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home : opinions : opinions November 24, 2015

12/4/2012 10:20:00 PM
Letter: Let's get the money out of politics


Now that the campaign season is over, we can finally get a break from all those awful ads. Most people know those ads and the huge sums of money that paid for them were unleashed by the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision.

But did you know we're now one quarter of the way to reversing that decision by amending the U.S. Constitution? As of Nov. 6, we are.

To cut to the chase, campaigns should be publicly funded, focusing mainly on televised debates, each candidate receiving the same amount of money/air time.

Furthermore, the Electoral College has outlived its usefulness. Each state has two senatorial seats, which is sufficient to ensure that all states, no matter how sparsely populated, have a voice in national issues. Doing away with the Electoral College would ensure that the candidate with the most popular votes wins, and would put a stop to a candidate winning the popular vote, but not the electoral vote, and thus losing the presidency as happened with Al Gore.

Let's restore sanity to the election process and prevent corporations from influencing (buying) outcomes, by overturning the Citizens United decision.

Even though candidates claim they are not swayed by their campaign contributors, on a deeper level they know how they got elected and want to get re-elected.

We need to get the money out of politics period - no halfway measures.

Imagine how much good those millions spent on distasteful advertising could have accomplished, instead of annoying us for endless months.

Christine Ashley

Prescott Valley

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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, December 06, 2012
Article comment by: Learing to Read

@ Stop spending
Crash the economy with supply side conservative economic policy (and criminal enterprises), and the cost of social services rises in proportion to the unemployment rate. Duh!

It is not without notice that cause and effect is absent in your analysis. And that spending and deficits became the most important issue for party, and just about the same time that Obama was elected. But then again, what do expect of the party that is owned and controlled by a handful billionaires, Adelson, Koch and Murdock to name the few.

Posted: Thursday, December 06, 2012
Article comment by: Thomas Jefferson

"James Madison" is lying or naive as always. The real, actual James Madison preferred direct election of the president. James Wilson agreed with Madison on this point. It is well documented in the notes from the Constitutional Convention. I doubt the deranged "James Madison" has ever read them. Especially because there is no paraphrased, twisted Glenn Beck version of them.

Posted: Thursday, December 06, 2012
Article comment by: STOP THE CRAZY SPENDING

@Tom Von Deck-add the prices of gas and utilities under Obama to the high percentage of food stamp recipients and, guess what, you are wrong. He has added to the deficit more in his four year reign than any other president in our history.

Posted: Wednesday, December 05, 2012
Article comment by: @Greed n' Money

Mr. Adelson would not be entitled to the proceeds of his criminal actions. He's to old to put on life support in a Federal prison. A plea deal could take a good chunk out of the National debt

On the other hand, the guy's got the money to buy ever lawyer and judge in the country. Depends on whose been beholding to him lately and willing to risk being fried along with Sheldon's bacon...er fillet.

Posted: Wednesday, December 05, 2012
Article comment by: Hooty Hoo

Money did McCain in. He was horrible. Money did Gore in, and he was worse than horrible. Money was pretty even this year, and a horrible man won. Money should be even. And they shouldn't get to yap until September. The good news is that Obama wasn't on the job for about 6 months so he couldn't screw much up. He did his best.

Posted: Wednesday, December 05, 2012
Article comment by: Stealth Bummer

I wonder if Christine believes that no corporations are owned and run by Democrats. Does she believe that Democrats don't have extremely wealthy supporters who can and do contribute and advertise for them? Does Christine really believe that the bad rich people who have supposedly tried to take advantage of the middle class and poor are not Democrats? Does Christine think the Unions, and there are many of them, don't put massive money into the elections while influencing their workers in just barely legal manners? I don't think Christine knows much more than what is fed to her by the propagandist media.

