Richard Brown: Publicly funding elections the best answer |

Richard Brown: Publicly funding elections the best answer

Richard BrownFrisco

Americans have long degraded and scoffed at countries in the Middle East, Latin America, Africa, etc. for having governments and officials controlled and manipulated with bribes and outright buy-offs. How does any of this differ from what happens in our “democracy?” Even though our legislators probably started with integrity and only the most honest intentions and objectives, they all have either been bought off or greatly influenced directly by “bribes” – money corrupts. Of course, those sanctimonious and nationalistic Americans would never admit to this, but what else do you call receiving campaign donations from lobbyists on behalf of large corporations – health insurance, pharmaceutical, military industrial complex, petroleum, technology, financial, etc.? There was $3.3 billion spent in 2008 lobbying on behalf of big business, and it has only increased since. Now the Supreme Court has even removed major restrictions on corporations making direct contributions to candidates. Have they no shame?The only way this horrendous bribery situation will ever be corrected is to move to public-funded election campaigns for all qualified candidates – matching small donations and allocating specific limits on advertising expenses during the campaign. Then the politicians would have to spend full time working for the people that voted them in – doing their bidding, instead of attending fund raisers & $1,000-a-plate dinners and kowtowing to lobbyists and corporations for their money.Of course, there is little chance that this will ever be passed by Congress because then they would not be able to retire as millionaires – skimming off contributions during their terms like many have, but for whom only a few have been indicted. If they are not already wealthy upon retirement, they can then become consultants and lobbyists themselves, making additional millions.Until American voters demand publicly-funding of elections, the corrupt situation in American politics will only get worse and the common man will continue to be ignored and suppressed.

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