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Old 02-23-2011, 09:59 PM  
Direckshun Direckshun is offline
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Let's revisit this topic again: public financing of campaigns.

The subject has come up in a few threads as a tangeant.

Let's address it straightforwardly as its own subject, because I think it's a fascinating conversation.

I think one of the telling things about our electoral process is that during a public employee strike in Wisconsin, governor Scott Walker took 20 minutes to field a call from an imposter pretending to be a really rich guy who pours money into Tea Party politics.

Now... whatever. I don't care about the imposter thing. For the most part Walker was still consistent with his public statements, except he was far more frank about the deviousness of his political strategy. Like I said, big whoop, whatever.

But the guy making the call was clearly acting like a bit of a loon. And Walker grins and bears it, chuckling hesitantly and trying to be somewhat supportive. This guy on the phone was a lunatic, but he has a ton of cash, so he gets a huge amount of attention from public servants like Walker for almost entirely that reason alone.

Obama himself, in Audacity of Hope, wrote that you cannot really get a political career off the ground without "asking rich people for money."

For a serious shot at the Presidency, for instance, you need to campaign for a year and a half AT LEAST, which demands that you must suck up over a hundred million dollars in donations for at least 18 months' time. This means that people who are either (a.) rich, or (b.) sympathetic to the rich, or (c.) both, are the only ones who have a shot at this stage. And it doesn't get much better for either chamber of Congress.

I'm not attempting to make a comprehensive argument. I'm just trying to get the ball rolling. So let's roll.

What are your thoughts on public financing of campaigns?
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Old 02-23-2011, 10:07 PM   #2
dirk digler dirk digler is offline
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I am for it. I think public officials are to beholden to who writes their checks to get them elected or re-elected.

Also I heard today Obama is going to try to get $1 billion dollars in donations to get elected.

I think that is just crazy
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Old 02-23-2011, 10:21 PM   #3
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over the last couple of weeks, i've decided that i'm all for public financing of campaigns.

we aren't gonna solve a g*ddamn thing in this country pandering to unions and big oil. nothing.

until we fill the halls of Congress with real ****ing people that have real ideas and are beholden to no one besides the true will of the people, we might as well just throw up our hands declare a draw because nothing substantial will ever get done.

i've never felt that money = speech. i can see the argument that it does. and it's fine if you hold that opinion. but it's not. just because you have more money doesn't mean your voice should be louder than mine. and that goes for individuals and corporations.

no PACs, no corporate donations, no individual donations. if you want to get out volunteer your labor for a candidate, that's awesome. and you should be commended. but writing a check...sorry.

there are so many people in this country that have great ideas. and some that have really crappy ideas. but none of those good or crappy ideas to fix this country will ever see the light of day because those folks have no shot, zero shot, of ever holding office.

while we're at it...term limits. two consecutive terms for the HoR, and one term for the Senate. If you wish to serve again, you wait two cycles for the HoR, and one cycle for the Senate.

new people, new ideas.

seriously, imagine the good we could do without every single ****ing office holder looking over their shoulder and making sure their major campaign contributors approve to the vote that s/he is about to cast.

the whole process is disgusting. a typical freshman HoR member spends his/her entire first term raising money for their second term election. how sick is that?

oh crap, and just imagine how quickly 3d parties would become viable if everyone played on the same field. holy shit.

imagine the confidence you could have in your CongressCritter knowing that he was actually voting his/her conscience and not voting to support the agenda of his biggest campaign contributor.

/rant

eta: yes, this means that you will "be forced" to financially "support" a candidate that you don't support. so be it. i don't believe in the MIC, yet i'm forced to support it. I don't believe that the Dept. of ED. is constitutional. yet, my tax dollars support it. so this one thing that could actually change the world...we should "be forced" to support it.
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Old 02-23-2011, 10:26 PM   #4
dirk digler dirk digler is offline
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I totally agree with everything you said healthpellets.

Public Financed Campaigns + Term Limits = win
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Old 02-23-2011, 10:30 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by healthpellets View Post
while we're at it...term limits. two consecutive terms for the HoR, and one term for the Senate. If you wish to serve again, you wait two cycles for the HoR, and one cycle for the Senate.

new people, new ideas.

seriously, imagine the good we could do without every single ****ing office holder looking over their shoulder and making sure their major campaign contributors approve to the vote that s/he is about to cast.

the whole process is disgusting. a typical freshman HoR member spends his/her entire first term raising money for their second term election. how sick is that?

oh crap, and just imagine how quickly 3d parties would become viable if everyone played on the same field. holy shit.

imagine the confidence you could have in your CongressCritter knowing that he was actually voting his/her conscience and not voting to support the agenda of his biggest campaign contributor.

/rant
This part I agree with. The problem is that it won't change. Nothing will change unless you do something drastic like not allow campaigning at all.

I'd be in favor of no campaigns at all. It'd be better to make a website that each candidate can contribute documents on subjects at hand and have debates. Remove all the bullshit and stick to facts and ideas.

