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The real enemy

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The real enemy of average Americans has got to be campaign finance. How many individuals have the resources to become important to a candidate or politician? If they do, does what they are looking for from that politician work to the detriment of the rest of the public? This very small group of wealthy individuals and corporations is controlling the national agenda. Mix this with an anemic, apathetic and ill-informed electorate and you've got our current political system. It is poisoning what the government means to us, the average citizens.


Campaign finance must be addressed as a higher priority on the country's list of key issues. I've heard Arizona has come up with a better system. What are your thoughts?

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I don't know anything about campaign finance reform in Arizona, and would be glad to hear about it.


To my mind this year has been fascinating from a campaign finance point of view. Two things have happened:

1) the campaigns have discovered how to tap the general public for modest amounts and make it add up. In itself this is a sort of referendum on issues and candidates. It is what brought Howard Dean forward, and changed what was probably going to be a desperate, losing year for the Democrats into a real horse race.

2) the 527 organizations have mobilized other hundreds of thousands, possibly millions of people, most of whose money has come from small donations, even in the case of MoveOn.org, which started with literally millions of George Soros money, and Swift Boat Vets, which started with a fairly modest (compared to Soros) donation of $100,000 from a Texas Republican. This money got them going but it is the small donations which have given them clout.


I actually think that the 527s are a good idea. They keep the political playing field open.


If I had my way, though, there would be only one campaign finance reform: anyone can give whatever they like, but the full name, address, business or union affiliation, and amount has to be reported by the end of the day on a publicly accessible website. Then the story will be what it should be -- who is getting what from where and people can follow their own conclusions. This would put public accountability back where it belongs -- in the campaigns.

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