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John McCain and Ms. Whiplash - Together At Last?

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Message Mark Lloyd
Comprehensive campaign finance reform is, I would contend, the single most important issue facing this country.

You think not? Think it's Iraq, poverty, corruption, Medicare, Iran, the deficit, the idiots in the White House?

Well you know what? - all of these issues and ills facing the US can be traced to one root cause; the fact that your politicians are in debt to special interest groups.
Bought and sold at every election.

A lot of attention has rightly been focused on K Street and the outrageous takeover of the government and laws of this country by corporations and their interests. Oil industry lobbyists and Ken Lay writing energy legislation? My god!

Well what do you expect? Prez, Vice and a host of others elected with oil money. They OWE them. Come on! Why do you think you're forking over $3 a gallon? Purleeeze!

Don't forget that corporations are not interested in a politician's stripe. They just want their agenda pushed through so they can make as much money as possible, pay as few taxes as possible, with as few rules and regulations constraining them as possible.

They are equal-opportunity bribers. If the Dems get in, they'll court them in exactly the same way. Do you really believe that the Dems will resist and dismantle K Street just because they have higher principles than the Repugs? Don't fool yourselves. K Street isn't the cancer, it's just the visible part of a much deeper tumor.

Taking back the government for the people will need a great deal more than faith, trust, and voting for one millionaire over another. It requires a return to office of politicians who believe in public service, who get into politics because they want to make a difference for the better, not to get rich.

These people are out there. But they will never get elected. They are unable to stand. Where are they going to get the millions they need to finance a campaign, to buy the TV ads? And even if they got it, who do they owe? How can they be impartial once elected?

It is a self-perpetuating system stacked outrageously in favor of big money and against politicians of principle and the people of America, except the very rich.

McCain-Feingold was a start but hopelessly, woefully inadequate.

In England, we have a different system. I'm not saying it's perfect, it is very far from that, but it might be worth a look.

First, no candidate is allowed to accept donations from anybody, or any entity. All campaign donations must be sent to the party administrators.

Each candidate is given an amount of money, from party HQ, that they are allowed to spend on their local campaign. It is the same for everyone and regulated by law. This has to cover pamphlets, soapboxes, megaphones, ads in the local media, rental of the school hall, the works. It is a small amount of money. Certainly not enough to pay any salaries. Almost all campaign workers are voluntary. And spin-doctors never work for free as we know.

After the election each candidate has to provide an accounting. If they are a penny over, they're in trouble.

Meanwhile, anybody can stand in any seat for a $5000 deposit. You get less than 5% of the vote, you lose it. More than 5%, you get it back.

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Mark Lloyd is a working stiff in Minneapolis. He grew up in Yorkshire, England during the socialist 70's and Thatcher & Reagan's 80's and disliked both mobs. His fierce interest in politics, history and The Truth combined with the appalling start to (more...)
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