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Friday, January 22, 2010

I feel movement

With the supreme court decision coming down I am hearing movement for an idea that was only spoken of in whispers until yesterday.

Full disclosure.

Removing all limits on campaign contributions. There would be no state imposed limits on how much money can be given to a candidate from any person or organization whatsoever. Those donations would have to be fully recorded and disclosed, but that would be it.

Not that I have any problem with people who have money but many feel there is an unfair campaign advantage that the wealthy have over the regular income people in the current system. The A.G. has said he will not limit the wealthy from self funding. That puts regular income people at a huge disadvantage in a bigger race.

Bredesen did it for his first guber campaign. When he dropped his money into the campaign the other candidate (Van Hillary) could not keep up. Van saw his lead in the polling numbers drop away on a inverse relation to the money dropped in by Bredesen.

Many from the other side of the isle say the same happened with Corker/Ford in the senate race or might happen with Haslam.

They say the state donation limit of two thousand or even five thousand dollars per person makes it near impossible to keep up with a person willing to drop two or even five million of their own money into a state wide race. A regular candidate does not have the time to reach enough small donors or shake enough hands to keep up.

In all races money reaches a saturation point. That 11th piece of mail is not going to sway a person much more then the 10th piece. Same with radio, TV or other media buys. But if one candidate has dropped 10 pieces of mail and the other guy has dropped two there is a difference. All other things being equal the money wins. I hate to say it, but at least in bigger races, big money makes a big difference.

Full disclosure could help level the field.


  1. What about making it so candidates can only spend as much as their opponent? It seems like it might make the common man much more likely to run for office against people like Haslam or Bredsen. The only problem I see with it is now that private businesses can pour as much money as they want into their own campaign, the money would just go to a business who would pay for the campaign.

  2. I think that the vast majority of Americans are in favor of FULL DISCLOSURE. In other words, we want *authentic* transparency. ;-)


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