Symposium 2015: Is it time for a new round of campaign finance reform?

Cartwright—Good luck with this one.  Again, the political establishment is not going to let this happen.  They’re in too deep.  They’re selling their votes and peddling their influence left and right to special interest groups for huge sums of money.  It takes lots of money to run a campaign for federal office, whether it’s the House of Representatives, the Senate, or the President. The money has to come from somewhere for these massive and expensive campaigns.  This is partly the reason why it is so difficult to unseat an incumbent.  They usually have a massive war chest of campaign funds to use for advertising to crush most of the opposition.  This also leads to career politicians.  Why get out when you can live the high life in Washington on the taxpayer’s dime?  

Do we need campaign finance reform?  Absolutely.  We need to ban PACs and Super PACs and special interest groups from manipulating the election process.  As the system is today, Chinese communists can funnel massive amounts of money into the election process through various means, predominantly Super PACs.  Do we really want foreign companies, countries, or politicians involved in our election process?  I don’t think so.  It’s not what America and our election system is about.

Another option is to institute term limits for congressmen and senators.  Perhaps by doing this they wouldn’t constantly be on the campaign trail trying to raise money for re-election, particularly during their final term in office.  Use the debate system to let candidates get out their messages or give each candidate the opportunity to buy allocated hours of prime time television on the networks so they can stand and talk about themselves, their campaign platform, what they’re going to do for America, and why they deserve your vote.

The system wasn’t designed for the political elite and their establishment or the enormously wealthy who can fund their own campaigns.  The Founding Fathers envisioned every day Americans in public service in the Congress and as President.  I think the system has become vastly corrupted from their original intent.

Along those lines, I’ve also long believed that service in the Congress should be like jury duty.  You would have to meet certain qualifications in terms of education, not have a criminal background, and so on.  If you’re number is randomly drawn at the election time, you get to go to Washington as a congressman or senator and serve your country and your state or district.  Then, you have a whole new House of Representatives every two years, and one third of the Senate is new every couple years.  That would eliminate career politicians and the need for campaigning for election and reelection.  Perhaps then the Congress would do the work of the people and not focus on self preservation via reelection.  It’s a fanciful idea but not going to happen.

Read more here at Thinking Outside The Boxe

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