecrets.org appropriately, I don’t need to tell you all that.

John-

Just a quick comment/question/observation:

"Sammy, there are three interests out there: public, private and government."

Isn't the real problem and all of our ultimate objective to eliminate the distinction between "government" and "public?" It seems clear to me that unless and until we get out of this "us vs. them" mindset that the GOP has so succesfully implanted in the American psyche, we are doomed to failure. As Ross Perot was so fond of pointing out - we are the government. The tax dollars are our tax dollars. The representatives are our representatives. The Constitution is our Constitution. This country is our country.

We indeed want to eliminate that distinction. It is (or at least was) our government. But the moneyed intersest have inserted themselves between its owners -- the citizens -- and the manager/politicians by way of vast sums of campaign money. That totally changes the dynamics and, frankly, the effective ownership.

re:re:re: Clean Money
Jack E. Lohman on July 27, 2006 - 9:58pm

You say: "Private interests will not give money unless they get something in return, and that “something” can only be public assets"

May i reword that phrase: NO interest will give money unless they expect something in return, and that “something” can only be PRIVATE wealth extracted from citizens by threat of imprisonment.

Now you rachet up the ante and make the private citizen pay for his executioner.

You noticed that the wisdom of our founders never advanced such an absurd invention of political tyranny.

Of course an arguement can be continued along the lines that the motivation for using money to corrupt the system arises from three things and many of these are stronger than in the days of our Replublics beginning:

The power of the federal government that necissitates lobbying and can lead to corrouption:

1. Tax Code: A lot of lobbying surrounds the tax code. There are incredible $'s at stake from minor revisions. Simplify the tax code and this whole reason for lobbying disappears and the associated tendency for corruption.

2. Regulation: Government regulation also makes and breaks fortunes. Move to a more minimalist but effective regulatory approach and reduce the motivation.

3. Federal programs, the greatly expanded federal largesse motivates folks to get to the trough and invest some bucks to get more, more and more cities have lobbyist in washington circumventing even their own representatives with an unabashed goal of getting more. TIED TO THIS is the whole corrumption enabled by earmarks, which must go!

Beyond reducing the temptations, the solution is also contingent on electing individuals that hold the value not to be corrupted and then keeping a very close eye on them.

vry,

RET

RE: re:re:re:re: Clean Money *
SATXRich on July 28, 2006 - 9:47am

Rich.. you said what i was expressing .. but better. Reduce the footprint of government.. and corruption evaporates.

Wow. I posted a comment in what I thought was a blog about ideas and not personal attacks; looked away for a minute; and got whacked.

Sammy listed 6 or 7 different activities I’ve been involved in over my almost 20 years of volunteer activism. I never got paid a dime for any of that. Sammy, do you get paid for filing lawsuits, or just hope for fat settlements? In the interest of “full disclosure”, I now (2 months) manage the Clean Elections Institute in Arizona (www.azclean.org), a nonprofit set up to oversee the implementation of public financing and protect it from repeal. I’m making about half what I did in my previous engineering career in order to fight for something I believe in.

If this is going to degenerate into a Libertarian, “all government is bad” rant, I’m going to bail. If on the other hand, we can agree that some level of government is necessary and inevitable, we can talk about how to make elected officials more responsive to voters and not big-money special interests. That’s where public financing comes in. Elected officials, like all of us, dance with “who brung ‘em”. Is that going to be voters and the public, or groups that give them money?

We can blog about the size of government and how many tax dollars it extracts from us somewhere else. That’s not the question at the top of this page.

> Now you rachet up the ante and make the private citizen pay for his executioner.

Sammy, the private citizen IS ALREADY paying, and we are paying through the back door whenever politicians pass laws that transfer taxpayer assets to the special interests that fund the elections. I'm not sure what it is about political bribery that you don't understand.

re:re:re:re: Clean Money
Jack E. Lohman on July 28, 2006 - 6:25pm

Jack, You know very well there are a thousand means to control quid pro quo and corruption, without throwing the baby out with the bath water.

1. "Recuse" is not a foreign word in washington. It can be used by our representatives on particular legislation that they may be compromised.

2. A national election bank that tracks all donations and ALL expenses in real-time and on-line.

3. Only donations from the district they represent.

4. No post jobs rising from companies that they have had legislative interest.

5. Many, many more.

Corruption is a different story. It's illegal and punishable. Its should be with triple damages. If they knew that they would lose their pension, that would make a big difference as well.

