Petition for a level campaign finance playing field

Nov 22 – My petition has ended but here are two other efforts to control the influence of money in government: http://petition.reversecitizensunited.com/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=5007 and http://www.getmoneyout.com.  Please consider these and, if you choose, offer your support – help us prove that We The People still rule our land.


Oct 20th – The White House site  https://wwws.whitehouse.gov/petitions provides an online official way for US citizens to petition for government action.  I created a petition to address campaign finance reform. While it was active (Expired Nov 19th) it read:

Abolish the use of both personal wealth and campaign donations when running for public offices.

It is estimated that it costs 1 billion dollars to run for president. This means that any candidate that personally cannot afford, or through campaign contributions cannot raise, an amount close to their opponent’s purse is effectively blocked from office. The playing field for all candidates must be level and favoritism by wealthy individuals and corporations must not be allowed. A reasonable amount of campaign funds (substantially less than the current averages) should be provided for each candidate that gains a sufficient number of votes in a primary election, or when running in a primary, gains a sufficient number of votes to be a credible candidate. This money can be budgeted by the current administration. This system should be put in place for all elected public offices.

Although it is questionable how much good it does to essentially “ask” those in power to stop using personal and donated funds to fund their campaigns, their refusal to address, or dismisal of, an official request would gives us further and even more legitimate reasons for public demonstration.  It is always vitally important to avoid assigning individual people to groups or broad ideological categories and then assume “they” are all the same and that they are all “the enemy”; assuming that the government won’t help us throws those who are willing to help us (ex. http://sanders.senate.gov) out with those who won’t.

History

Nov 8th – The more I look at this the more convinced I become that campaign reform is the lynch-pin of government corruption.  Yes money corrupts but there are people who can and do say no.  Policing the lobby system will need to be addressed (or maybe just requiring that all lobby meeting participants be video recorded and the videos posted publicly and immediately as the meeting closes) but our system might actually be salvageable if we can get well-intentioned people into the majority of elected positions.

A handful of people liked and retweeted/reposted my messages.  One or two others didn’t like one thing or another (eg. that tax payers have to foot the bill for honest elections – my response: it would be a fraction of what the government now wastes on special earmark projects – most all of which would end, and we are really the ones with a vested interest in keeping corruption out of our government).  Since this was simply a request for the administration to write a response to the petition – no part of the petition would “automatically” be signed into law, there was no need for it to be perfectly worded and thus no reason not to support it.

Refinements

The petition form restricted the length of the petition description; a collection of additional refinements are listed here:

  • Complete transparency of campaign expenditures (it is OK for one candidate to discover how and where another uses funds: the goal is to compare ideas not campaign skills or connections).
  • All vendors must offer services at the same price for all candidates.
  • Include a competency test for candidates before a campaign is funded (source).
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5 Responses to “Petition for a level campaign finance playing field”

  1. Aurora Dawn-Rose Says:

    So much needs to be done if we are to evolve into a more equitable and reasonable society, and this is a good and appropriate step in that direction.

  2. Shirley Beckett Says:

    This is definitely a step in the right direction: realizing that there are those who can and will help if we get this petition to them. Count me in!

  3. John A. Voth Says:

    Opportunities for each of us (every citizen) to exercise our right to be heard, as this petition provides, is a basic pillar of a democracy. I strongly endorse this petition!

    May our democracy continue to evolve through efforts such as this.

  4. Ricky Munoz Says:

    This is a sensible proposal. Much discussion will be necessary to flesh this out, but at least the principle of balanced and represented speech, not dependent on who gets the most money is sound.

  5. duane Says:

    Time is running out on mine – I’ve found another: http://wh.gov/bEL will remain active into December. This one advocates a $99 limit on all contributors. Perfectly acceptable. Please sign this one as well.


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