Propose Amendments to the Constitution All the ideas and discussions
60 votes Vote

public campaign finance

Only public money shall pay for candidates. After their parties nominate them, six months before the election, each candidate shall each be an equivalent amount of money to be specified by Congress, and they may only spend that amount on their respective campaigns. No other monies, public or private, may be used to support the candidates or further their campaigns.

James Salsman , 12.12.2011, 09:10
Idea status: under consideration


James Salsman, 12.12.2011, 09:12
"...each candidate shall each be GIVEN an equivalent amount of money...."

Sorry for the omission.
James Salsman, 12.12.2011, 12:23
This clears up some more typos and an ambiguity:

"After their parties nominate them, six months before the election, each candidate from the top two parties by primary election votes cast shall be given an equivalent amount of money to be specified by Congress, and they may only spend that amount on their campaigns. No other monies, public or private, may be used to support the candidates or further their campaigns."
edward machnik, 18.12.2011, 21:44
This is a feel good Amendment. We don't want to give Congress any more Power that what is given them currently. Money has been judged by the courts to be FREE SPEECH. I would not in any way want to limit it.

Campaign money helps the economy by allowing the TV networks to charge outrageous fees for air time.
fabianmockian, 11.01.2012, 16:22
Just a few suggestions to add to your idea:

Campaign Reform: Since campaign contribution are perceived to have too great of an influence over legislation (if only in the sense that legislators cannot perform their public duties due to the excessive time requirements of raising campaign contributions), there should be the inception of legislation does one or more of the following:

1) Limit campaign contributions by limiting how much can be spent.
2) All spending should be documented and any suspect spending should be fined and all parties involved should have to pay fines that match or exceed the contribution and offending parties should not be allowed to contribute or partake in any political activities for a set period of time.
a. There will have to be requirements for advertisers, so a company isn’t simply created for the express purpose of manipulating the rules of whatever legislation comes about through this idea.
b. All individuals will be held accountable for the actions of any company breaking the rules that govern this requirement. They will be fined for any time they spend on activities that are deemed to circumvent the law. And, if no one is willing to be held accountable, the entire staff will be held accountable: This will prompt reporting of any illicit activity.
3) Eliminate SuperPacs
4) Require all contributions to be allocated to the parties only, no direct contributions that can be attributed to any company or individual.
5) Eliminate “Citizens United”
6) Facilitate the inception of a viable third party that will be designed and voted upon by a popular vote.
7) Work towards eliminating the requirement of favors by any corporate or private entity: Take away the reason for lobbyist to court the politicians and you take away their influence.
sundayschild55, 18.01.2012, 05:17
A great start for campaign finance reform. Take it a step further with the same rules on which other federal employees work, that of accepting "gifts" from others. No elected official or member of that officials family may receive money, stocks, bonds, real property from any party which might be construed to be an attempt to influence that elected or unelected official to decide a case, write a bill or unfairly benefit any company, organization, party or individual over others in either a business setting or in personal dealings. Further no official shall be permitted to use the office to enrich themselves through knowledge gained by holding such office. Should such occur that official if convicted will be fined an amount at least double of the value of such gain and removed from office with no benefit earned to retirement under social security, or other federal retirement system.

Also, each year an audit of all assets, gifts and gains shall be conducted by the office established to monitor such to ensure that no official has benefited in any way beyond the salary for the office.
GabeDowney, 20.01.2012, 16:07
I am 100% behind this concept and the well articulated comments that followed it. To me, the separation point that sets this idea apart from the others is its concreteness. We have all witnessed how moneyed influences take any opportunity to exploit a situation. Therefore, the only remaining recourse is to wholly ban private money from the electoral process, leaving no room for loopholes and end-arounds.

Fabianmockian's comment above did mention the important question of allocation. I would propose that every federal election (Presidential and off-year elections) contain the following question: "which of the following parties should receive public funding in the next election." This would prevent the existing two parties from becoming permanently entrenched under this new plan, and allow for expansion or contraction of political parties and thus the quantities of candidates via popular vote. In my view, any party receiving 25% of the vote would receive full and equal funding for any federal candidates they chose to run in all states.

That plan does have the unfortunate side-effect of effectively forcing each candidate to align with a party, but as this is almost universal now, I feel that the benefits of this broader idea would greatly outweigh the drawbacks.

Leave a comment