By Don Harris - founder, Voucher Vendetta
December 1, 2015. Pompton Plaines, NJ. (ONN) Trump, Sanders, Lessig and Clinton are all talking about the problem of money in politics. None are proposing anything that will address the problem until after the 2016 elections. Sanders and Lessig seem to be counting on their election as President to frighten the legislators that are beholden to the Big Money contributors into passing meaningful Campaign Finance Reform (CFR) legislation sometime in 2017. It is possible, but not probable because the Big Money legislators will not fear their own re-election in 2018, 2020, etc.
Don Harris, founder of Voucher Vendetta
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There is a campaign financing approach that will instill the fear of losing their Congressional or Senate seat in the Big Money legislators that survive the 2016 elections because it is not hindered by the problem that plagues CFR legislation. The problem with CFR legislation is that you can't pass CFR legislation until you remove the legislators beholden to the Big Money contributors and you can't remove the Big Money legislators until you pass CFR legislation. And if you could pass any legislation it would take years and have no effect on the 2016 elections.
There is a campaign financing approach that can be effective in the 2016 elections because it can be implemented under current election law. There is no need to wait for CFR legislation or a constitutional amendment. All it requires is citizen participation. And the participation is minimal. Most citizens should be able to learn about this approach in under an hour and the registration takes only a few minutes so citizens do not have to become political zealots to participate.
Isn't it worth an hour of your time to get the Big Money out of our political system?
Voucher Vendetta is a Super PAC that I started with a few thousand dollars (Super PAC’s are surprisingly affordable). The basic idea is that citizens can register at www.vouchervendetta.org that in the 2016 elections they will only vote for candidates that finance their campaigns only with contributions from individuals in the aggregate amount of 200 dollars or less per election(200-primary,200-general).
When enough citizens are registered (about 20% nationally) it won't matter how much money the Big Money contributors contribute because that money will no longer be able to buy enough votes to win an election. Citizens will be able to register their commitment separately for President and Congress so citizens can participate in Voucher Vendetta for Congressional and Senatorial elections in 2016 while still supporting their candidate for president if that candidate does not make the commitment.
But if a Presidential candidate were to make this campaign financing commitment while calling for congressional and senatorial candidates as well as citizens to make this commitment it would make their campaign more about changing the whole system now rather than just changing the Presidency in 2016 and then trying to pass CFR legislation with the same basic Big Money Congress.
Bernie Sanders would be the most believable on this issue because he already gets the majority of his contributions from small contributors. It would also help him with citizens concerned about him being a socialist because this campaign financing approach is based on the free-market principle of supply and demand. Wouldn't it be fun to watch Sen. Sanders’ conservative critics and competitors trying to criticize Sen. Sanders for supporting their free-market principles?
Citizens would vote for "hundred dollar candidates" if they knew others were also voting for those candidates. The website will allow citizens to see that others are participating by displaying the total number of participants on the national level, state level and for each congressional district. It will also display the percentage of participants for each category in relation to registered voters so hundred dollar candidates can target districts where enough citizens are participating for a hundred dollar candidate to be competitive.
The website will provide a list of hundred dollar candidates so citizens without a hundred dollar candidate in their district in 2016 can contribute to hundred dollar candidates in other districts. If those candidates are successful in 2016 then more citizens will participate in 2018 and future elections resulting in more districts with hundred dollar candidates in those future elections.
There is still time to achieve 10-20% national participation by January 2016. Then we can take on the Big Money candidates from both current major parties with hundred dollar candidates in the 2016 primaries in much the same way that the Tea Party took on the Republicans in recent elections.
The Tea Party proved this can work with less than 20% national participation. I believe a much larger percentage of citizens want to vote for hundred dollar candidates than support the Tea Party platform of smaller government. Citizens would vote for these candidates if they knew other citizens were also voting for these candidates and the website enables them to see that others are participating.
10% of the approximately 130 million 2016 voters investing 100 dollars in political contributions would total 1.3 billion dollars. But this money will not be sent to Voucher Vendetta. It will be sent directly from participants to candidates so the participants control how their money is spent. Most other organizations want citizens to send their money to the organization and have the organization spend it for the citizens.
And with 20% national participation in 2016 there will be 20-50 Congressional and Senatorial elections with competitive hundred dollar candidates. That's an average of at least 25 million per campaign (50 campaigns into 1.3 billion dollars). Citizens that are mad as hell and don't want to take it anymore can take a few minutes to visit the website and learn more about how this approach will destroy the gerrymandered districts that protect incumbents. It will also increase voter participation in the primaries and off year elections.
For more information, visit VoucherVendetta.org.
Thank you for your consideration.
Don Harris, founder - Voucher Vendetta
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