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ELECTION: Campaign finance reform badly needed

Letter by Bambi Lin Litchman, Tacoma on Oct. 8, 2010 at 1:59 pm with 27 Comments »
October 8, 2010 2:51 pm

Political ads flood Washington airwaves, costing big bucks so candidates and initiatives can compete with each other.

California governor hopeful Meg Whitman has spent an astonishing $140 million.

The amount of money spent on campaigns is just plain scary.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has spent $10 million in one week on ads to defeat candidates across the country, with plans to spend $75 million total by the general election. The chamber is suspected of funneling international money into the ads, allowing foreign governments to influence our elections.

Last January, the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision opened the floodgates for unbridled corporate spending on elections. The FEC figures indicate that the percentage of groups disclosing names of donors for election ads has dropped precipitously.

The funds necessary for political campaigns are obscene. Further, while money talks, we can no longer be sure who is speaking.

All of us should be concerned about campaign finance costs and who funds political advertising. To maintain a government of the people, by the people, for the people, we desperately need campaign financing reform and transparency of funding.

Leave a comment Comments → 27
  1. eagle_beak says:

    thank you for your thoughts Ms. Lichtman. i share your concerns. i would like to see caps put on election spending. besides a lot of wasted money then perhaps each candidate who not be beholden to a special interest group.
    but i think with our current 2-party system those caps will never happen.
    i would very much support candidates who would make this happen.

    God bless America and help us keep our country strong!

  2. jandkgibbs says:

    There are only two answers to this problem and neither may NEVER happen.
    1. Term limits
    2. Public funding of ALL campaigns.

    Is there a more simple, better answer.

  3. nwcolorist says:

    There are many things that have occurred over the last thirty years that I have considered obscene. The legal right to burn the Anerican flag, the “artistic” display of a crucifix in a bottle of urine, and lately the protests of dead servicemen’s funerals.

    I agree that the amount of money put into political campaigns is hard to comprehend. But the Supreme Court has said its contitutional. I guess obscenity, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.

  4. Sumner401 says:

    The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has spent $10 million in one week on ads to defeat candidates across the country, with plans to spend $75 million total by the general election.

    Much if not all of that money is from foreign companies and Govts.
    The US Chamber of commerce and the republican party are a danger to our nation and our democracy, they both should be stopped before it’s too late.

  5. iamjimbo says:

    Well Bambi, right on cue we are provided with the same talking points from the echo chamber, and the good thing is… I never have to watch leftwing cable news to know what the current llwn talking points are… ( I would have said leftwing talk radio, but we all know they failed… too)

    Anybody heard anything about George S. lately???

  6. blakeshouse says:

    Obsenity IS in the eye of the beholder. What is obsene is this admins pushing us toward European socialism, the total disreguard of the constitution, taking billions of OUR hard earned dollars and tossing it down the rat hole called stimulus/tarp, the utter contempt for the will of the people, the creation of an even larger entitlement mentality. the indoctrination of our kides in the so called education system, the theft of the auto industry, finance, banking, insurance. The biggest obsenity of all tho is sending our troops into harms way with their hands tied and no desire to win the war.

  7. fatuous says:

    I have to agree with many of your points.

    Unfortunately, both parties are addicted to the money. It’s that money that controls Congress. The Bush Supreme Court just made it worse.

  8. OldLefty says:

    “eagle_beak says:
    October 8, 2010 at 3:09 pm
    thank you for your thoughts Ms. Lichtman. i share your concerns. i would like to see caps put on election spending. besides a lot of wasted money then perhaps each candidate who not be beholden to a special interest group.
    but i think with our current 2-party system those caps will never happen.
    i would very much support candidates who would make this happen.

    God bless America and help us keep our country strong! “

    Without special interest money, you’d not have the Christine O’Donnells, Sarah Palins and Michelle Bachmans or other “God Blessers”. They are financed by a well oil religious machine that is tax exempt.

  9. OldLefty says:

    blakeshouse says:
    October 9, 2010 at 6:27 am
    The biggest obsenity of all tho is sending our troops into harms way with their hands tied and no desire to win the war.

    You must have really disliked the Bush Administration, who sent troops into Iraq for no logical reason and then didn’t equip them correctly.

  10. OldLefty says:

    “iamjimbo says:
    October 8, 2010 at 7:04 pm
    (I would have said leftwing talk radio, but we all know they failed… too)

    Air America went bankrupt, but there are many independent progressive talk programs across the nation.

