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A Path to Choices

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Real estate speaks to me, whether it is in its natural state or not. In a mere glance, it manifests intentions and problems with the owners: diligent or negligent, capable or infirm, wealthy or poor, simple or complex, cooperative or divisive. This came from my family history in entrepreneurship and real estate.

It relates to OpEdNews because any analysis of America today reveals many structural weaknesses in its physical, financial, and social foundations. Rob Kall hosts many learned contributors far more capable than I in evaluating their causes and effects. But few, if any, offer a path to recovery.

In keeping with our admiration for R. Buckminster Fuller: "You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete," I ask that you consider adding another choice to America's current campaign financing practices.

My employment included property management for the Port of San Francisco, a self-supporting enterprise agency. The most prominent public access areas at Fisherman's Wharf were in a state of anarchy, largely for want of an effective street performer program. After much research, the unique plan I drafted in 2007, as modified and adopted in 2008, is still in effect. It protects Free Speech for performers, provides extra benefits for Licensees, and a little revenue for the Port.

The Citizens United decision prompted me to adapt that bifurcated model to campaign finance reform. The gratis result is The Fair Elections Fund--a Whole New Ball Game, at click herewww.thefairelectionsfund.com.

Bridging the Divide
Bridging the Divide
(Image by Claudia Davison)
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Bridging the Divide

Long into this effort, I've come to think of the '70's FEC $3.00 donation to Presidential campaigns and political party conventions as the "original sin" in rent-seeking. Donors did not know whose money they were supplementing, or obtain a voice in choosing candidates. Thereafter, taxpayer subsidies to businesses grew as the wealth and influence of most citizens declined. In his 1961 speech, President Eisenhower warned of the potential for private interests with short-term financial goals to improperly influence long-term public policy.

Time proved him right, but nullifying the Citizens United decision won't fund campaigns. As far as I've determined, proposed matching funds and voucher programs still don't eliminate fundraising or expand who chooses candidates.

The abysmal 36.3% voter turnout last year reflects voter dissatisfaction with current choices. Polls I've seen indicate that most Americans prioritize jobs, a living wage, infrastructure repair, etc. over programs two parties pursue.

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In 2009 I retired from commercial property management at the Port of San Francisco. While managing Fisherman's Wharf, I developed the Free Speech-compliant Street Performer Program that is still in effect. The Citizens United decision prompted (more...)

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