deadlines amuse me

exploring how the world works and why it works that way …

To hell with campaign finance reform

with one comment

Now that the Supreme Court of the United States says that it’s okay to screw with congressional districts any time the party in power wishes, we might as well throw out any limits on campaign contributions or expenditures as well.

Yep. Incumbents and challengers, raise what you want; spend what you want. But here’s what I want in return: Congress will provide the means necessary for any citizen with a computer to track every goddamned penny campaigning politicians collect and spend. And that goes for their “leadership” PACs and the state and federal party campaign committees. Show us the money.

I want to know where the money comes from and where it goes. I want more stringent campaign-finance disclosure. I want see the filthy trails of hard money and soft money in full, glorious detail.

And I want better financial disclosure statements from those greedy idiots in Congress. I want the ranges in which representatives and senators report their income and liabilities changed to specific dollars and cents.

No more income “between $100,001 and $200,000.” Tell us your income. Period. Tell us your liabilities. Period. For that matter, let the Supremes pony up precise info, too.

I’ll trade spending limits and donation limits for full transparency. And I want Congress to require that Federal Election Commission data be even more user-friendly so that any voter can easily see who’s buying what politician. The Center for Responsive Politics (opensecrets.org) does a wonderful job, but I want more transparency, and I want Congress to provide it.

Congress should provide the FEC the resources to create a more user-friendly interface that allows voters to see for free the devil’s-in-the-details level of information that costs money at sites like Political Money Line.

I want more. I want more finely tuned ways to checking how representatives and senators vote. I want to easily see every damn vote they make — procedural and substantive. I want the Thomas service at the Library of Congress to be easier to use. I want analyses of bills written in English instead of bureaucratic gibberish. The Washington Post Votes Database does a good job of providing congressional votes, but I want Congress to provide them as a measure of full transparency.

And after we get open windows from Congress (I know, I know — when pigs fly), then we’ll go after more transparency at the state legislatures.

Why? Because those are the morons who will hatch and execute the redistricting schemes needed to grab or keep power.

If the Supreme Court is selling us down the redistricting river, then at least give us better ways to see who’s buying off whom.

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Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

June 29, 2006 at 3:39 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. Dr. Denny
    As usual, well said. The problem, I think is that if John Q. Public was given the ability to track finances, wouldn’t like where it was coming from or where it was going.
    Maybe we need to get the Guys that run SWIFT to give the general public access to information.
    The findings of SCOTUS will continue to aggravate the true patriots (insert your name her, Dr. Denny) for a long time to come.
    THe level playing field for voters and politicians is nothing more than a pipe dream at this point. With the Bushies firmly in place on SCOTUS, there is going to be a rewriting of anything positive that came from the Warren and Rehnquist courts.
    Too bad armed revolution just doesn’t work the way it used to.

    ultimate_seeker

    June 30, 2006 at 1:17 am


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