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Friday, November 02, 2007

Campaign '07. Spare us!

This old political science major is bummed out. I love politics, but ... The amount of money being spent to win hotly contested legislative seats is obscene. And the money too often goes for negative advertising that leads you to wonder what new mailing or TV spot will strike a new low in tastelessness. Why would anyone want to run for public office if all you can look forward to is putting your hand out for money and devising ways to distort your opponent's image or record?
Why should voters cast their ballot based on which candidate was less obnoxious?

If public service is a calling, this isn't the way to answer. The flow of money argues for limits and public financing. The playing field must be leveled for the major parties and third parties, too. The state's Clean Elections experiment - with the public footing the bill in three districts this year, one more than in 2005 - has been too limited. It should be extended statewide, for both the primary and general elections, with a low public ceiling of, say, $25,000 for the primary and $50,000 for the general, which each candidate can match. But no political action committee, corporate or professional services money is allowed. Campaign finance reports to prove the candidates are clean must be filed weekly.

We want legislators who know how to manage state finances on our behalf. So let them figure out how to get their message out on a budget. If they can't, they won't be elected. As for those who say such limits interfere with free speech rights, tough!

5 Comments:

Anonymous Ray said...

LB:
"Why would anyone want to run for public office if all you can look forward to is putting your hand out for money and devising ways to distort your opponent's image or record?"

Because it can be so lucrative!

11:33 PM, November 02, 2007  
Anonymous Ericthered said...

OK, buy your lottery tickets today, because I am actually agreeing with Ray!

12:09 PM, November 07, 2007  
Anonymous Ray said...

The Anti-Christ is risen.

10:27 PM, November 08, 2007  
Anonymous Ericthered said...

Interesting that the Anti-Christ is also a Jew!

Ray, as usual, your comments are intelligent, substantive, pertinent, and free from gratuitous ad hominem attacks. Glad to see I still get under your skin!

9:53 AM, November 09, 2007  
Anonymous Ray said...

1) I wasn't referring to you as the Anti-Christ, simply that for us to agree it must mean the end of the world.

2) What has the fact that the Anti-Christ is a Jew got to do with anything said?

12:09 AM, November 12, 2007  

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