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Entries in campaign finance reform (6)

Saturday
Aug272011

Voters promise no ballots for CEO-funded campaigns

It's how the headline should have read. Instead the CNN article heading rolled out this way: 100+ CEOs promise no campaign donations.

How encouraging it is to hear from the likes of Warren Buffet and Eric Schultz about taxes and the distorting influence of wealth upon our political system. A couple of ultra-wealthy business types speak out on behalf of the rest of us. Will elected officials take heed how the middle- and working classes are getting the shaft? It is doubtful as voters have yet to speak a language that candidates for public office can understand.

Unemployment stands at anywhere from 15 to 25 million. If a class of (eligible) voters who previously had no reason to pay attention to government decision making, perhaps unemployment and the great economic setback of our lifetime will have to worsen before they rouse from indifference.

This is the very demographic at whom the multi-million dollar TV campaign ads are aimed; those manipulative talking points and absurd slogans. Who pays for these ads? This crucial question leads the discussion to the moneyed interests who enjoy purchasing their place at the table while the 98% remainder of voters are left scratching their heads, 'Hey i thought i voted for change,' and they most certainly expected change. But they did not notice their candidate accepting boatloads of bundled contributions from the top 2%.

What will it take to remind voters of their own responsibilities as citizens in our democratic republic: to stay informed; to continually engage elected officials as well as one another? Understanding the influence gap between voters and their representatives may impress upon Americans how their votes succumb to the force of large check writers pulling strings behind the scenes. The language candidates for election would undrstand require a significant consensus of voters willing to enforce the following terms: to vote only for candidates who refuse any donation greater than $200 per individual per year. As of yet, that determination by voters has to be self-realized.

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