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Thread: The money factor.

  1. #1
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    The money factor.

    What can be done to discourage the greedy from political offices?

    Of foul influence, those who wish to have some control can simply buy a politician by way of hiring, bribery, campaign financing or a combination thereof.

    I can't think of an effective obstacle, that is not already in place to stop hiring or bribery, save encouraging actual and honest vetting, investigation and enforcement (get outright scary with punishments on conviction), which leads me to campaigns.:

    Campaigns - those with the big bucks get heard and those who don't, don't really get much attention. Anyone or any group with enough loot can buy-in a charismatic politico.

    The only basic premise I can come up with is drafting some legislations () allowing for voluntary contracting (subsequently enforced) with media outlets that order to lay level the playing field by providing equal allotment to each candidate. From a basic listing at first, through balanced coverage of ascending stages of public primaries*, Q&A sessions, speeches, debates, etc. all the way to the general elections. Much like a business contracts for commercial advertisements except the funding is locked into an acount derived from the tax pools (yuck, I know) with payout contingent on performance/compliance of the outlet.

    The main thing is to create an initial equal-time/financing apparatus. Perhaps the momentum needed to influence and change the way non-participating media outlets inform America of the candidates. Perhaps the fringe benefit of encouraging public discourse and participation. Or driving us all mad with 24/7 talking heads non-stop

    Of course it would be a huge mess at first with multiple primaries* As well as the associated costs to us. What other options might there be?

    As to the direct financing of; $ can come from citizens so concerned (capped) and from the candidate (capped). No corporate entities and no foreigners.
    There's been plenty of talk about campaign finance reform and the bias of big media, but what say you?

    .

    Once folks get into any office, they may have certain ability to affect their investments.:

    Investment management - A blind trust of any and all financial instruments that could be reasonably pose a 'greed hazard' to the incumbant. A condition of the office is one must turn over control to a neutral appointed party and would be blind to where their money is newly invested.

    Of course this would be another price to pay, but what of the greater costs incurred by the greedy in power?

    Any thoughts or grand schemes on how to lessen the influence of money in politics?

    .

    Oh, and I'm all for fair pay and benefits, but as an example, the liftime benefits congresscritters can get is just plain disproportionate. I wonder how many run just to get the benefits package?

    .

    *primaries, was the only word I could think of to describe ascension through multiple public voting sessions in order to open things up to those not bound to parties and of course some way to weed through all the initial candidates.

    .

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    Can't be done.

    The problem is that the government will always either manage a budget in the $trillions, or regulate businesses in ways that influence $trilions, or both.

    With that much money at stake, any rational "player" (someone--could be an international company, or a country, not simply an individual--with money at stake, and money to use as leverage) is going to undertand he can get a big return on investment by "investing" in a politician.

    Unfortunately, money IS political speech. No less a luminary than John McCain () tried to prevent people from forming a group, pooling their money, and then trying to run issue-ads. Groups like the NRA should be silenced for, what was it, the 60 days before an election?

    What NOBODY has talked about yet (I WONDER why?) is the politico-entertainment complex: every 2 years, politicos ginup all this campaign money and what do they do with it? Line the pockets of TV execs!!! It's amazing how much campaign money goes straight to ads, especially TV ads.

    No wonder, then, that the "News Networks" see themselves as having the right to "choose" (via their editorials and slanted "reporting") who will get elected--who they should support with free "good publicity," and who they should attack with damaging rumors.

    It has already been observed that Mr. Obama was not E-lected; he was SE-lected. By Oprah, and the rest of the TV industry.

    Your idea of regulating media outlets is interesting, but I think it would be prone to circumvention. Term limits would be great, but the pols set things up so that any state that goes by that is "hurt" because their reps don't get seniority.

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    It has already been observed that Mr. Obama was not E-lected; he was SE-lected. By Oprah, and the rest of the TV industry.
    I actually take exception to that.
    That would imply that the American public is too stupid and too blind to make up their own minds.

