Cleaning up the political system…

Why would politicians ignore these?

By Jack E. Lohman

Public funding of campaigns!

The Biggie. If politicians are to give benefits to their funders, those funders must be the taxpayers. Yes, it will cost about $10 per taxpayer per year but save about $3000 per taxpayer in wasted giveaway programs to the corporations that currently fund their elections. Until the Constitution is amended it will have to be voluntary, but if that public option is refused the voters can take over.

Only then will politicians quit voting for stupid and costly expenditures and pork barrel projects, like wars we can’t afford and defense spending on unnecessary fighter planes. Only then will our politicians set our tax rates fairly. Only then will politicians revisit stupid laws that reward companies for manufacturing product overseas.

Term Limits!

Until we eliminate the cash bribes we must limit terms. ONE term is best because it eliminates the corruptive fundraising for the second term. Double their current length, and once public funding is achieved go back to current terms. (I don’t particularly like term limits, but as long as corporations can fund unending terms we must limit them.)

Blind Trusts!

If these guys want this job in congress, they must agree to put their personal wealth in a blind trust with strict laws and strong penalties. Insider trading is currently illegal everywhere except in congress, where votes on legislation can benefit politician’s personal wealth. This will encourage politicians to vote for — get this — smart laws rather than laws that pad their personal wealth.

Free media!

Radio and TV stations use publicly owned airwaves, and since this is a major cost of campaigning the media should be required to give (or sell at a reduced rate) each candidate a certain amount of advertising. But can you imagine a politician whose campaign dollars come from media passing such a requirement? It’s called campaign bribes.

Internet advertising is a different story and an allocated budget should be provided by our taxpayer system.

Shareholder control and disclosure!

As long as corporations are allowed to spend money on political campaigns they must first get shareholder (owner!) approval of such expenditures. The same should hold true for unions; member approval before spending.

Ranked Choice Voting (IRV)

Yes, politicians would face greater competition and they don’t like that very much. But it gives voters more choice. Vote for your first and second and third choice. If your first choice fails your vote automatically goes to your second choice. This system would enhance the opportunity of third-party candidates and would better hold the incumbents feet to the fire.

None-of-the-above ballot choice (NOTA)

If NOTA wins there must be a new election with new candidates. Too obvious?

Nonpartisan Government Accountability Board

We the voters and taxpayers need a government oversight committee to establish rules and regulations for the politicians we elect. I do not want my politicians establishing their own pay scale, for example.

Raises must be adjusted relative to the cost of living and unemployment rates, but the politicians should not make these rules.

The big question?

Why are we even talking about these now? Why haven’t they been in effect before?

An impossible task because current politicians must pass the laws! Why would they if they are benefiting from the corruption?

2 Responses to Cleaning up the political system…

  1. jimcap says:

    Excellent list. However, I respectfully disagree with the call for term limits. I think citizens should have the right to vote for whomever they want.

    So, I’m willing to compromise on term limits. I could accept 12 years as the limit for both the House and the Senate. What do you think?

  2. I hate term limits as well, and would hate to see a Bill Proxmire or Bernie Sanders pushed out. But until we get rid of the payola I don’t see an option.