Monday, August 31, 2015

The Best of All Possible Worlds

Campaign Finance Reform
The Presidential election campaigns are gearing up, and once again we're being subjected to all the same old arguments for each side limiting the other sides funding.

 Having recently viewed a discussion on Constitutional Insurgent's excellent blog which tangentially addressed the issue, a remark from one of his commenters wondering what a Libertarian take on the issue might be, prompted the following ideas.

 Now, I don't presume to speak for the Libertarian party in any official capacity, or even for Libertarians in general, but I've given some thought to the subject and offer this Libertarian's campaign spending reform program for your consideration.
 1. As it is no one's business but yours who or what you spend your money on, we should remove any and all restrictions on how much you can contribute to the candidate of your choice.
2. As it is none of your business who is running for office in the neighboring congressional district, or in a state 2000 miles away, your support should only be available to those candidates for whom you are legally entitled to cast a ballot, and only one of them. No hedging your bets.

This would tend to restrict your purchase of politicians in national elections  at any given time to at most one (1) Representative, one (1) Senator , and one (1) President. As should be readily apparent, the competition will be fierce, and market forces should easily ameliorate your influence with any particular office holder.

3. All contributions to every campaign should cease thirty (30) days before the election, allowing ample time for the respective organizations to collect and publish a list of all contributors over a given nominal amount at least 15 days prior to the polling date.

  If you're buying a politician your name ought to be clearly visible on the bill of sale, and the rest of us are entitled to know it.

While some candidates may claim this to be a hardship, if you can't operate on a budget, you probably shouldn't be running for national office in the first place.

4. As should be obvious from item #2, no money should come from any source other than the native constituencies of the various offices. That is to say that all party organizations, PAC's, corporations, unions, trade and professional organizations, etc. should be strictly prohibited from contributing to any candidate.

5.  "Issue" advertising would still be allowed by interested parties, but with a cut off well in advance of the polls, perhaps that same 30 day mark, leaving ample time for the electorate to weigh the questions and decide for themselves.

If nothing else, such a program would tend to restore the loyalties of politician to their proper focus, the people who actually put them in office. Our downfall has been the arrogation of interest in the affairs of all, by all and sundry.

  I'm sure our liberal friends chafe at being represented by office holders financed by others, as I do with a governor paid for by Emily's List.  As the saying goes; "All politics are local." and government would work far better for all of us if it was.

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