Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Show & Tell: Limiting Campaign Contributions?: Might as well try to teach a whale to fly
You want to know why we haven't had serious Campaign Reform, except for maybe McCain-Feingold of 2002, which might be a stretch. It closed some pot holes in the system while digging more at the same time. Eliminating Soft Money and I'm not going to explain these terms right now, shoot me an email if you really want me to tell you. But instead of all of that money going to Soft Money, it went to Hard Money, again send me a message if you want to know what Hard Money is as well. But the reasons why we haven't had serious Campaign Reform at the Federal Level and I just laid out one. When your in a monsoon, which is what our Campaign Finance System is right now a monsoon of money. And you have a leaky roof and its a safe bet you don't want to drown in this monsoon. Lets say your not suicidal to use as an example. Perhaps a leaky submarine underwater that can't get to the top is a better example but hopefully you get the idea anyway. And you try to plug one hole but guess what other holes open up, because you have a leaky roof and perhaps its old and rusted as well. Thats what its like to reform our Campaign System in America , which is very similar to trying to reform our Tax System. You close one loophole or several loopholes and others pop up. The same thing happened in the 1994 Crime Bill with the Brady Gun Control Law, they were able to limit certain guns. But then came the Gun Show Loophole and we've seen a few people unfortunately die as a result with killers getting their guns at Gun Shows.
But again as big as a problem as that is and that by itself is big enough to kill any serious Campaign Finance Reform. You also have the Two Party System, where both parties hate Divided Government and hate each other which is what we've usually had the last forty years. They both want United Government where they have the Administration and Congress and to get that, they have to knock the other party out of power. But that alone is not good enough for either of them, once they control the Federal Government. They want to knock the other party so far back, that it would take them at least two Election Cycles, for them to get back into power. And the only way to have serious Campaign Reform, is to hurt both parties and their Special Interest Groups. To make the people that put them into office weaker and that aint going to happen. At least not with the current Leadership in town with both parties. Oh did I mention the US Supreme Court yet, I better do that because they are the court that relates Campaign Fiance with Free Speech. The 2010 Citizens United case, case in point which means regulating the amount of Campaign Money is borderline impossible. Your looking at a Constitutional Amendment to do that. All right those were just my Cynical Points but truthful, I actually have a positive solution to this problem that I believe is a problem that has very limited solutions.
Imagine that Harry Reid, John Boehner, Mitch McConnell and Nancy Pelosi weren't the Leaders of Congress right now. And I'll give you another one Barack Obama is not the President either, who I believe would like to see real Campaign Reform. But knows its not in his short term Political Interest, so he's not going to do much about it. Imagine that Dwight Eisenhower or Harry Truman were President. And the four Leaders of Congress cared more about Campaign Reform then their party, because they believed the country needed it. You might as well also imagine that their aren't in starving people in Somalia right now or Afghanistan has the largest economy in the World as well. Thats sarcastic if not mean but close, then we could have a Campaign System with Full Disclosure and that might be all we need and all we can get. That wouldn't get thrown out by the Roberts Supreme Court. To me its not about the amount of money thats spent on Political Campaigns. But who's spending the money and who's taking it and how it relates to their Congressional Record, Presidential Record or whatever Public Office they hold. Its when a politician comes out against Teen Smoking and wants to prevent it but then takes a lot of money from Tobacco Company's thats the problem. Or No Bid Contracts that get rewarded because someone contributed a lot of money to the last Political Campaign. These are just a couple of examples and their a lot more.
Full Disclosure is all we can hope for and all we might need, when incumbents or candidates take Campaign Contributions, they would have to report that right away and make it public. Thats what Full Disclosure is. Its perfectly constitutional because incumbents and candidates have to report their income all the time. No mater how much or little money they made and how they made their money.