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It’s time for campaign finance changes
Thanks to last January’s Supreme Court ruling, corporations and non-profits are allowed to run private campaigns without complying with federal campaign finance requirements.
Already, anonymous political activity outside of our official parties is influencing our mid-term elections. For example: American Crossroads made a massive $4.2 million combined media buy in October that targeted eight hotly contested Senate races, all possible Republican wins. Undisclosed donors bought nearly 75 percent of this attack campaign.
As of October 18, total amounts spent by private groups nation-wide is an estimated $142 million ($80 million to Republicans, $62 million to Democrats) compared to the two major parties combined spending of $43 million. Wouldn’t this private money be better spent paying down the national debt or to create jobs?
In order to stop this blatant subversion of our elections, Congress needs to promptly pass public finance legislation. All candidates seeking Federal office would receive equal amounts of campaign money, period.
Also, Congress should set a campaign time limit—perhaps six weeks before primaries and three months before general elections.
These two simple changes would help our representatives legislate instead of perpetually run for office. Maybe they would actually work on at least some of our critical issues—tax reform and reduction, job creation, sustainable energy policies, affordable health care, immigration, public education, national security—to the benefit of all citizens.
Eliminating private donations and unlimited fund-raising would also unburden Congress from the insidious, powerful influences that have governed our democracy far too long.
Does Congress have the courage to enact what could be the most transformative legislation in a century? If not, our beloved democratic republic will continue to be compromised.