REDNECK PERSPECTIVE: Campaign finance for the people

By on September 10, 2014

Jackson Hole, Wyoming – Jackson Hole News&Guide recently reported that a couple living in Wilson (where else!) won a court battle that removed the $25,000 cap on political donations to Wyoming politicians.

Their lawyer and others involved in the case were quoted in the article: “Politics is a dirty business,” and “Money is a fundamental element of speech,” and “People can go far too far with this ‘appearance of corruption’ thing,” and “campaign finance reformers shouldn’t attempt to legislate fair elections.” If I ever get busted for selling crack to kindergartners, these are the guys I want defending me.

While citizens everywhere lament the lack of cash in our political system, many question how political kickbacks are used. In the old days, when you bought off politicians they used the money to keep their mistress happy. You got your contract, and citizens got airwaves unpolluted by political ads each election season.

That’s all changed since bribery has become legal. Now local campaign money is spent on bumper stickers (because Teton County has a shortage of cars with stickers proclaiming the political leaning of the occupant) and mistresses are employed as campaign staffers.

There is disillusion at the low voter turnout in the recent primary. Is there any wonder? Why should we do all the voting and PR firms get all the money? In Jackson’s mayoral primary race, candidate Sara Flitner spent $19,311, at a cost of $32.57 per vote. Not one red cent was paid to the hard working voters who did the dirty work of voting!

My new campaign finance law, that I fully expect the county and town to pass, will alleviate this untenable ordeal while increasing voter turnout and civic political involvement.

I propose allowing candidates to raise unlimited funds and on Election Day the totals will be posted by the polls. The cash raised will be split between the candidate’s voters. While some say this would give those who have the most cash an advantage, it is not necessarily so. For instance, say there are 10,000 voters and Candidate A raised $50,000 while candidate B raised only $20,000. Plainly most people would vote for Candidate A because of the perceived bigger payday, but investors with a more speculative lean would go for B, knowing few would vote for one with so little cash to offer. So if 9,000 voters went for A they would each receive $5.55 but the 1,000 voters who went with B would each receive $20!

As this method of voting for the candidate with the least dollars gains traction, it would not be beyond possibile that the candidate with the least may win a majority from time to time, burning investors perhaps, but keeping to the American ideal that money is not what decides elections.

If passed, the new campaign finance law will eliminate political ads while still allowing politicians the occasional mistress, and most importantly, deliver campaign funds to the people who do the actual voting, validating the American spirit of capitalism, free enterprise and integrity.

About Clyde Thornhill

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