Sunday, January 29, 2012

What a dangerous and stupid idea

Though it may not be the worst thing Mr. Kucinich has ever proposed, it is certainly up there. The link above is to a press announcement on Mr. Kucinich's website introducing a proposed U.S. constitutional amendment to ban all private financing in federal elections. From the article:

"H.J. Res.100 would require that all federal campaigns –all campaigns for President, Vice-President, Senator and Representative – be financed exclusively with public funds and prohibit any expenditures from any other source, including the candidate. H. J. Res. 100 would also prohibit any expenditures in support of, or in opposition to, any federal candidate, so that interest groups will not be able to influence elections. It will maintain the First Amendment “freedom of the press” and preserve the traditional role that the media have played in our electoral process."

From what I can gather, this amendment is saying that any and all money from any private citizen would not be allowed in any federal campaign. But it does allow for the freedom of the press. Thank God for that bone Mr. Kucinich. Does this mean that Jon Stewert, or Richard Colbert, or Bill O'Reilly, would be allowed to stump for a candidate on their shows, but that I would be unable to take out an ad, or publish a flyer, supporting my candidate of choice? It sure sounds like it. So if you have a TV show, or a newspaper editorial page, you can advertise for a candidate as much as you want, but if you are a regular person who wants to spend $200 for an ad in your local paper that would be illegal.

Also, if all potential federal politicians are to be federally funded, who decides who gets to run? After all, if everyone who wants to run gets money, what is going to stop me from signing up, making a few high end campaign stops (vacation stops) in Maine and New Hampshire, blowing through my money and then being out of the race? Is every citizen going to be eligible? Or do we have to meet some arbitrary criteria set up by some candidate czar who decides who can run for president? "Well you look pretty presidential, here is $30 million. You're a little portly though, I think we are going to pass.". Is that how it is going to work? If the government refuses to invest millions of dollars in me to run for president I am just shit out of luck? How can we possibly live in a free country when someone who wants to spend their own money on a federal election is made into a criminal? We can not leave the decision of whether to run for office or not up to some arbitrary government board/rules. This is insane!!! And the alternative that everyone who wants to run gets to is a road fraught with waste, taxpayer money down the toilet.

This is the problem with simple minded people like Mr. Kucinich. He doesn't think his ideas through to their logical conclusions. He wants to solve (what he sees as) problems with the creativity of a 3rd grader "Hey, that's not fair, lets make it illegal!!". He doesn't think about all of the regular people who want to spend money to put out yard signs, or create bumper stickers for their cars, or wear t-shirts in support of or against various candidates. Or the people who aren't a republican or a democrat and want to use their own money to run for Senator, or Rep, or President. Or maybe he does and he just doesn't care. After all , he is well ingrained in the current democratic party. I am sure he will always get his candidacy signed off on.

Regardless of how you feel about Dennis Kucinich, we all need to stand up against this obvious infringement on free speech and personal freedom. After all, who is going to watch the watchmen?

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