Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Just $6 Campaign

I was listening to the podcast of Word for Word, a program of American Public Media, which each week features an interesting and timely speech on a hot topic in the news. I caught the podcast titled "Former Senators Want Money Out of Politics", the video of Former Senators Alan Simpson and Bill Bradley arguing for public funding of campaigns is below. Anyway, I believe this is a critical issue, we, the people, must get more involved in the political process to make this a more democratic country. I strongly believe the more voter participation in our electoral process the democratic our country will be and the more democratic our country is the fairer, and more just society we will be. Here is a short explanation of the idea of public funding:

Public Funding: What It Is

Simply stated, voluntary public funding means that the federal government provides all candidates who qualify for federal office--president, vice-president, senate and house--with adequate funds to run a credible campaign for election. These funds will come out of the federal budget whether from the general fund or from revenue raised specifically to support public funding. Qualified candidates will no longer have to rely on private contributions from big donors to run a successful campaign. Public funding will truly restore the integrity and vitality of our democracy by eliminating the profound influence of wealthy special interests on our national priorities.

What's more, because those in office won't have to spend valuable time raising money for their next election, our leaders will spend more time working for us.

Here is what the just $6 campaign has to say about itself:

Congress would only have to spend $6 per citizen per year to publicly fund each and every election for the House, the Senate and the White House. When you consider that "pork barrel" projects cost every one of us more than $200 last year alone, it’s no contest.

Think of it. With public funding, wealthy special interests and their hired lobbyists would no longer have a commanding influence over our politics and government. Instead of begging for campaign donations, candidates would spend their time communicating with voters. Once elected, our leaders would be free to focus on our nation's challenges rather than having to worry about financing their next campaign. And there's no doubt that more of our most able leaders would run for federal office when the ability to finance a campaign isn't such a daunting obstacle.

Americans for Campaign Reform is building a nonpartisan grassroots movement of citizens who support voluntary public funding and want Congress to act now. We can make this happen. Public funding is already working in Arizona and Maine, and was just passed by the Connecticut legislature.

As citizens we can complain about the corrosive influence of our election finance system, or we can do something about it. With your help, we can mobilize citizens across the country and put pressure on Congress to enact real reform.

Video: Bill Bradley and Alan Simpson Support Publicly Funded Elections