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Old 08-14-2013, 06:43 PM
Ayatollahgondola's Avatar
Ayatollahgondola Ayatollahgondola is offline
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Default My Solution To The Donation Problem In Political Races

There's been a lot of talk about trying to keep big money from buying elections, and not many real solutions that would pass constitutional muster.. But I have a plan. Hopefully I'm not plagarizing anyone else's proposal, but if so, it's not been given a fair airing publicly.

1) All, and I mean every single one, of monetary campaign donations must be given anonymously. It is your right to donate to support a candidate, or even a PAC, but there's no real reason that it needs to be made known who the donors are. You send 5o bucks or 5 million, the candidate gets it in a bulk settlement each weak. All the donations are pooled up in that candidates account, and then transmitted on an agreed upon day of each week. Software could easily be written to make this happen, and even cash donations must go through the central recieving point.

2) Any money given directly to a candidate, outside the central receiving point, is considered a bribe or attempt to influence law making, which would be a high crime, Let's face it; when a big corp sends a million to a candidate, that's an attempt to curry favor, and every anonymous donation is just to support a candidate because you like his past, present, or stated future political leaning.

3) Donations in kind, such as free airtime, free paper, advertisement, or whatever else can be given directly, but the donor must pay the taxes on whatever it is just as if he'd sold it to them. So if clear channel donated air time to candidate x, they'd also have to pay the normal sales and use taxes, and declare the value of it on the income side of their ledger. Not hard; They pretty much have a basic sales program, and just about everything has a normal price. Already, there are similar auditors that check valuations of merchandise being sold in various transactions. For example, a liquor licenses being sold are priced by their respective counties, and some enterprising store owners then sell their store quipment for higher than normal prices to get more money for their license, when the equipment is actually trash. But it's not going to be that complicated, nor common. Most big corps are going to shy away from paying additional taxes on what they give, after already giving the service or goods free. In other words, the practice will slow way down. Individuals will have to pay the same way, but in the end, the transactions are going to cause more money to flow into the taxing agencies, and into the communities through that medium. After the election, the goods must be sold at auction and the proceeds turned over to the state elections commission for offsetting costs of monitoring this part of the program.

4), any individual can donate time for free. Walk precincts, make calls, man phone banks, or whatever. Any company may not hire anyone to do that. It's a bribe. Do it as an individual only, or donate the cash and let the candidate recieve it anonymously and his campaign management will hire people. Candidates are free to pay their people, albeit with the donated money only.

5). Candidates may use their own money to buy anything, rent offices, or whatever up to a stated maximum set for each office. Small city races could be $5,000, and Senate races would be limited to say 50,000. The reason for this is so one rich candidate doesn't buy an office. The presumption here is that his or her supporters would like what they stand for and then start donating through the anonymous system. If they don't get donations, then no one likes them, and as it should be, they starve for recognition. They then can't do some desperate move and transfer their inheritance into their campaign account.

The overall scheme aims to make candidates responsive to the people and the public at large, not billionaires or even millionaires. Not to say the rich still won't have more influence than the public, but as it gets more involved and refined, it gets harder for them to be more influential than the public. It starts out difficult, and gets better as it goes along.
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