By Jack E. Lohman
Let Wisconsin legislators choose between two options:
1) … to receive private campaign money as they do now, but with their state salary, benefits, office salaries and expenses also being paid out of their campaign war chest, or
2) … opt for public funding of campaigns and have these expenses paid by the taxpayers?
What the hell. If the special interests are to own our politicians, they ought to own them totally… 100% rather than having their political bribes and payola subsidized by the taxpayers.
I’m tired of paying politician’s salaries only to have them pretend to work for me but then give away taxpayer assets to the special interests that fund their re-election. Our state leaders have repeatedly demonstrated that we voters don’t matter but their campaign funders do.
Fine. Then let their funders also pay their salaries.
Besides, when I mark my ballot I want to know who my politician is employed by. They are either working for me or working for them. I’m tired of having to vote based on whether my politician is in bed with the corporations or the unions. That’s not how I want my government run.
Can you imagine the value of this system in congressional elections? We’d know which politicians are employed by the insurance and banking industries (most of them), and which are not (a handful).
Importantly, with politicians owned by the taxpayers instead, we’d not have experienced the recent financial crash or the ongoing transfer of wealth. And we’d not have outsourced half our jobs to China and India.
Most of us lost half or all of our retirement accounts due solely to our corrupt political system, and now we don’t have the jobs necessary to get them back. It’s not just in Afghanistan, folks, the political corruption is not sustainable in the U.S. either. It is destroying our country and democracy.
So politicians, no more dodging and pretending. Choose a side: the public’s or the private. If you are going to sit on our board of directors, we do not want you taking money from the enemy.
And if they are not willing, folks, their job becomes the public option in 2010.