Goddammit...Public Finance Reform...

Everybody ‘picks’ their comfortable political party.



Can we ALL agree that over the last year, our intellects and factual evidences have led us to SEE and UNDERSTAND, that the goddamned problem with the Bank Bailout and the Big Insurance Industry and health care debacle and the BP Oil problems are ALL because our Congress is far more BOUGHT than that poor, naive Mark Twain ever thought possible?

It’s time to put pressure on our Congress people to EXPLAIN why the F**k they keep complaining about “all of the corrupting money in Congress”…and yet…never do a damn thing about it!

Do they think we’re all stupid? (YES…unfortunately…they think we are.)

In one WEEK they could ALL agree on public financing of campaigns.

WHY do they NOT do it?

Because, IF they did, all of those WEALTHY, WONDERFUL, PRIVATE BUSINESS people would QUIT offering money and FUTURE ‘perks.’

So …, sadly, our congress keeps trying to hold their jobs, ‘split the difference’ between voters and the monied interests and HANG ON TO THEIR SMALL BUSINESS FRANCHISES in Congress.


Okay, so you vote the fuckers gone. Then what?


Puppy Breath?


Unicorn-fed puppies have Skittles breath.

My Senator’s breath smells like puppy food.

Yeah, well, first we need a SCOTUS that will reverse Buckley v. Valeo.

From The Next American Nation, by Michael Lind (The Free Press, 1995), pp. 256-259 (from before the McCain-Feingold Bill, but I don’t think the picture has changed all that much since it passed):

They don’t come much more libertarian than Goldwater, and even he was appalled at this state of affairs.

From the same book, pp. 311-313:

Shoot, people don’t even tick that little box on the top of their tax return to designate $3 to go to public financing program for presidential elections, even though the money doesn’t add a single penny to their taxes!

I see through a little googling that in 2002, only 11% of Americans ticked the box.

I fully, 100% support publicly financed campaigns. However, I don’t delude myself into thinking that Americans actually support such a thing; and even if it were more widely adopted, most people would probably think that politicians were crooks for taking public money to run a political campaign.

How do you feel about publicly funded tasty fruity smelling unicorn farts?

What color?

I can agree with that. It might be my political naiveté speaking, but I don’t see how you get a government that is elected and rules democratically when the people with the money tell them how to vote and choose who you will vote for.

Excellent information, BrainGlutton. I have wondered how the US got such an obviously flawed system. When I first heard about the lobbying system in the US, I thought I was misunderstanding - how can people be allowed to buy influence of the politicians that are making laws for everyone? Why doesn’t anybody see how wrong this is?

Now that the 2008 election removed any stigma from forgoing public finance, I’d be surprised if any presidential candidate ever opted in again.

Meaningful electoral finance reform is unconstitutional. Money is speech, saith the Supreme Court, and speech is free. Except when you say it to a politician. Or with flowers. Or something.

Seriously, if we can’t stop everyone from spending outrageous amounts of their own money on politics, maybe we shouldn’t be stopping anyone. That’s why I’m against California’s Prop. 15 – it’s a pilot public financing option on this month’s ballot that’s got huge support among local members of my party, despite the fact that MEG WHITMAN IS ON THE SAME BALLOT! Meg Whitman, the one-woman argument incarnate against half-assed campaign reform. Meg Whitman, the former eBay CEO who is spending up to $150 million of her own money to buy the governorship. Meg Whitman, who didn’t bother to VOTE!

Yes, by all means, let’s encourage candidates to handcuff themselves before leaping into shark-infested waters. The thrashing is oh-so-enjoyable.

Rainbow. Duh.

Yeah, skittle farts.

The OP might consider joining the organization Fix Congress First. That group’s website says today (6/1/10)

This gets around Buckley v Valeo by amending the constitution.

Calling for a constitutional convention is risky, of course. There are no guidelines. The last time one was called - 1787 - was supposedly to just tinker with the Articles of Confederation, and looked what happened.

You only need 51% to keep supporting it. Those who don’t get it, those who want it, those who don’t care, those who vote out of fear…& soon enough it’s self-sustaining.

You are asking those who benefit from the present system to fix it. The elected politicians already have a funding organization in place . They know who to hit up for money and fund raising parties. If you accept that politics is the business of getting re-elected, it is unlikely that they will ever mend it. A person running against an incumbent is at a huge disadvantage , as our 95 percent re-election rate attests.
Campaign financing is the most corrupting influence in America. Any efforts to fix it depends on senators who get rich and powerful in office, to open the system up to all comers. That wont happen. That in spite of the fact they spend half their time raising money instead of doing the work they were elected to do.

Well, the campaign finance reform that has come to pass so far is the entire reason they spend half their time raising money, because they’re required to raise it in small chunks. Previously, they could fund themselves through a couple of rich backers and not worry about asking small donors for money. The current system may be more demanding of the legislator’s time, but I think it’s more egalitarian.

Note that many lobbyists represent large groups of people who have pooled their money: AARP, SEIU, TIAA-CREF are just a couple that come to mind.

Also, the alternate perspective is that to public finance opponents, it seems dangerous to democracy for incumbents to set the terms upon which their challengers must campaign. The fear is the possibility of corruption.

I can’t tell if you’re joking or not.