In any case, this is the legislation that needs to be passed, which would make public funded campaigns unnecessary.

re:Clean Money
Eric Ehst on July 28, 2006 - 6:10pm

Moderator, you need to include some new rules.. rules that are standard with the FEC and state voting authorities where paid lobbyists and spokesperson must register.

I recommend that all posters (and the leadership for that matter) declare themselves as so if they receive renumeration from special interests, corporations, or non-nationals if the intent of their activities are to influence legislation, regulations, or political policy.

The're some here that post without the decency of doing so, but hissy fit to high heavens when exposed.

>>> The're some here that post without the decency of doing so, but hissy fit to high heavens when exposed.

Sammy, until I called you on it you did not disclose that you were a Libertarian that makes litigation your hobby. Eric had his website (azclean.org) linked to his name. He responded because I mentioned Arizona clean elections.

I do hope that it is not the Libertarian's intent to hijack this forum.

>>> there are a thousand means to control quid pro quo and corruption...

>>> 1. "Recuse" is not a foreign word in washington. It can be used by our
>>> representatives on particular legislation that they may be compromised.

Let's be real about this, Sammy. That would require over 50% of legislators recusing themselves on legislation they received private money on; perhaps even 80% if the counted the money from both sides. These people are already receiving money (in their salaries) to pass legislation, not to bow out whenever they are compromised. They should avoid being compromised in the first place.

>>> 2. A national election bank that tracks all donations and ALL expenses
>>> in real-time and on-line.

OpenSecrets.org and FECinfo.com are getting there, but I don't want to know "in real time" when my legislator is being corrupted, I don't want him taking money at all. From anyone! Not even the special interests I support!

>>> 3. Only donations from the district they represent.

So only people within the district can corrupt him? And if special interests have people/employees in every district they are home free? The Libertarians, like the right-wing and left-wing extremes, have a very high tolerance for corruption. Would you allow that in your own company?

re:re:re:re: Clean Money
Jack E. Lohman on July 28, 2006 - 8:04pm

Bingo Jack. Exactly, if 80% had to recuse themselves.. problem solved! .. none would be re-elected and the media would slam them. And none would accept corporation donations ever after.

"The Libertarians, ... have a very high tolerance for corruption." Oh come on now.. libertarians are like a herd of cats.. which we know doesn't exist. There are only a handfull of us.. and even we disagree on most issues (except the concept of smaller government) .. especially on the drug war issue.

Check your opensecrets.org, and you will see that the vast majority of donors to Libertarians by industry were retired folks like us (#1). Health professions were #4 and Education was #5. Hardly a fat cat type of donor sheet.

Sammy, this discussion is absurd. I entered it because I thought it would be useful to the “center” participants looking for the cheapest way to fund a clean, honest government, not to convert Libertarians who have but one goal; to eliminate even the government’s useful parts and privatize everything. You should read "The Fox in the Henhouse" by Si Kahn, which carries privatization to its extreme. Kahn is right when he and says "there is no such thing as a private democracy." You can either have a public democracy or a private dictatorship, but not both. I do not want CEOs running the country. I do not want corporate rule, and that's the Libertarian goal.

I'll give you the last word on this, and then turn the forum back to those who want to fix the problem, not make it worse.

You suggested moderator control earlier, and I would support that.

Getting this discussion back to where it was intended (i.e. should elections be funded with public or private money), I offer my website at www.WiCleanElections.org as a source for those serious about understanding the real costs and benefits. Be sure to check each of the buttons on the left, and don't miss Arizona's Clean Money at www.azclean.org. It works!!! And that's why the moneyed interests are trying to kill it.

Yes, it goes against the grain of those who prefer corporate rule. But like (at least honest) corporations, we propose a management team without personal conflicts of interest and one that is funded by its shareholders (the taxpayers). That means politicians who do not take money from private sources in return for public assets.

As I mentioned before, there are only two types of money, public and private, and there are some who would like to keep the current system where their dollars can control laws and spending polities. Sorry; I want future generations to enjoy a democracy rather than a plutocracy.

Back on Subject, Clean vs Private Money!

I just read all the interesting comments about public financing. I noticed that it is being tried in several states. I have a couple of questions.

You say it works, what evidence do you have to support that claim? and who in particular is trying to stop this concept?