    The key word is in bold so that you might understand the difference between corporate financed lackeys like Limbaugh and Beck, versus Randy Rhodes, Stephanie Miller, Ed Schultz, Norman Goldman, Mike Papintonio, Robert Kennedy, et al….

    If not for corporate financing, Limbaugh would have never gotten off the ground in the 1980s – and a little help from a Republican Adminstration (Reagan)

    Beck is the WWE of broadcast media

  11. nwcolorist says:

    “…a well oil religious machine…”?

    Fascinating. Care to fill us in on the detail?

  12. iamjimbo says:

    Sorry sumner, I haven’t heard of the ones you listed… wasn’t Air America publicly financed?

  13. OldLefty says:

    “nwcolorist says:
    October 9, 2010 at 11:02 am
    “…a well oil religious machine…”?

    Fascinating. Care to fill us in on the detail? ”

    Do you deny the politicial clout of Pat Robertson and other televangelists? If so, you’re not paying attention.

    I’m surprised I had to explain that one.

  14. OldLefty says:

    “wasn’t Air America publicly financed?”

    No.

    Do you google?

  15. iamjimbo says:

    I seem to remember something about a loan from the Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club that wasn’t paid back… the majority of Gloria Wise’s operations were financed by state and federal grants, so it WAS by default financed in part by public $$$.

    At any rate, even with tax dollars, they could not muster enough interest to stay afloat.

  16. ij – use the same logic regarding an organization that gets money from foreign entities and then funds political ads….

  17. SwordofPerseus says:

    Sadly Jimbo,

    it seems you never have really listened to what Beck and Limbaugh are REALLY saying. They are both liars, yes I said it someone had to, they are telling you what their sponsors want them to. So if you are not a billionaire and I assume you are not, you will no doubt be surprised to find out that if you vote R you are voting against you own best interests. Quite simple really, just look at the Americans who are benefiting the most from the Republican policies and you will discover it is the top 2%. This has had dire consequences for America. Two more years of Republicans and it will be the end of the USA as you once knew it.

  18. nwcolorist says:

    Yes, OL, Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell had “political machines”, I guess you could say. But they pale in comparison to the Democratic machines of old – Boss Tweed, the New Deal machine, and Mayor Daley’s Chicago.

    While the Left has has well over a century of practice perfecting machine politics, the religious right has had zero presence on politics prior to the 1970’s. It’s been a tough thirty years with a steep learning curve, and there’s still a long way to go. The smudge marks you see on the windows at political conventions are from us evangelicals trying to see what’s going on inside.

  19. iamjimbo says:

    beerBoy says:
    October 10, 2010 at 8:35 am
    ij – use the same logic regarding an organization that gets money from foreign entities and then funds political ads….

    LOL… B, I never imagined you would pull out a “but Clinton”… interestingly enough, people went to jail over the chi-com illegal campaign donations…

  20. iamjimbo says:

    What “are they REALLY saying” ;):)

    “sword” ???

  21. Ij – since the US Chamber of Commerce was discussed in the letter I never imagined that you could possibly misunderstand my meaning but – where there is a will, there is a way

    ;-)

  22. iamjimbo says:

    • beerBoy2 wrote on 06/24/2009 06:08:11 AM:
    “innocent until proven guilty”. Accusations of fraud are not the same as fraud.

    And that applies to the dirty political accusations coming from this whitehouse.

  23. too easy ij…..from one of your posts upthread:

    “. the majority of Gloria Wise’s operations were financed by state and federal grants, so it WAS by default financed in part by public $$$.”

    Explain how that logic doesn’t fit with the US Chamber of Commerce…..

  24. iamjimbo says:

    B… you have D.O.C.ed beyond the point pf recognition… “please explain” at what point you and your “false dichotomy” entered the exchange that I was having…

  25. so ij, quoting a post of yours on this thread and suggesting that you apply your logic to the subject discussed in the letter is D.O.C. ??!!!???

    How’s the weather there in Bizzaro World?

  26. iamjimbo says:

    You should start from the top B. There’s no connection between failed leftwing talk radio being propped up by tax payers and the chamber of commerce (lie), but you couldn’t wait to invoke the lie (again) so in your own mind you somehow drew a correlation… bizzare.

  27. Perhaps I need to get more specific:

    so it WAS by default financed in part….

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