Campaign Finance Reform

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by 5stringJeff, Oct 13, 2003.

  1. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    So since Bry and I got on the topic elsewhere, I figured I'd start a new thread, where the people who want to get the money out of politics can talk with the free-speech advocates.


    I personally think CFR is a travesty, and that if they were alive today, George Washington, James Madison, et.al., would kick McCain's and Feingold's butts so hard they wouldn't be able to sit down for a month.
    If CFR was left up to me, donations form American citizens would be unlimited. All donations would have to be reported to the PDC (Public Disclosure Commission) within 48 hours, and subsequently shown online. Campaign expenditure laws would remain unchanged, except that it would be legal (not like McCain/Feingold) to place ads about incumbents all the way up to election day.
    They say that campaign contributions lead to corrupt politicians... but they don't say that no one would ever get elected without campaign signs, mailing/literature, newspaper/radio/TV ads, etc. I don't see how you could run a successful campaign for anything except Precinct committee officer without spending a small chunk of change.
     
  2. Aquarian
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    Aquarian Member

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    You're probably right given the current media dynamics. It would be different if the gov't got some airtime to play with for candidate purposes in exchange for the licenses that are worth a few billion which they give to the networks. Or alternatively if the networks decided to allocate some time in the interest of serving the public, same for the radio and newspapers... I do think it's less than proper that whoever raises the most money wins (as seems to be indicated by recent articles describing the pollsters take on the current campaign between democrats and the upcoming campaigns for presidency). The way it is it mostly just boils down to a shouting match, who can talk the most and the loudest wins.

    Off the wall idea, i'd run the elections more like the Miss America pageants with contestants from every state competing in areas like intelligence, diplomacy, stature (encompossing aspects that deal with how a president would be perceived from the outside) and of course policy. It'd be different anyway :)
     
  3. MtnBiker
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    MtnBiker Senior Member

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    The article is a little dated, however speaks to some campaing finance reform issue. Interesting on individual contributions made to each party. Also I could not find a link sorry.


    Democrats and Fat Cats
    The Washington Times
    Op Ed, July 8, 2003

    Democrats and Fat Cats

    "The Nine Dwarfs" pursuing the Democratic Party presidential nomination have been relentlessly asserting that the Republican Party is beholden to the wealthy. It turns out, however, that it is the Democratic Party that has been addicted to the million-dollar contributions from the nation's fat cats. A recent study by the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP), a nonpartisan campaign-finance research organization, reveals that the Democratic Party gobbled up an astounding 92 percent of all individual contributions totaling $1 million or more during the 2001-02 election cycle. Meanwhile, it was the Republican Party that received 64 percent of all individual contributions less than $200 per donor. The CRP study reviewed more than 1.4 million individual contributions of $200 or more given to congressional candidates, parties and leadership political action committees, which are fund-raising organizations controlled by members of Congress. The analysis included individuals' hard-money contributions, which are limited by law, and the unlimited, essentially unregulated soft-money donations made by individuals. The study involved individual contributions totaling $1.36 billion. Republicans raised $773 million, and Democrats raised $584 million. Individual contributions below $200 amounted to $523 million. The vast majority of these donations represent personal checks for $100, $50, $25 and less, often written in response to direct-mail appeals. Clearly, these are not wealthy people. Republicans captured $333 million, or 64 percent at the less-than-$200 level, while Democrats managed to rake in $182 million, or 35 percent. For individual contributions between $200 and $999 — not exactly a definitive measure of wealth — Republicans solidly outdistanced Democrats ($75 million to $47 million). Indeed, only in the truly fat-cat segments ($100,000-$999,999 and $1-million-and-above) did the self-described "party of the people" outraise the GOP. From individuals who contributed $1 million or more, Democrats collected $48 million, or 1,100 percent more than the Republicans' $4 million. Moreover, Democrats enjoyed a monopoly among individual contributors who donated $2 million or more. Cumulatively, that ever-so-special fat-cat cohort — which included a mere six white males (Haim Saban, $9.3 million; Fred Eychaner, $7.4 million; Stephen Bing, $6.7 million; Steven Kirsch, $3.2 million; Bernard Schwartz, $2.3 million; and Democratic Sen. Jon Corzine, $2 million) — donated more than $30 million to the Democratic Party. By all indications, the McCain-Feingold self-styled campaign-finance-reform bill that Democrats wholeheartedly embraced will increase the Republican fund-raising advantages. To wit: the $34.2 million that President Bush raised during the second quarter exceeded the fund-raising of all "The Nine Dwarfs" combined.
     

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