Fixing campaign finance

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Fixing campaign finance

Post by gene »

I listened to this episode of "This American Life" in my research for a show that I'll be in ("This American Live" 8PM Fridays and Saturdays at Salvage Vanguard Theater May 18 - June 9)

The shocking thing is that it is congressmen that bug lobbyist for money instead of lobbyists offering it to them. Furthermore, they spend and inordinate amount of time fundraising. The "Citizens United" case makes the money situation even worse by making PAC contributions unlimited and less transparent.

All of this can be fixed by making political ads on television and radio illegal.

Political ads would be defined as anything that mentions the name of a candidate or the office being run for. The result would be that any campaign money raised beyond a certain point would have a vastly diminishing return. Most campaign money goes to TV ads.

Now this would not have fist amendment problems because the radio spectrum belongs to the public and is licensed to the stations by the government. The FCC can regulate the speech on these media because spectrum and right of way for cable are limited resources. This is why you can't say the seven dirty words on TV and candidates have to say "I approve this message" on their ads.

You can even make this happen without an act of congress. The FCC can make these changes unilaterally because it is part of the executive branch.

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Post by Jeff »

That sounds like a great idea. I think that would cause a lot of interesting changes in the ways campaigns are run. There would surely be more campaign ads on the Internet, and they might buy network programming time, like Perot did in 1990-something. Or would that be illegal as well, maybe? I think this idea is worth at least a petition.
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