I believe it's even illegal for political parties in The Netherlands to accept money from businesses. The government gives them money to campaign from and they get money from their members.

That way, the parties aren't able to become 'rich', but they are also quite disabled of becoming the puppet of the ultra-rich (companies).

re:Back on Subject, Clean vs Private Money!
Anonymous on July 29, 2006 - 11:29am

I would be interested to know too anonymous. There are two bloggers here who are promoting it.. but very little evidence to date.

The best evidence of public money being preferred to fund political campaigns is the horrendous failure and astronomical costs of our current, privatized campaign system both at the state and federal level. Public money could not be worse and would not prompt these government giveaways. It is undeniable that billions of taxpayer dollars per year are given by congressmen in tax breaks, subsidies, no-bid contracts, roads and bridges to nowhere, local earmarks and etc, all going to the funders of today’s political campaigns.

CEOs don’t give money unless there is a return on their investment, and that return is phenomenal at over $300 billion per year. That’s over $3000 per taxpayer per year (the new numbers put it closer to $4000 per taxpayer). Since Sammy claims www.OpenSecrets.org as one of his sources, I puzzle as to why he even asks the question. But also look at www.Publicampaign.org, www.publicintegrity.org, and our state’s largess at www.wisdc.org/grafttax2report.html.

I’ll leave Eric from Arizona to spell out that state’s successes, but reasonable people would ask: if public funding didn’t work, why have there been several court challenges to try to block it? The answer is because, as Michael van der Galien points out, the link between the corporations and the parties has been broken, and the corporations don’t like that a bit. Nor do some of the politicians who have lived on the graft. So they have jointly funded lawsuits to void the law, which seems right down Sammy’s alley with all of the civil suits he credits himself with.

Top All Time Donors

1 American Fedn of State, County & Municipal Employees $37,316,852
2 AT&T Inc $36,207,049
3 National Assn of Realtors $28,475,423
4 Assn of Trial Lawyers of America $26,277,006
5 National Education Assn $25,991,491
6 Intl Brotherhood of Electrical Workers $24,626,156
7 Service Employees International Union $23,756,610
8 Laborers Union $23,623,707
9 Communications Workers of America $23,446,869
10 Teamsters Union $23,435,683
11 Goldman Sachs $23,409,211
12 Carpenters & Joiners Union $23,376,087
13 American Medical Assn $22,887,714
14 United Auto Workers $22,377,835
15 FedEx Corp $22,171,015
16 American Federation of Teachers $21,966,170
17 Altria Group $21,859,168
18 Machinists & Aerospace Workers Union $20,701,439
19 United Food & Commercial Workers Union $20,432,802
20 Citigroup Inc $19,860,001
21 United Parcel Service $19,721,745
22 National Auto Dealers Assn $19,466,892
23 National Assn of Home Builders $17,449,265
24 American Bankers Assn $16,719,430
25 National Assn of Letter Carriers $16,706,734
26 AFL-CIO $16,033,717
27 Time Warner $15,930,052
28 National Rifle Assn $15,545,788
29 National Beer Wholesalers Assn $15,330,754
30 Microsoft Corp $15,143,000
31 EMILY's List $14,892,602
32 Verizon Communications $14,657,096
33 JP Morgan Chase & Co $14,533,788
34 BellSouth Corp $14,021,695
35 Lockheed Martin $13,848,881
36 Ernst & Young $13,695,840
37 Sheet Metal Workers Union $13,609,551
38 Morgan Stanley $13,439,640
39 Bank of America $12,901,229
40 Credit Union National Assn $12,834,018
41 American Hospital Assn $12,821,231
42 American Dental Assn $12,819,815
43 General Electric $12,762,999
44 RJR Nabisco/RJ Reynolds Tobacco $12,180,247
45 Blue Cross/Blue Shield $12,171,180
46 Plumbers & Pipefitters Union $11,833,278
47 Union Pacific Corp $11,746,578
48 Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu $11,653,466
49 Air Line Pilots Assn $11,622,147
50 AFLAC Inc $11,445,789
51 United Steelworkers of America $11,353,047
52 PricewaterhouseCoopers $11,301,503
53 United Transportation Union $11,273,943
54 Merrill Lynch $11,265,687
55 American Institute of CPAs $11,209,333
56 International Assn of Fire Fighters $11,160,443
57 Pfizer Inc $10,386,750
58 Operating Engineers Union $10,356,630
59 Boeing Co $10,246,160
60 MBNA Corp $10,057,806
61 American Financial Group $10,031,264
62 Ironworkers Union $9,827,288
63 Anheuser-Busch $9,330,173
64 Chevron $9,175,342
65 National Rural Electric Cooperative Assn $9,058,456
66 Freddie Mac $9,054,571
67 General Motors $9,013,643
68 UST Inc $8,995,852
69 Credit Suisse Group $8,938,495
70 Walt Disney Co $8,928,715
71 National Assn of Retired Federal Employees $8,927,900
72 American Postal Workers Union $8,849,811
73 General Dynamics $8,669,976
74 Exxon Mobil $8,639,364
75 Prudential Financial $8,241,307
76 MCI Inc $8,081,422
77 American International Group $8,059,432
78 National Cmte to Preserve Social Security & Medicare $8,045,573
79 Human Rights Campaign $7,972,717
80 National Restaurant Assn $7,971,024
81 Southern Co $7,946,738
82 GlaxoSmithKline $7,928,155
83 Archer Daniels Midland $7,775,889
84 National Assn of Insurance & Financial Advisors $7,677,430
85 American Academy of Ophthalmology $7,617,186
86 American Maritime Officers $7,594,381
87 Amway Corp $7,549,166
88 Metropolitan Life $7,433,976
89 National Cmte for an Effective Congress $7,379,274
90 Eli Lilly & Co $7,353,856
91 CSX Corp $7,333,404
92 Associated General Contractors $7,240,847
93 Seafarers International Union $7,047,504
94 American Airlines $7,039,676
95 Marine Engineers Beneficial Assn $6,823,005
96 American Council of Life Insurers $6,758,540
97 Bristol-Myers Squibb $6,698,887
98 Enron Corp $6,572,257
99 Andersen $6,267,277
100 BP $5,404,704
101 Vivendi $3,615,044

