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Solving the Pay-for-Play Crisis in America Post Citizen's United

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Halting pay-for-play and taking the big money out of politics can
actually be done by "we the people" today. It will not take future (and
admittedly far-reaching, as well as, not very realistic) Constitutional
amendments or complex plans hatched by Harvard professors that involve
even more public money. The solution is actually simple, and did I
mention: FREE?

You see, ALL media have the power to refuse
political ads right now. It's true. It's been that way since our
Nation's founding. But don't expect traditional media to devulge this
facet. This is one myth they and their fellow power brokers want to
perpetuate. They probably don't want you to know that their parent
companies control one of the top 20 largest industry lobbies either but
that's another story.

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The only rules that media must follow in
terms of carrying paid political advertisements is that if they refuse
one political ad, then they must do so for all - on an equal basis.

Really,
what is free about paid political speech (better known as political
ads)? And who deemed it necessary for political ads to interrupt our TV
programming anyway? As if it isn't enough that broadcasters pay no
licensing fees for the broadcast spectrum the use (like Wireless
carriers do for instance) and get to keep all the money. Those airwaves
are property of the people of the United States. With the Fairness
Doctrine long gone, what is the value proposition to American viewers?
What do we get out of the bargain from broadcasters? Slanted TV "News"
from Fox News and CNN?

What can you do about this? Everything!
The answer is simple: EVERYONE must demand that ALL who broadcast media
in the United States REJECT political ads - starting today. It would
take a massive mobilization and participation - unseen heretofore -that
only today's Internet and Social Media can enable. As recent movements
across the globe have shown us - anything is possible. We must demand
that broadcasters pay a fee to license and broadcast their channels and
the money collected would fund the project.

Perhaps, we could
use CSPAN as a guideline to demand appropriate payments from
broadcasters. Maybe local TV broadcast affiliates (hard hit by the
changing economy) could be paid a fee to use their production studios or
to produce programming. The ideas for cost sharing and benefits are
their to be figured out.

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Afterwards, we can institute a new
system that allows for a "CSPAN for broadcast TV and radio." Let's call
it "B-Span" for now. Since CSPAN is currently paid for by cable TV
operators than this is not something out of the realm of possibilities.
What's more, the B-Span proposal would allocate unused broadcast
spectrum (currently being auctioned) for B-Span broadcasts.

B-Span
would be a TV channel or network where candidates (for local to state
to national elections) can be allocated equal time to share their
platforms, promote their ideas and debate with each other openly for the
benefit of the electorate. Furthermore, with Social Media and YouTube,
candidates will also have additional time and space to get their entire
message across - uninterrupted - to a population in which approximately
90% now use the Internet frequently. We can decide the particulars as we
get further along, e.g., two-minutes per candidate at such and such
time, etc.

We all know that removing money from politics IS the
only way to restore a "fair democracy for all" to this Country. However,
you'll find, the only folks oppossed to this idea are the ones gaming
the system: lobbyists, media and politicians (and their consultants). As
usual, those same folks are counting on people like us to be divided
and confused about the facts. Whether you are Right or Left; Libertarian
or Green; a member of the Coffee, Tea or Hot Coccoa parties or
independent, this simple, yet powerful idea whose time has come, applies
equally to all of us.

The power-elite have filled the airwaves
with nonsense - claiming money and politics are intertwined and "that's
just the way it is; you can't change it." Or worse, they say banning
political ads would be against first amendment rights. And they know
that last sentiment usually ends discussion. After all, who in this
Country wants to mess with our most basic rights? But, like most things,
there is a major part of this argument they are leaving out. You see,
these powerful forces will stop at nothing to protect the status quo.
Money in politics has been used by the wealthy and powerful as a
barometer to rate the "serious" political contenders for centuries. It's
a way to keep score amongst themselves and a way for the rich to know
their voice means more than everyone else's. Because access is
everything in politics.

Do you need another survey to convince
yourself? Just ask ten of your neighbors - over 90% will tell you that
money influences political decision-making in a negative way. Money buys
access in American politics; everyone knows this. But what can you do
about it? For too long the answers was: "not much."

Don't despair
because a number of democracies (England & Ireland to name a couple
off the top of my head) have already woken up and have eliminated or
greatly regulated TV and mass media political ads. It's clear to see,
taking money out of politics can be done without undermining free speech
- despite what elitist might say contrary to the fact.

As you
read this, the power to make change has never been more real and more in
your hands as it is today. So, what do you intend to do about it?
That's the real question. This time, there is no one to blame but
ourselves. So, why wait any longer? We must simply demand: "no more
political ads." It's a call "to arms" (and fingers across a keyboard)
via email, Facebook, telephone calls or in person. And If your TV or
radio station does not comply with your wishes, boycott them. Boycotts
have been popular and highly successful in the United States since the
Boston Tea Party. Is it not time we take matters into our own hands once
again? Please join me in demanding: "No more political ads from
broadcasters!"
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I'm disappointed by the "pay for play" atmosphere in American politics that has emerged today. As a researcher, amateur historian, writer and documentarist, I'm of the opinion that the Founding Fathers did not intend to equate free speech with paid (more...)
 

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