But that will never happen. The system is completely ass****ed until major change happens.
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Old 02-23-2011, 11:08 PM   #6
HerculesRockefell HerculesRockefell is offline
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No. It's a terrible idea.

It would only further promote the influence of the 2 major parties, they would decide the funding structure and you can be damn sure 3rd parties aren't going to get an equal slice of the pie (nor should they with such tiny registration numbers). Bob Barr (L) pulled .4% in 2008, and Cynthia McKinney (G) pulled .12%. No f-ing way should either of those two parties be entitled to the same amount of funding as the Rs and Ds. Anyone who actually thinks this will increase the influense of 3rd parties is fooling themselves.

Also, who makes the decisions on who is a viable candidate that is entitled to funding, when in the process (primary or general), who decides the funding breakdown, etc.?

You're basically asking for whole new government agencies on both the federal and state levels that are in essence going to decide who our candidates will be. Whoever decides where the funding goes within the parties, controls who our candidates from each party will be.
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Old 02-23-2011, 11:56 PM   #7
Direckshun Direckshun is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HerculesRockefell View Post
No. It's a terrible idea.

It would only further promote the influence of the 2 major parties, they would decide the funding structure and you can be damn sure 3rd parties aren't going to get an equal slice of the pie (nor should they with such tiny registration numbers). Bob Barr (L) pulled .4% in 2008, and Cynthia McKinney (G) pulled .12%. No f-ing way should either of those two parties be entitled to the same amount of funding as the Rs and Ds. Anyone who actually thinks this will increase the influense of 3rd parties is fooling themselves.
America, for the vast majority of its history, has had a two party system.

That's not necessarily because the two parties hold all the power, although they do. It's because of the winner-take-all political system we have rather than a proportional representation that other countries have. Third parties simply cannot survive in a winner-take-all system.

If you're worried about third party influence, you're misfiring here. You should direct your aim at installing a proportional representation system. Other countries have that system (as WELL as public financing!) and have multiple parties that thrive.
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Old 02-24-2011, 01:08 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
America, for the vast majority of its history, has had a two party system.

That's not necessarily because the two parties hold all the power, although they do. It's because of the winner-take-all political system we have rather than a proportional representation that other countries have. Third parties simply cannot survive in a winner-take-all system.

If you're worried about third party influence, you're misfiring here. You should direct your aim at installing a proportional representation system. Other countries have that system (as WELL as public financing!) and have multiple parties that thrive.

You didn't really say anything to counter his point. You just kind of talked around it.
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Old 02-24-2011, 02:27 AM   #9
Direckshun Direckshun is offline
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You didn't really say anything to counter his point. You just kind of talked around it.
Shrug.

The entire argument that third parties stand no chance in a public financing system is assinine at best. How, exactly, are they doing now?

Public financing can conceivably be tweeked so that more parties can participate. Conceivably. There's at least a glimmer of hope there. There's none in our system today. Unless, of COURSE, you're a billionaire.

The point is completely moot anyway. There's more than institutional barriers preventing third parties from getting in on the action. There's constitutional barriers: so long as we are a winner-take-all election system, the vast majority of right-to-the-centers will vote for the designated "conservative" party, the vast majority of left-to-the-centers will vote for the designated "liberal" party -- few will splinter off, for fear of "the other side."

So we can argue hypotheticals about third parties and pretend that's the dealbreaker for public financing. But with or without it, it's moot anyway because we don't live under a proportional system that rewards third parties, we live under a winner-take-all system that renders them meaningless.
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Old 02-24-2011, 09:48 AM   #10
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Is public money more noble than private money or something? Did I miss something that happened and we aren't broke anymore?
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Old 02-24-2011, 10:18 AM   #11
Direckshun Direckshun is offline
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Originally Posted by Bewbies View Post
Is public money more noble than private money or something? Did I miss something that happened and we aren't broke anymore?
Public financing costs us pennies, and the return on it (i.e. politicians would be faaaar less beholden to special interests and the super rich than they are now) is worth its weight in gold.

I'm not casting moral aspersions on public or private money. But a private donation system renders the few rich among us as kingmakers. That's going to be much less the case in public financing.
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Old 02-24-2011, 10:31 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
Public financing costs us pennies, and the return on it (i.e. politicians would be faaaar less beholden to special interests and the super rich than they are now) is worth its weight in gold.

I'm not casting moral aspersions on public or private money. But a private donation system renders the few rich among us as kingmakers. That's going to be much less the case in public financing.
Dream on kid.
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Old 02-24-2011, 03:47 PM   #13
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I would support public financing as long as their were some time limits on campaigning. Maybe 9 months for Pres/VP, 6 months for Senate and 4 months for representatives?

As it stands now only the ubber rich or someone in someone's pockets, beit Soros or the Kochs.
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Old 02-24-2011, 03:49 PM   #14
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Old 02-24-2011, 10:50 PM   #15
Direckshun Direckshun is offline
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Dream on kid.
In what manner?

This thread isn't about what is likely/unlikely to come to pass.

It's about the superior electoral system and governance.

Make a case or put on some floaties.
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