Wag the Blog Redux: Money, Money, Money
In politics, money often buys publicity. This election cycle, Barack Obama and John McCain have spent millions of dollars on TV ads, hoping to woo voters nationwide with their broadcast spots. But Obama has the clear money lead -- an edge that's tied to his decision in mid June to opt out of public financing.
Last week, the Fix asked readers to weigh in on the fairness of our campaign finance system -- has money played too big of a role in the election, or should candidates be allowed to spend as much as they can raise?
We wanted readers who thought money was too influential to explain why and suggest what could be changed to limit its power in politics. To readers who might say, "Hey, the more money you raise, the more power to you!", we asked whether they think our public financing system should be a thing of the past.
Here's a look at the most insightful reader responses -- and yes, we received one via video!! Kudos to reader MySpace Hi5 who recorded his response on camera:
More Money, More Power to You!:
Some thoughts from like-minded readers:
"...Democrats have been outspent in all but one general election in the past God knows how long. (96) I'm glad the shoe finally is on the other foot. As for public financing. It does not mater what the law says. Some smart guy will find a way around it. That's how we got 527's." --Opa2
"When confronted with the huge sums of money that Obama has raised it is comforting to me to realize the huge stake that the common person has in that. The campaign has been fueled by millions of donors donating $25." --scotthawk
Money's too Influential; Fix the Campaign Finance System:
"The presidential public financing system should be fixed based on the models currently working in states like Maine and Arizona and in cities like Portland, Oregon. The difference between those systems and the current presidential system is that, in the Maine and Arizona model, if a candidate that accepts public money gets outspent by a candidate who opts out of the public system, the publicly financed candidate gets matching funds to enable that candidate to compete with the privately financed candidate. A candidate could also get matching funds based on expenditures by outside groups..." --Benner1
"Here's what I'd do for campaign finance reform:
1. Give all qualified (probably through petition signatures) candidates the same amount of money, once for primaries and once for general elections...
2. Allow additional fundraising, with a lower cap. Maybe $1000. This will allow popular candidates to get more money, and nobody can raise a huge amount of money without having broad support.
3. Give candidates free airtime and other resources. This will benefit smaller candidates, and again reduce the amount of fundraising needed to run a campaign.
4. Limit the length of the campaign. Don't allow candidates to raise or spend money until some starting point...
5. Don't let a rich candidate self-finance. It isn't fair to other candidates." -- Blarg
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