In the world of politics today there are many problems. Nasty campaigning and Slamming ones opponent have become commonplace in today’s world. This is a very Distinct problem. Yet the root of the problem isn’t the candidates themselves, in most Cases. The national committees for the republicans and the democrats is at the true heart Of the problem. The money which is spent by those massive institutions to their party’s candidate in each election is staggering. Therefore the problem lies not in the candidates themselves, but in the money which is used to finance their campaigns.
Campaign finance reform is a hot topic these days yet none the less a very important topic which must be addressed. Campaign financing has very specific rules, which are governed with an iron rod. However the major party’s have found ways to cheat. A loop hole which must be closed To ensure that democracy thrives for many years to come. The rules for campaign financing are simple. Individuals are permitted to give, $1000. 00 per candidate per election. Where as interest groups are allowed to donate $5000. 00 per candidate per election.
These are relatively small amounts compared to the hundreds of millions of dollars spent by both major party’s this election season. So where does the money come from? The answer to this question is quite simple. The national committees of the major party’s, have many accounts which are non-federal. These accounts are used to accrue what is known as soft money. There are no limits on how much the party’s can spend at local levels for grass roots party building. So the money in the non-federal regulated accounts is funneled to states, which use the money to endorse or bash one of the candidates.
The answer to the problem is simple reform the laws which govern campaign financing. While the answer may be simple achieving the solution is quite a different story. The major party’s control the law making body of the United States. Many of these Congressmen owe their political position to what is known as soft money. This soft money comes from interest groups and major corporations. So the legislators are in a very tough position. However if they were to reform the laws the role of these interest groups, and the money of these corporations would be greatly diminished.
Also, it would provide a level playing field in all congressional districts around the nation. This would provide a level playing field because the election rate of incumbent Congressmen is more than ninety-percent. Why? Then you might ask is the re-election rate so high. Because the party is much more likely to spend the soft money in places where they have seats, and know they can retain them. Whereas the committee for the party which is not in office in a certain district, may be dissuaded by a lesser known candidate in that district.
Feeling that they can not steal the seat from the other party, the committee is less likely to spend soft money to keep up. The signifiganceof this is that in ninety-five percent of elections in the 1996 campaign season. The candidate who spent the most money won. It was also proportional in that whoever had spent more money than the other candidate won by more votes. So if you outspend your opponent by one-million dollars you win by five percent. If you outspend by two-million you win by ten percent. One can see why this is such a disturbing problem in politics today.
To eliminate soft money from politics would be to restore purity in a sense, to the Political process. Reforming the laws so that the political party’s can’t influence elections by money. Also in that interest groups and corporations wouldn’t control every aspect of today’s government. For instance the new law could set limits on how much money can be spent on television and radio ads. When this amount of money had been reached, the candidates could use no more political money to make television and radio ads.
However if they wished to spend their own money to finance such advertising that would be fine. By the same token any amount of money could be spent on pamphlets and brochures. Educating voters on the issues and the candidates stance on these issues. This would take politics away from the dirty campaigning we have now in a sense. Also, it would get us back to where we should be in politics, no morality or ethical questions unless an extreme situation. Then the American people could decide based mainly on the issues, which are presented. Instead of the way the issues are presented.
Many would argue on this topic that since the soft money is only used at local levels for party building purposes. That there should be no reform, and the system should remain unchanged. However slamming a candidate with negative television ads isn’t what I call party building it’s slander. Others would say that Senator McCain from Arizona already has a proposed law on the table. Yet, the law has been in congress for over a year now with no results and none in sight. It’s time for the politicians to do their job and stop trying to cheat to keep it.
Campaign finance reform is a very hot topic. It seems that many are jumping on The bandwagon hoping for some good press when a law is finally passed. The latest Gov. Bush of Texas and Vice-President Al Gore. Undoubtately they are fighting for votes in a close election, since the two of them have set a record in soft money spent for this election. This is my challenge to the two party’s which control the congress. Fight to make politics about issues and leadership once again. Let’s take our country back From the huge corporations and interest groups.