Hearts & Minds - Information for ChangeSM

Campaign Finance Reform

It takes some effort to make democracy work, but it is worth it!

Who Has the Power?
       It is a basic fact and a powerful one: We live in a democracy (however imperfect) and we have the power to change. We can elect those who support positive change and vote out those who do not.

       There are many important issues. Campaign finance reform is one of them. It could make the whole "system" much more responsive because:

  • Political advertising has become a sophisticated (and somewhat slick) science for swaying opinion. It is often based on superficial, 60-second sound bites -- not the full range of a candidate's achievements, integrity, and courage to support our best long-term interests.

  • We face complex challenges in our communities and society. Simplistic answers are not enough.

  • Money can buy a barrage of manipulative advertising.

  • Candidates with less money are swamped by those with more. That is one reason it is been said, "By the time you get elected, you no longer deserve it."

  • A growing need for funds to finance increasingly expensive campaigns makes our elected representatives beholden to those with the cash. As Public Campaign recently wrote:

By constantly chasing big contributors and repaying their special  favors, Congress repeatedly shortchanges the ordinary citizen. And good  people who do not have big money, or access to it, do not have a fair chance to run for office and win.

       We can change all this. Tell your representatives to support effective reforms. They work for you. They will pass strong reform when the public demands it.

Additionally, we can require:

  • more debates

  • ongoing dialogue between candidates on nightly news before the election

  • easy access to complete records of:
    - where candidates' money comes from
    - how incumbents voted -- and the pork they allowed attached

       This is government by and for the people. "The system" is our responsibility. We get the government we deserve, but it is easy to support change. This applies to both campaign finance and all the other issues we find important.

       Our entire government will be more responsive when elected officials have stronger incentives to address the issues.

       The amount of change we can make is nearly unlimited if we use our power. Let's do it!

by BILL BLACKMAN, president of Hearts and Minds. His bio is with governing board members.

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This web page and entire website Copyright: 1997 - 2015 by Hearts and Minds Network, Inc. http://www.heartsandminds.org/articles/campfnrf.htm - latest text changes April 20, 2006.

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