    If you truly believe that - then perhaps you should stop and think about what the term "elitist" really means, and who it really applies to.

    Last I checked - Oprah did not decide our elections. For better or worse, people are free to make their decisions off of anything they want to. A flip of a coin if that strikes them as being effective. Simply because YOU do not like who the rest of the population voted for - please do not insult the entire voting population simply because you do not agree with the majority opinion.

    As to the topic at hand....

    The same could be said for political corruption that is said for gun crimes. Enforce the existing laws - and the vast majority of the problems go away.

    as for things like
    Investment management - A blind trust of any and all financial instruments that could be reasonably pose a 'greed hazard' to the incumbant. A condition of the office is one must turn over control to a neutral appointed party and would be blind to where their money is newly invested.
    That's part of the campaign process. If there is a conflict of interest, it is up to the people to decide what represents a conflict of interest and what does not. If the people feel there is no conflict of interest - they will vote for him. If they think it's a problem, they will not.

    The main thing is to create an initial equal-time/financing apparatus. Perhaps the momentum needed to influence and change the way non-participating media outlets inform America of the candidates. Perhaps the fringe benefit of encouraging public discourse and participation. Or driving us all mad with 24/7 talking heads non-stop
    What you're talking about there is what was called the "fairness doctrine". It pretty much undermines the basic principles of free-market capitalism as it relates to political races. Kind of a sketchy situation there if you ask me, not something too many people are really behind.

    As to the direct financing of; $ can come from citizens so concerned (capped) and from the candidate (capped). No corporate entities and no foreigners.
    There's been plenty of talk about campaign finance reform and the bias of big media, but what say you?
    There already are caps on private citizens. Barring corporate entities is fine - but you still run into the issue of 527s and other groups. As for foreign nationals - does that include foreign nationals living here legally? or foreign entities entirely outside the US?

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    I actually take exception to that.
    You are free to.
    That would imply that the American public is too stupid and too blind to make up their own minds.
    What you infer is not necessarily what I implied. I stated what I stated.
    If you truly believe that - then perhaps you should stop and think about what the term "elitist" really means, and who it really applies to.
    So you're asking me if I believe what you've inferred (), and then--if I'm inferring correctly ()--saying that if I disagree with your point of view, I'm an elitist...

    Again, you are free to say that.
    please do not insult the entire voting population simply because you do not agree with the majority opinion.
    I didn't "insult the entire voting population," as you accuse, or even a portion of it--but why should I not? I'm free to do so.

    I did say that the mainstream media has a point of view which they seek to promote, and some of the main media figures did their best to promote their favorite candidate. As they are free to do.

    But my point was that no one seems to talk about how much power the entertainment industry has garnered in all this, and how much of campaign money goes toward making TV companies rich.

    Perhaps because when it is mentioned, someone tries to silence the criticism by shouting, "Elitism! The American Public would never be swayed by the media! They're not that stupid! If that were true, why, campaigns would spend lots of money airing campaign ads. And companies would spend $billions on advertising each year--but that would never work, because American consumers buy what they WANT to buy, not what is advertised. They make up their own minds! Just like they vote for who they WANT to vote for--not the guy who gets the best press."

    You ever consider that someone could be speaking the truth--no matter who that someone voted for? Or, can I only have the "right ideas" if I voted for the "right guy"--in your opinion?

    I guess you know something about elitism, after all!


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    But my point was that no one seems to talk about how much power the entertainment industry has garnered in all this, and how much of campaign money goes toward making TV companies rich.

    Perhaps because when it is mentioned, someone tries to silence the criticism by shouting, "Elitism! The American Public would never be swayed by the media! They're not that stupid! If that were true, why, campaigns would spend lots of money airing campaign ads. And companies would spend $billions on advertizing each year--but that would never work, because American consumers buy what they WANT to buy, not what is advertized. Just like they vote for who they WANT to vote for--not the guy who gets the best press."

