Give state legislators a public option!

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).

We’d have a Sen. Anthem Lieberman, Rep. American Bankers Sensenbrenner, and Sen. Aetna Baucus. I love it! We’d finally know their real first names.

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.

5 Responses to Give state legislators a public option!

  1. And incidentally, when we hear politicians say “we don’t want government-run healthcare,” it is 100% because Medicare can’t give campaign contributions and private industry can. When will the bribery stop?

  2. JourneyHome says:

    The fact remains that big insurance by refusing care to patients and reimbursement to doctors over typos has ticked everyone off. They have a monopoly over the whole process and a well financed lobby team (including Lieberman’s wife) and representatives on both sides of the isle.

    A friend of mine recently laid off just he and his spouse is paying $2,500.00 dollars a month for his COBRA. Health insurance costs more than his mortgage. Anyone taking up the insurance industry’s cause doesn’t know what they are talking about.

    If you think the insurance companies are going to voluntarily lower their cost while having a monopoly over the process – you are being disingenuous …Over 60% of all US bankruptcies are attributable to medical problems. Most victims are middle class, well educated and have health insurance – (The American Journal of Medicine)

    The insurance companies and their representatives in Congress would love to perpetuate a business model that is crippling our overall economy – a bunch of great Americans aren’t they?

    90% of the wealth concentrated in 1% of the population is no way to run a country but a heck of a way to establish a royalty ruling class. Yacht sales can not sustain 350 million people. I’m for the public option, competition and a level playing field or break up the big insurers like we did AT&T.

    A slavish focus on profit margin might be good for the individual or a business, but it is one helluva lousy way to “govern” a Country. The GOP being a wholly owned subsidiary of Corporate America has a hard time with that concept.

    Paul Burke
    Author-Journey Home

  3. Yea, Lieberman is a piece of cake. Is his wife really a lobbyist or is this just another way to pass cash to the family?

    Otherwise, lobbying is not bad, as it serves to educate politicians. Lobbying with cash in hand serves only to bribe politicians to pass bad laws. Good laws do not require bribes (and of course, they don’t get passed very often either).

  4. John says:

    I really love your idea. I might run with that in the future.

  5. You ought to do that, John. Judging by your web site you have good public-oriented ideas. We need that!

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