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Corporate money to politicians is the root of the problem.

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kentuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 09:33 AM
Original message
Corporate money to politicians is the root of the problem.
Edited on Wed Sep-16-09 09:40 AM by kentuck
It doesn't help that the Supreme Court has ruled that money is "free speech". In other words, if you have no money, you have no free speech?

Our politicians are bought and paid for. By insurance companies, by banks, by you-name-it. The lack of campaign finance reform is the reason we have this deadlock on health-care reform. They all know we need to reform the system. However, when you get $3 million dollars from the insurance industry, it is difficult to vote for anything that might ask them to sacrifice for the good of the people.

Until we can get our politics out of corporate control, we are screwed. Instead of health care reform, we should be debating campaign finance reform. Because, without reform of our campaign laws, it is doubtful that we will get any meaningful health care reform. We have put the cart before the horse.
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NoSheep Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 09:38 AM
Response to Original message
1. No argument here. K&R
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napi21 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 09:40 AM
Response to Original message
2. That's part of it, but something else is very wrong when it costs
millions of $$'s to run for Congress! In a way, I can't blame the congress critters for going to corp. Am. for the money. Where the hell could they possibly get that much $$ from any other source? I don't know if it's that our campaigns are too long, ads have just become too expensive, or what.
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DLnyc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 10:28 AM
Response to Reply #2
8. Yes, media outlets should all be required to provide some free ad time
during campaigns, say 5 minutes to each side during the last couple of weeks of the campaign. Other countries do this, I believe. This would lower the price of campaigns and make corporate money much less significant. Unfortunately, it would also lower the profits of a few very large broadcast and cable corporations, and, if I recall correctly, this is why such a provision was pulled from the McCain-Feingold finance reform bill several years ago.
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kentuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 10:42 AM
Response to Reply #2
9. And then they vote themselves raises...
in a backhanded way.

Our system is totally screwed up.
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The2ndWheel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 09:42 AM
Response to Original message
3. Corporations, money, and politicians
Branches of the problem.
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rucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 09:42 AM
Response to Original message
4. Re-electing reps who accept the money is the root of the problem.
Corps wouldn't have so much influence if there wasn't a market for it - and if the voters didn't stand for it.
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tularetom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 09:49 AM
Response to Original message
5. It's not just the amount of money they get
It's the looseness of the laws which allow almost unlimited discretion in the use of that money. I'm not an expert in campaign finance law, but it appears that some of these people treat these campaign funds as their own personal ATM, and I'm sure they have a highly paid legal staff inventing justifications for every expenditure.

The expense of running for congressional office in the US is ridiculous, but there also needs to be a much stricter accounting for the funds used in campaigns.

And some serious jail time for violators.
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nradisic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 10:03 AM
Response to Original message
6. Yup...
If we can get rid off the current system and institute federally funded elections, most of our issues would be much easier to solve. Until then we are headed for a train wreck...
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Vidar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 10:04 AM
Response to Original message
7. Great past. Recommended.
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jotsy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 10:47 AM
Response to Original message
10. Institutionalized bribery is what it is!!!
Edited on Wed Sep-16-09 10:53 AM by jotsy
The technology is now available to kick corporate interests out of the political process. The internet was a vital part of a successful Obama campaign and provides us with what arguably might be a club with which we can beat the special interests back. It would have to save a couple of forests, so sell it as a eco-friendly thing!

Congressional members in both halls are paid a six figure salary, which alone, costs us $75 million a year, plus posh benefits and a staff for each. The American government has seen to it that our elected officials are paid three to five times the average worker in the nation. If that kind of compensation isn't enough for them to set about their duties in genuine fashion, I submit we save the money and offer the process up to eighth grade civic students every year, compensate them with college scholarships. I bet they'd do a better job and I'd certainly be more inclined to believe in the purity of their motives.

or (the sweetest dream of my political fantasy)

For some real and immediate candor from congress where the transparency and oversight is undeniable. All members of the senate and house will submit to a surgical procedure to install a small truth telling traffic light on their foreheads. It's designed to start flashing yellow and red when speakers on the floor stray from the facts. Too invasive? Okay, how about a little lie detector ring at the podiums, instead. I'm sure they'd understand what we want, and why. Tell the free market mongers it's just a new kind of insurance, they should appreciate that, right?

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kentuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:07 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. The money concept, at some point, replaces the public servic concept...
I think we may have passed that point. Few people in Congress are in it for public service.
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jotsy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:41 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. Isn't it our job to see that's who they are there to represent, though?
You don't leave a two year old with a roomful of sweets out in the open, I guess I'm trying to suggest ways to put the sugar out of reach.

Hope you don't think I'm trying to talk back, I enjoy your work and wouldn't like the idea that I might offend a more established and esteemed DUer.

Disclaimer: As a recovering sales person, I'm a shameless suck up.
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