    You ever consider that the truth is the truth--no matter who someone voted for? Or, can I only have the "right ideas" if I voted for the right guy--in your opinion?

    I guess you know something about elitism, after all!
    That's a pretty good attempt to twist things around there.

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    And as a side note - there are VOLUMES of diatribes all over the place discussing exactly how much influence the media does or does not have. Even the media themselves have questioned this on occasion(although you really have to consider the source in that discussion)

    No one is trying to silence any criticism. Simply making the request that you voice your criticism and keep it directed at the intended target, not the voting public at large.

    If that makes me an elitist because I don't like when people make harsh generalizations about 100+ million people, then so be it, i'm an elitist. As an elitist, i'll state my request one more time - please keep your criticisms where they belong, and away from the general public at large.

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    That's a pretty good attempt to twist things around there.
    Just holding the mirror up for you.
    Simply making the request that you voice your criticism and keep it directed at the intended target, not the voting public at large...

    ...please keep your criticisms where they belong, and away from the general public at large.
    Again, I did not criticize the voting public, despite your repeated statements that I did. Your repetitions do not make your accusations more accurate.

    It appears that you were not simply mistaken about me--I tried to correct what I assumed was a simple mis-interpretation--but instead are actively trying to paint me as a bad guy, by making false statements about what I said.

    Why? How is that High Road?

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    Right.
    Keep trying, you'll get it sooner or later.

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    Hey, don't try to change the system yet. I'm thinking of running for Congress just for the bennies for life. It's a great racket if you can get your foot in the door.

    BTW The only "bribes" I'll take will be NFA full autos and ammo, but I'll work diligently to open the NFA registry and eventually get rid of the NFA laws entirely.

    How about it? Do I have your vote?

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    How about it? Do I have your vote?
    LOL - sure, but you may want to edit that post first. Not a good idea to leave incriminating evidence laying around...

    although, not like that's stopped many politicians in the past.

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    Hey, can I just point out that if the politicians were not allowed to control private businesses, it wouldn't matter whose money got them elected?

    IOW, if we stuck to the Constitution, campaign finance would be a moot point.
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    Dear Santa

    I guess I'm just a little sour over how my favorite politician was treated by the MSM.

    Since we have the internet (currently), I guess that will have to be it for the future. If folks don't want to research beyond what the tv is telling them, then I s'pose it'll continue to be business as usual.

    No need for yet more bureaucracy or tax abuse anyhow.

    However, I'd still like to see some laws put in place for dealing with an incumbent's financials (blind trust) to include divesting of all business associations.

    A thoughtful, honest and open review of current pay and benefits would be nice too.

    Oh and campaign contributions only made directly from legal US citizens. No PACs.




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    guess I'm just a little sour over how my favorite politician was treated by the MSM.
    The MSM will typically follow whatever direction the political winds are blowing.

    People seem to like to forget Clinton's remarks about how the Media was part of a "vast right wing conspiracy", and the coverage of Bill Clinton - and how a lot of people thought that was biased against him.

    Well, the political wind was blowing in that direction - so the media went with it. Nobody on the other side of the aisle seemed to complain about it at the time.

    Now that the shoe's on the other foot - it's an outrage?

    Our media system sucks - we all know that. But It suck universally. Sometimes it just sucks for us specifically a little less then the other guy.

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    Quote:
    That would imply that the American public is too stupid and too blind to make up their own minds.

    Unfortunately, I have to agree that many are. I won't say even majority. But many are. Have you tried to bring up a discussion with "real people", that is not on a rights-centered forum, about actual issues and current events? If it's not on the sports page, they're clueless.

    That's not elitist, by the way. Elitist would maintain that it's better that way, let us smart folks run things. I, however, maintain that civic involvement is being drummed out of us by those elitists for that reason.

    Everyone now is fixated on government handouts and professional sports. When Rome was collapsing, the answer was passing out more free bread and holding more games. Very sad simillarity.


