Friday, February 09, 2007

2008 Road to White House Paved in Platinum? (Redux)

I initially published this entry some months ago, but in light of the current campaign craziness, and we are still a year out of the first primaries, I thought it was worth revisiting. If you are like me, the notion of candidates having to raise $100 Million to be considered serious contenders is an affront democracy itself. The more I think about it, the more I think this modest proposal of mine has some I resubmit to you...A More Honest Approach to Electoral Politics.

Could this be the answer?

This from the Washington Times, politics' answer to the Weekly World News:

"The chairman of the Federal Election Commission yesterday predicted that 2008 will produce the first $1 billion presidential race and that the $500 million that each party's candidate will need to compete will severely limit the field of contenders. "


Is this what we want or need in America? What will this give us for choice? LTS knows what...

Two less than sterling candidates of varying shades of vanilla, with boundless supplies of filthy lucre. Instead of voting for a leader, we will be forced to choose which collection of powerful interests we would rather see dictate our nation's policy for the next four to eight years.

I have a proposal. I don't know if it is a particularly unique proposal, but it is an honest one. If we are going to eschew public financing for political campaigns we need to do it honestly. Remove the option to contribute from our tax returns, return our tax dollars (yep all of them) and go for full disclosure.

Candidates for public office would have to openly pursue sponsorship. Candidates should be forced to wear their intentions. No more of this light blue work shirt rolled sleeves "I'm one of you" crap. They could be outfitted in NASCAR style jumpsuits and helmets to wear the badges of their sponsors, and the campaign buses would no longer be allowed to wear disingenuous slogans like, "Feeling America's Pain," or "Operation No Jive Talk." They would have to show who owns them....Pfizer, Merck, Winston, Anheiser-Busch, NRA, AFL-CIO...whatever.

The winning team would get a big trophy cup, and the corporate sponsors could spend the next four to eight years running the country (don't be fooled, they are already doing it) and pushing policy that favors them, but here is the catch. Instead of taxpayers paying the bills, the winning team's sponsors get to pick up the tab!

No more taxpayer subsidized East Wing makeovers. No more taxpayer subsidized trips across the country to sell unjustified wars or poorly planned policies for seniors. No more taxpayer subsidized anything. If our politicians want to hand our country over to special interests, then special interests should have to pay.


  1. That's a great idea LTS. Can you get Bill Richardson to put that in his platform?

  2. Well, before we get full disclosure, we're going to have to outlaw lying too. Because as has become apparent over the past six years, our politicians lie repeatedly and often, so what's to keep them from lying about their sponsorships? Of course, if politicians really did tell the truth -- like, "there are some services that only government is able to properly provide, and if you want those services, you'll have to pay taxes for them" -- they wouldn't get elected. Sigh. All in all, your proposal is about as realistic as my proposal for getting rid of partisan politicians in Washington -- i.e., ban political parties because, to quote George Washington:

    The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty.

    Indeed. Indeed.

    -Badtux the Politics Penguin

  3. Hey Badtux!

    Thanks for stopping by, it is a pleasure to have you visiting LTS. I think you are right about your assessment of the situation, but this is at least a start! And just think, no more taxes!

  4. If the first thing that a candidate has to do, is raise obscene amounts of money it has to do more than damage the election system - it has to damage the candidate.
    Is there a person for any job that is worth that kind of money?
    Is the Presidency one of those jobs?

    I'm not inclined to think so.
    And if I'm right then there must be some ulterior motivation behind that money.