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View Diary: Campaign finance reform: A better political system depends on better judges (74 comments)

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  •  How We The People Can Win Starting in 2012 (12+ / 0-)

    The reason why politics is corrupt today is that as far as corporations and special interests are concerned, our politicians are cheap. Their support can be bought for a relatively small amount of money compared to the benefit they expect to receive in return.  Some have suggested that the solution is a third political party.  I believe that won't work, because sooner or later, that third party would replace one of the existing parties the way the Republicans did many decades ago, and that new party would fall into the same money trap that has swallowed up both the Republican and Democratic parties.  BUT THE MONEY TRAP ONLY WORKS IF THE SPECIAL INTERESTS CAN PAY RELATIVELY LOW PRICES TO GET WHAT THEY WANT.

    The REAL solution is for voters to buy back their representatives. If we, the citizens in a representative's district, contribute and control a  significant amount of funds which could support ANY local candidate in their election or re-election, we, as a group, can offer those funds to whichever candidate supports our viewpoint.  What's needed is for each voter to contribute a small amount, and then vote as to how they want those funds disbursed.  As a group, voters can afford to pay their representatives more than the monied interests can afford.

    For example a US Congressional race costing $1 Million, would cost each voter of about 400,000 voters in the Representative's district about $2.50 for the election. If only 10% of the voters in the district contributed, supporting four candidates would cost each person about $100 over two years, or about $4.17 per month over that 2-year period.  Of course, it's better if more contribute, but 10% has been chosen to show that even if a minority of local voters got involved and contributed, they could make a huge difference to the local politician's campaign war chest, and they, as a group, could donate more than the special interests groups.  And on an individual basis, it's not expensive.

    Unless the local citizens take this step, the campaign contributions from people and organizations OUTSIDE the constituency's boundaries are likely to continue to dominate the representative's election/re-election war chest, and he or she will owe these organizations a favor of some kind -- perhaps a favorable vote on a critical issue.  OpenSecrets.org's data shows that until now, MOST campaign contribution dollars came from outside the constituency -- but you CAN fight back!

    We have the beginning of a prototype web site which could help ordinary voters get their representative's attention back from the special interest groups.  We call it "us.for.us", and we are willing to provide all with our specs and work to get this effort crowd-sourced.  The idea is that local voters contribute money and vote on issues to decide how to spend their money.  This produces a significant pool of money which will benefit the candidate who pays attention to the way his constituents want him to vote on issues that are important locally.  This takes the pressure off the politician to seek money from people who can make large contributions, but who may not be local to the constituency.

    Anyone interested in helping take our political system away from the special interests?

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