Yea, we voted 90% for campaign finance reform in a statewide referendum … but, surprise!
By Jack E. Lohman
It was all a game. The politicians wrote the rules to fail, and it failed. But it was an election ploy, so they had to do it. 🙂
And both parties were in on the fix. (Political bribes is a bipartisan phenomena. One of the few issues they cooperate on.)
Here’s how Wisconsin got screwed:
First, they wrote a legislative campaign reform bill so tight that everybody loved it. Except the politicians.
They included rules even tighter than the U.S. Constitution would permit. Then they put in a poison pill.
Like “If anything in this law is shot down by the courts, the whole law is nullified!”
OF COURSE it will be shot down by the courts; it was designed to be!
A poison pill that killed campaign reform. Purposely.
So exceptional was this iron-clad system of failure that even Scott Walker would have signed it.
But so corrupt that our politicians knew the electorate wouldn’t see the rip-off, and so they shoved it down our throats.
I’m offended that they think we are so stupid, but we’ve given them plenty of reason to believe it. We keep electing them.
Let’s do a referendum again in 2012!
In 2000 it was an election issue; let’s make it an election issue again!
WITHOUT THE POISON PILL!
And WITH a severability clause that says “if anything in this bill is found unconstitutional, it shall be removed and all other clauses will remain enforceable.”
And WITH a clause making it voluntary, so a candidate can chose for themselves whether they want to take industry bribes or not. (That also makes it Constitutional.)
And a bill written by the Government Accountability Board, rather than the politicians! (It’s bad enough that we give them the keys to our wallet, but let’s not also allow the fox to guard the hen house.)
There are more ways to skin a cat!
Public funding of campaigns can be accomplished via several optional approaches. One is “signature threshold,” whereby all candidates getting, say, 2000 signatures receive $25,000 taxpayer funds (for the primary) that can be spent only for electoral purposes. Or a matching system whereby $6 taxpayer dollars are given for every dollar collected by the candidate.
How do you stop special interests from independent advertising? You don’t, but you can compensate the targeted candidate with additional matching funds. And through disclosure make it so unattractive that nobody would want to be the benefactor of the outside cash.
The cost to Wisconsinites? About $5 per taxpayer per year. The cost of our current system? About $1300 per year in excessive taxes to offset the costs of unneeded taxpayer spending to reward the Fat Cats that currently fund the elections.