Tuesday, September 4, 2007

One small step...

I have been on a roll recently posting about the problems plaguing the two political parties and I have linked here to a Bob Franken blog post, at The Hill website. Bob has been a Journalist for many years and he has covered politics for most of his career. He knows the system is broken and in today’s post he hints at campaign finance reform. I agree we need campaign finance reform but I do not want the government meddling again so we get another “McCain-Feingold” type reform, and end up stomping on freedom of speech rights again. I think the reform should be simple.

I suggest we work on two aspects of campaigning; the length you can campaign, and how you can finance the campaign.

Length of the campaign should be tied to the type of campaign. For example; the presidential campaign and statewide office campaigns like governor and senator,etc… should be limited to 8 months. No money can be raised prior to the eight months. All other campaigns are limited to 6 months.

Financing; no candidate can donate more than the $3000 limit to their own campaign. Any individual can donate up to $3000.00 to any campaign. No PAC money can be given to the campaign but they can run as many issue ads as they would like. No candidate can be associated with any PAC. No corporate donations to individual or PACS. All donations must be listed immediately on the candidates and PAC’s website.

We need to get big money out and individual money into political campaigns. We need to reduce the time we need to focus on political campaigns so voters don’t become fatigued with the debate. It has become an anointing process at the party level, and the money has been controlled far too long at the lobbyist and corporate PAC level. We can’t ignore groups that have an interest in politics because they have rights in the political arena too. They represent millions of voter’s opinions and deserve to get their message out. We just need to disconnect them from the individual candidate.

What we need are representatives in government that are focused on the good of the American people, American business, and American values. The party system encourages the dissection of people into interest groups which undermines the entire system. The current finance system for campaigns favors the wealthy and corporate interests, and we need to put in guidelines that make the system more accessible for all. I don’t have all the answers and there will be no system that is perfect but when a system is this far out of balance we need to engage the debate.

Bob Franken has been an Emmy winning political journalist and he knows the system has issues and I believe he is just the tip of the iceberg. The voters know the system is broken. We just have to convince the rest of the “insiders” it is time for reform of the parties, time frames, and the campaign finance process. Just a thought…

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