A person can't watch TV without seeing an advertisement claiming that one election candidate, whether it be for mayor or maybe president, has does this and that and is worse than the other candidate because of that and this. Or, you can get those passionate and all-American support-my-campaign-and-vote-for-me ads, such as the recent commercial by Republic candidate Rick Perry. They air all the time, night and day, and are eye-catching. This takes serious money. You also can't forget about all the traveling and hand-shaking candidates do. Plus, who can forget about the countless speeches you hear that this person made in this state for this cause. It's everywhere, in all forms of media. Now, I'm not saying that there is anything wrong with advertising. The candidates need to get their names and faces out there. Who will vote for someone they never saw before or know absolutely nothing about? Also, it's not like a candidate will openly admit all the contradictions and mistakes they have in his or her career. Nope, that's left up to the opponents to handle. But, what I do have a problem is where this money for all this comes from.
Our government can say as much as they want that all money is fair game for any candidate to use in anyway they please, because that's true. This is where the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) comes into play. But this handy Act wasn't always as restricting as it is now in 2011. Before 1974, it was perfectly okay for corporations and groups to fund election campaigns, and most candidates took as much as they could, such as Richard M. Nixon. One of the most notorious presidents in American history, Nixon was funded $2.8 million by issuance executive W. Clement Stone during his re-election campaign. Of course, after the Watergate scandal, Congress needed to spring into action to help reform the trust and confidence of the public. What's one thing they choose to do? Reform private financing for election campaigns.
So, much to some candidates disappointment I'm certain, the FECA was amended. Now, corporations, labor organizations, federal government contractors, and foreign nationals are prohibited from contributing to election campaigns. Also, in federal campaigns, a contributor may not make a contributions in another's name or place a donation of more than $100. For the rest of the contributors (individuals, national parties, political committees, etc) there are several contribution limits they have to follow.
Alright, so what's my problem? Everything seems all hunky-dory now, right? Nope. The FECA still has its loopholes, the most important being soft money. While corporations and lobbyists can't make contributions to and individual candidate, they can put funds into the political party finances. The candidates then take the necessary funds from these finances. So, there is basically just a middle-man in the situation now, but the candidates will still get their money. But wait, political parties and candidates need to disclose where they get their contributions according to FECA. Well, of course they do - to the federal government. When was the last time you actually heard a candidate openly list all their sources of money in a speech? That would be ridiculous. Some voters may actually connect some dots along the money trail.
So, while some people are completely open to their opinions and even have valid points about "stupid voters," but its the tricky politicians at work, too. This is why I propose we put a lock on donations. Why is it okay for Sarah Palin to ask donations from her supporters during a time of desperate economics times just so she can think about running for president? Seriously? Corporations need to get their little noses out of elections altogether. In the state our country is in, the last thing candidates need to be doing is spending millions of dollars to just bash their opponents on TV. It isn't' even fair since the people from the smaller political parties won't get the same kind of funding as the larger ones for the campaigns. No one will hear the little guy when the big guy is shouting at the top of his lungs. There is currently a Bill pending, Fair Elections Now Act. This basically calls for fair political funding to help gain public confidence in a time of government distress. It speaks of a government funding pool that will take away the power of big donors and better control private funding by putting more weight on public funding. So, who supports this Bill? Senator Dick Durbin and Rep. Walter Jones are all for it, saying that more time desperately needs to spent on fixing the issues than raising more money for advertisements. Common Cause is a group that is majorly pushing for the Bill to be passed. Of course, there are many candidates currently running for office such as Rick Perry that have no problem with private funding and corporations to help with their election campaigns to push along their career. So, the question is, what do the voters want to see?