Monday, November 20, 2006

Note to Self: Type Here First

Campaign Finance Reform

You can have all the lobbying reform you want, but so long as the federal government is in the business of deciding how huge sums of money are distributed in our economy, people and institutions with a stake in how that money is distributed or redistributed will find a way to try to influence the folks who decide how these gargantuan sums of money are Doled out.

We've had lots of versions of campaign finance reform since the first set of reforms were inspired by the excesses of the 1972 Nixon re-election campaign. (Was there ever a more apt moniker than the one for Nixon's Committee to Re-Elect the President - CREEP)? The reforms have never worked well because trying to keep money out of politics is like trying to nail Jello to a wall. Whatever clever rules government functionaries and bureaucrats can devise to stem the flow of greenbacks, even cleverer operatives for the folks with the money can figure out how to work around.

The internet is a powerful tool for identifying who's getting what from whom, more quickly than ever before. If voters bother to inform themselves, they can factor this in when the decide on who to vote for. If voters don't, they get who they deserve.

I rarely stand with George Will on things, but I agree with his comprehensive campaign finance reform proposal. It has only three rules.

A) No Cash.
B) No money from foreigners or foreign interests.
C) Immediate, comprehensive, transparent reporting of who's spending and who's receiving, available on the internet, in as close to real time as technology permits.

[ANON1 has announced a platform from which to run for President. I reacted with a comment on his blog. Then I thought, you dope, you haven't gotten this whole blogging thing down yet. Hence the title of this post. Above is a version of that post, with minor edits.]

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