Until we control our elections for public office we have no control over the people who are supposed to be representing our best interests. Who controls the purse strings controls the government. Right now big business and wealthy businessmen and women control the purse strings of our elections, Republican and Democratic Party leadership, and the elected legislators through lobbying efforts and campaign donations.
I support the Fair Elections Now Act sponsored by Change Congress, a non-partisan advocacy organization whose sole purpose is to protect the independence of Congress by fighting the influence of money in politics. Learn more online at fixcongressfirst.org.
My first order of business as a congressman elect will be to author a bill would make all Federal and Presidential elections publicly funded. Some but not limited to these
* In 2008 155 million tax returns were filed
* Insert an opt out box for $8.00 to go towards funding our campaigns
* This would set aside 4,960,000,000 billion aside for funding of campaigns over a 4 year period
* Progressive campaign caps for each office
* Figure out dollar value per constituent in each district and apply them to figure out the progressive cap for each office
* Set amount of given candidate free advertising for FCC licensing. Each candidate that meets signature and candidacy requirements receives x amount of advertising on prime time.
Results will be candidates have a set amount to convince a plurality of voters that they are the best candidates for the job. They can either choose to run on issues and ideas or smear. I have faith in Americans to overwhelmingly vote in favor of the candidate with the best idea's and issues over the mudslinging.
Fun Fact: Over$5.2 billon was spent during the 2008 Federal Election Cycle, the highest spending in an election cycle in US history almost double over what was spent in 2004.
Public Financing will also reduce the cost of elections and allow a diverse set of candidates and ideas to be heard instead of the two major parties who are funded through the same big money interests.
Instant Runoff Voting
If we want to complete the resurrection of citizen controlled elections and assure our elected representatives are legislating in our best interests; Instant Runoff Voting, or IRV, would be the next step after public financing of campaigns.
How does it work?
Voters rank candidates in order of choice: 1, 2, 3 and so on. It takes a majority to win. If a majority of voters rank a candidate first, that candidate is elected. If not, the last place candidate is defeated, just as in a runoff election, and all ballots are counted again, but this time each ballot cast for the defeated candidate counts for the next ranked candidate listed on the ballot. The process of eliminating the last place candidate and recounting the ballots continues until one candidate receives a majority of the vote. Many jurisdictions do this with a hand count, but with modern voting equipment, all of the counting and recounting can take place rapidly and automatically.
More information about Instant Runoff Voting is available online at instantrunoff.com.
Current supporters of Instant Runoff Voting include:
League of Women Voters State Organizations
Arizona, California, Florida, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, South Carolina, Vermont, and Washington
State Political Parties
Alaskan Republicans, Californian Democratic, Colorado Democratic, Maine Democratic, Minnesota Independence, Utah Republican,
San Francisco CA, Minneapolis MN, Memphis TN, Sante Fe NM, Burlington VT, Oakland CA, Berkeley CA, Sarasota FL, San Leandro CA, Aspen CO, Telluride CO, and more
Counting of the Vote
We need the counting of the vote to never leave the control of the government. Counting the vote is controlled at the state level in non-partisan Secretary of State office.
Blackbox and private electronic voting has proven time and time again to be very flawed and easily hacked into with virtually no paper trail to confirm vote count or discrepancies.
Learn more about privately owned voting machines and problems associated with
their use at www.blackboxvoting.org.