For some of us the Koch Brothers have been overt for years: Rated R (HBO):
Campaign Spending: Please note we are NOT accepting ANY contributions. In my humble opinion, too much money is involved in politics now. I am not the only one who shares this view, Warning, some foul language in this video:
Sadly, now all three branches of some state governments are being driven by money:
A judge's election story: The treasure is the key: Who has the treasure?
I agree with this WSJ Opinion:
"The need for candidates to raise large sums of money to run for office effectively screens out Republicans and Democrats whose views differ from those of the donor class, even if those views are popular with conservative or progressive voters."
"Voter apathy and is a political problem that can be solved only by political reforms that give nonelite voters more actual power to affect policy outcomes — not by a new tax credit here or a wage subsidy there."
A great writeup on where it started going wrong: How Gingrich broke Congress
(Newt Gingrich, not my running mate Bo Gingrich)
What if we put a Federal Tax on Contributions to Federal Campaigns? This was written pre-Citizens United v FEC: Taxing Political Donations: The Case for Corrective Taxes in Campaign Finance
The really sad part of the fundraising is that most of it is not even necessary. Most Senate and House races are decided before the election through Gerrymandering: http://www.limbaughlooper2016.com/gerrymandering.html
Money and Uncontested Elections?
Some may question money's influence when they see decisions like this:
Colorado Court Strikes Down Local Bans on Fracking Colorado Supreme Court Justices are appointed by the governor, Colorado Judicial Branch Someone may ask who contributed to the governor's campaign? John Hickenlooper's Campaign Finances Citizens United v FEC must be reversed: How to Reverse Citizens United
Someone wrote a book about it: Corporate Citizen? An Argument for the Separation of Corporation and State
Citizens United v FEC you ask? 10 WAYS CITIZENS UNITED ENDANGERS DEMOCRACY
The decision came down on January 21st, 2010, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission and I was upset when the decision was announced. Someone else was too:
Someone is trying to make a difference: http://www.wolf-pac.com Leadership PACs? All in the Family: House Members Lining Family Pockets with Political Cash Why isn't campaign finance reform laws a priority in D.C.? (WARNING! This video might make you mad):
Why do people rail against taxes then turn around and are willing to give millions to political campaigns? http://www.opensecrets.org/pres16/ Could some of that money go to making our country a better place? Repairing Our Infrastructure.
I agree more with Buckley v Valeo:
Did the limits placed on electoral expenditures by the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, and related provisions of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, violate the First Amendment's freedom of speech and association clauses?"
In this complicated case, the Court arrived at two important conclusions. First, it held that restrictions on individual contributions to political campaigns and candidates did not violate the First Amendment since the limitations of the FECA enhance the "integrity of our system of representative democracy" by guarding against unscrupulous practices. Second, the Court found that governmental restriction of independent expenditures in campaigns, the limitation on expenditures by candidates from their own personal or family resources, and the limitation on total campaign expenditures did violate the First Amendment. Since these practices do not necessarily enhance the potential for corruption that individual contributions to candidates do, the Court found that restricting them did not serve a government interest great enough to warrant a curtailment on free speech and association."
I don't have a problem with a Monsanto or an ExxonMobil purchasing an ad as long as they take credit for it. I question why these free-speech seekers want to hide behind astroturf PAC names and try to hide who gives what and how much.
A former student of mine and a future President himself does not share my view on campaign spending and wrote a paper for one of his college classes on the subject and sent it to me. It is a great paper! I don't agree with it, but it is still a great paper!