http://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/list.asp?order=A

Chance are everyone who reads that list will run across some organization whose views they support. How about "National Cmte for an Effective Congress" for $7,379,274?

You are right, Anonymous. It is all special interests that want laws passed or blocked, not just corporations. But I don't care who they are, I don't want my congressman bought or sold by anybody, not even the special interests I support. I want them representing the public, without conflict, and this list clearly demonstrates that they support the highest bidders or there wouldn't be any bidders at all.

For those who want a bought-and-paid-for government, they should be happy as hell because that's exactly what we've got.

Back on Subject, Clean vs Private Money!
Jack E. Lohman on July 29, 2006 - 6:56pm

Very lame Jack. Anonymous asked and I would like to know as well, what evidence do you have that the public funding of elections is better. You replied that the current system in your opinion is a failure and someone, somewhere is trying to stop your hypothesis without naming any specifics. I assume that you don't have any positive evidence, or you would have given an example.

Sammy, I don’t think anything I offer will ever satisfy you that Clean Elections works better than Bought Elections, and that’s probably one reason why the 2% of you that are Libertarians will never win a meaningful election.

I gave you all of the links. Please read them. I cannot post the data here. You must follow the links and READ them!

Suffice it to say that the voters and taxpayers in both conservative Arizona and liberal Maine (a) weighed the effects of the moneyed system and THEY VOTED to replace the special interests and THEY are fighting tooth and nail to keep those systems. I will once again refer you to the links, but I doubt that you will accept the success.

Arizona ARCHIVES: 2002 ELECTION STATISTICS - The Positive Impact On The 2002 Election Is Clear! Clean Elections Works!

The Road to Victory (www.azclean.org/documents/2002RoadtoVictory-Final.pdf) a comprehensive report detailing the 2002 Election.

2002 Success of Clean Elections (www.azclean.org/documents/8-9-042002SuccessStats.doc) a summary of The Road to Victory.

Maine: www.mainecleanelections.org

And finally, when the voters know the differences between the systems, 90% select full public funding of campaigns. I will stop trying to convince the 2% who are Libertarians on the fringe. This is a blog for those who want a solution, not to disrupt progress.

Good stuff on those links Jack. It's a well known fact that special interests contribute money to the one they feel will help them the most. Keeping all the candidates on a level playing field is the only way of getting "lesser"* candidates on the ballot.

*"lesser" referring to candidates that while they don't have big money behind them, may have the best interests of We The People in their hearts.

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