Saturday, April 29, 2006

Capitol Hill Blue's The Rant: Follow the money...

Capitol Hill Blue's The Rant: Follow the money...
"In 1987, as Vice President for Political Programs at the National Association of Realtors, I ran the county's largest PAC, a multi-million dollar monster that dispensed money to politicians like Mad Dog 20/20 to winos, feeding their political campaign fundraising habits with frequent fixes.

So it was inevitable that VanderJagt and I would meet in public debate - a televised one on PBS.

The Congressman from Michigan repeated his charge that PACs, in his and his party's opinion, were 'nothing but a bunch of whores.'

'There's a problem with your analogy,' I replied. 'Where I come from, whores aren't the one who pay. Whores are the ones standing there, with their hand out, asking for money in advance for something they are, at that point, only promising to deliver. I think we all should remember that when one pays money under those circumstances, the very best one can get is screwed.'"

He includes a few modest proposals for campaign reform.

CAP THE COSTS OF CAMPAIGNS: Perhaps no more than $500,000 for a House race, $1 million for a Senate campaign. Require newspapers, television and radio stations to provide space or time, pro-rated equally, for candidates to present their positions. Eliminate political ads.

ELIMINATE OUTSIDE MONEY FROM CONGRESSIONAL ELECTIONS: Candidates should be required to raise money only within their districts. No donations from interests or individuals who have no connection to a state or district.

BAN OUTSIDE SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS: This means 527 organizations or others from inserting themselves into a Congressional or Senate campaign. The late Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill once said "all politics is local." Let's make it that way again.

This is just a start of the more comprehensive ideas for campaign reform that we will be offering in coming weeks as part of a new non-partisan, grassroots educational organizations that launches on May 1.

Stay tuned. The fun continues.

I'm down with that.

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