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An Alternative Campaign Finance Reform

 

An Alternative Campaign Finance Reform

        

An alternative (to Public Financing) U.S. House of Representatives Finance Reform?

A Constituency Based Finance Scheme

 

L.F. Terango

10/20/2011

 

 

 

 

Can WV. State law (or any state) dictate the terms of campaign finance for their own U.S. House of Representative members? Can WV. force their own U.S. house representatives to only accept constituency monies from their own districts? Moreover, by doing so can we, the representative client, the simple citizen, actually be the lobbying influence foremost in our representatives mind. Perhaps, regaining the reins of power from wealthy out of state congressional interlopers; that most of the time has an agenda, running counter to our own interests. Then hopefully, the common American can reap the benefits of a more Jeffersonian form of representation.   

 


 

 

Editorial

True U.S. congressional finance reform

            The U.S. Constitution states that the people may lobby their government for change and redress. So does limiting our representatives to only accept campaign funds from their constituency, really limit the “people” from lobbing their government? I believe the constitution says nothing of campaign money when any reference is made in regard to lobbying. Therefore, by default the Bill of Rights Tenth Amendment should allow States to regulate this shade of gray corrupting our “American Dream”; what was once a grand experiment of humanity, now gone horribly wrong.

            This and this alone, could defang the National Oligarchy. The diffuse number of votes would then be more valuable to those that live in the perspective districts. Our 1/435th congressional vote and our 2/100th senatorial vote(s) will truly wield some political power. It would then force all those lobbyists’ clients to come to our districts, to our communities, to open up shop to establish residency in some form or fashion and convince us the voters, that this is what I want my vote cast for. This would include any…any special interest group; banks, Wall Street, social interest groups, corporations, wealthy trusts of all kinds.

            Imagine the strength your small congressional vote would carry when they have to be physically in your district if they want to use money for (yours-or-theirs) influence upon your congressional representative or senator. The charity events, the community gifts such as parks, schools, other civic improvements, and maybe, just maybe corporations would actually be manipulated into opening business satellites in nowhere districts to be qualified to lobby our representative. Deny the powerful & wealthy lobbyists’ clients one stop shopping in Washington D.C. for working on a majority vote. Obviously, these clients would not invest in all 435 districts; however, they would have to lobby 220 or so districts to win legislation. The overlap in districts between these lobbying clients could go a long way to spread the wealth and influence around the country. Because they would be forbidden to contribute to campaigns in the central government setting, politics would have a chance to become local once again.

            Corruption will always be present in any money driven enterprise. However, when all contributions have to be personally presented within a representatives district, transparent-see will have a better chance to survive, because people would actually have a chance through proximity to “rub shoulders” with (and possibly confront) both the representative and campaign contributor. This would be especially so for the local oligarchic wealth, people would have a chance of knowing how these people are connected to affluence because they perhaps now know who they are.

            This system would still allow lobbyists, corporations and individuals to petition your representative or anyone else’s representative at the Capital in Washington D.C., thus allowing the people access to petition their national government as before. No one can deny these special interests access to anyone else’s representative or ours. It is just that lobbyists would have to sell their ideas and legislation, at the National level, and not be able to purchase, as they did before. Lobbyists could still wine/dine, luncheon, or have breakfast with representatives, it is just that they would have to contribute campaign monies physically in the representatives district and only if they qualified as a resident or business interest of said district.

            House Representatives would and should still “horse trade” votes with one another to form collations that would move legislation forward and I believe it would improve these congressional collations by house members, because it would probably lead to regional relationships vs. partisan relationships.

            This is the crux of my proposal…controlling the money locally used to influence and write law at the national level. But is this legal? I don’t know if it is for myself…cause I aint no constitutional scholar. The reason that I believe we can do this, is that all States exclusively conduct all elections; local or national. So, if we can do that, why can’t we control the occupational position we filled. Since we already have absolute control of the hiring at local levels, why can’t we have control of the representatives ethics and be able to fire them at any time the district uproar would dictate?

            If we could take that much control of our U.S. House Representative? Why not set the occupational policies that reflect what the majority of us are expected to comply with and have to endure? Let’s start with a 40 hr work week while in session. As our employee, it would not matter that congress is closed on Monday and Friday, our representative would be on the clock at his office working directly with his staff. If our representative worked IN THE CAPITOL BUILDING over 40 hours (verifiable by time a clock) then maybe we could let him have some comp time for long weekends at home. When Congress is not in session, then the representative would have to work 30 hours a week in his district office, being available to his constituents for lobbying and working with staff to craft legislation. We could also directly control our representatives’ ethics, with real penalties imposed through either public referendum or State laws that would be prosecutable in our state court system, not those corrupt, toothless, cronies, “Do Nothing” congressional and senatorial ethics committees.

            Furthermore, we could dictate how much the state and national political parties can contribute to our U.S. House of Representatives. Perhaps limiting political parties to only matching $0.50 to $1.00 of the locally contributed monies. We could also enact our own laws disclosing every penny given or used in all our elections. This would greatly reduce the obligation of our representatives to participate in fundraisers for the National Parties and Political Action Committees

I think that a majority of Appalachians (or any regional citizen group) do not care if their representative look like a million dollars, this is not what we see when we look in the mirror. Other representatives might look like a million dollars, and that is ok if their district is full of millionaires, but not ours (we do have Jay Rockefeller, but he has been slumming it here for thirty years or more). One representative may look wealthy and the other look like a Hill Billy, but their vote has the same value; 1/435th or 1/100th of deciding an issue. So why do we allow BIG money to cheapen the value of our representative vote.

Additionally, multi-national corporations, as with all corporations are legally individuals, endowed with all the rights of any citizen, and so they are entitled to representation and being able to lobby the government as we can. With district-controlled finances, the corporations would not be able to buy 10, 20, 40…218 congressional votes at one time. They too would be required to buy influence in the home districts of their legal residency and wielding the same 1/435th or 1/100th representative vote, the same as you or I. Bringing back the politically incorrect phrase “one man, one vote” could be said with a fair and equitable taste to be savored. Focusing that “free speech equals money” or “money equals free speech” argument into a whole another arena: the home district. Perhaps then, “We the People” would have a more level playing field and a greater voice in policies.    


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