    The only answer I see to end the trail of money and corruption is to set government service term limits. Not X years then run for a different office, but X years total, no matter the office. When the influence being bought has a shelf life, the price will drop. When being bought is finally recognized as the treason it is and punished accordingly, it will cease to be a traded commodity.
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    There is a sad irony about this discussion in this forum. Essentially when we are talking about limiting money being contributed to a politician, we are discussing matters that have a direct relationship with our first amendment rights, like that is fundamentally OK.

    I'm completely comfortable with the concept that only US citizens can make campaign contributions. And those contributions should be public, but essentially unlimited. People can have a voice in proportion to the amount of money they wish to contribute. If we wanted to, we could say that no non-citizens could contribute, and that would possibly include corporations, non-profits, quasi-governmental institutions, labor unions, PACs, and so forth. Contributions only come from citizens. At the end of the day, voters can decide whether a politician who has received big contributions from a few fat cats are the type of people they really want representing them.

    The second point that is interesting in our current context is both presidential candidates initially pledged to obey by the rules associated with accepting government financing. One decided to deviate from that pledge, and, as a result broke all sorts of records in the process of raising more than $700 million in campaign financing. And despite the rhetoric to the contrary, a large fraction of these funds were raised from the usual fat cats and their PACs. But the majority didn't care, because he was our guy. He received absolutely no "punishment" for breaking his initial promise, or from deviating from what was supposed to be a more fair method of financing a campaign. As a result, one can expect that no presidential candidate in the future will accept the government financing limitations. Again, ironic for McCain.

    The last point is that for much of the MSM, news articles and editorial comment were often found on the same page; sometimes in the same article. The concept of impartial journalism, except for the editorial page, was thrown completely out the window. A post election poll of Obama voters found that many were woefully ignorant concerning many things, but all of them knew about Sarah Palin, her wardrobe, and her pregnant daughter. I'm not sure how to correct that situation other than noting that the New York Times is in tough financial straits and may eventually be forced out of business. The LA times isn't doing well, either. Wall Street Journal seems to be doing fine.

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    In ancient Greece the politicians were chosen by lottery and served for one term.

    I would like to see all public financing of elections prohibited. Six weeks before the elections, people running for office could be randomly assigned time on PBS to make their case. That would give everyone equal access to the media and an equal opportunity to make their cases. This would not preclude public financing for ideas or causes, but it would move us closer to a Democracy and away from the Plutocracy we have become and the Kleptocracy we are becoming.
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    Not a bad suggestion. I suppose such an approach would have eliminated the "Obama Channel" from playing on Dish Network for months on end.

    Interesting article in your sig, too. Citizens with carry permits have been legally permitted to carry on all state sponsored universities for several years in Utah. Nothing bad obviously has happened, and my wife feels much safer walking out to her car after teaching a late afternoon/evening class. (Sorry about the threadjack).

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    I also agree that U.S. citizens only should be able to contribute any amount they want, to be disclosed, to a campaign.

    You can't eliminate greed as a factor no matter what you do. For one, "greed" is a judgement, not an independent assessment. "I am ambitious, he is greedy." And, as a judgement call, it would be used as a weapon against people with whom others disagree. Pretty soon, anyone who wants their way to the exclusion of others would be "greedy." (How many guns do I need anyway? I must be greedy).

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    Of course, we can avoid greedy politicians by electing only those who are independently wealthy (John Kerry and Mitt Romney come to mind).

    Some politicians don't want to get elected because of greed. Some just want the power (politicians all seem to be able to gather wealth by writing best selling books).

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    Financial greed may be the lesser to power lust, but the resultant damages may be similiar, despite the motive.

    As to capping contributions, one could view it as analogous to capping the number of times a person can vote.

    .
    Last edited by Sylvan-Forge; January 22nd, 2009 at 04:00 AM. Reason: fix vocabulary

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