Posted: Wednesday, December 05, 2012
Article comment by: Tom Von Deck

@One Good Result: 2% of the budget goes to food stamps. I've seen another figure of 1% floating around. The vast majority of that goes to working people who are well below the poverty line. About 15% goes to lower middle class families. Obama never tripled anything. It went up 70%. With or without him, it would have increased. Recessions make many people poorer, and these people apply for assistance to keep from losing their homes. It's a mandatory spending program that is based on eligibility rules rather than decisions made by congress or the president. No one waved a magic wand to cause them to happen.

Posted: Wednesday, December 05, 2012
Article comment by: Politics IS Money

Unfortunately, all politicians are rich and money is their "drive". Obama has been in a campaign mode since 2008 and still is, someone needs to tell him he was re-elected and to get to work!

Posted: Wednesday, December 05, 2012
Article comment by: Hooty Hoo

Take the money out of politics and there's no politics. Politics and money are inseperable. We just hear more about it is the only difference. Take the money out of the NFL and there's no football. Take the money out of healthcare and you get England. Wait, we may want to try that approach!

Posted: Wednesday, December 05, 2012
Article comment by: One Good Result

would be that Al Gore didn't win! Obama received millions from his "rich, white male Democrats", like Buffet, Soros, Gates, unions and foreign finances. Too bad it didn't go to pay down "his" tripled deficit or towards the food stamps that have tripled since he's been in office.

Posted: Wednesday, December 05, 2012
Article comment by: Make No Changes At All

Look at it this way, the republicans dumped another billion dollars into the economy, and got nothing for it. It's a win-win. If they weren't using the money for the election, it would have stayed in their off-shore accounts.

Posted: Wednesday, December 05, 2012
Article comment by: Tom Von Deck

@Tom Steele: Limiting campaigning to six weeks might be nice. However, because Citizens United is a free speech issue, they could easily strike down any such legislation. So, it comes down to either a constitutional amendment, most of which never happen, or grovel with the judges who made that decision in the first place. Campaign reform seems like a long shot right now.

Posted: Wednesday, December 05, 2012
Article comment by: Barnaby Wild

Hopefully, President Obama will nominate Christine Ashley for the Supreme Court which will swing the balance in favor of striking down the CItizens United ruling before the next election.

Posted: Wednesday, December 05, 2012
Article comment by: Greed and Money Out of Politics

Sheldon Adelson, you remember, the multi-billionaire casino magnate who vowed to spend as much money as needed to defeat President Obama and buy Republican control of the congress? For a casino owner, he is not very good at picking winners! He is currently in Washington DC cashing in his chips! Can you spell Quid Pro Quo? How many chips did he buy using Karl Rove's-funded Crossroads GPS and Koch brothers Super Pacs? ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY MILLION DOLLARS!!! What influence did he want to buy? It seems that there are a couple of federal investigations regarding massive money laundering and other illegal activities are involved that he would like to have the government investigators take a pass on these little items! That is just the beginning! Stay tuned and keep alert regarding this one. Get all money out of politics the sooner the better.

Posted: Wednesday, December 05, 2012
Article comment by: Tom Bowden

Why is it every time I read one of these letters it is always obvious the writer is sure what they are proposing will help "their" side? I would argue, for instanc,e what Arizona whould worry about first is getting a fair redistricting process. Keeping the blatantly dishonesty we saw last time out of that process should be our first goal.

Posted: Wednesday, December 05, 2012
Article comment by: James Madison

Christine: Please read The Federalist, which contains the writings of Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and the real James Madison. There is a reason for the Electoral College. It's so 5 or 6 very powerful, highly populated states can't control the whole country with a "popular" vote. That's why we have a 'representative Republic', and not a 'majority vote democracy'.

A pure democracy is majority rule. Under majority rule, if the majority said kill the minority, it would be law. It is as bad as a dictatorship.

Don't be swayed by the ideologies of the Prescott College crowd and the Marxists. The want the E.C. abolished so they can incited the "mob" vote. It's a scam.

Posted: Wednesday, December 05, 2012
Article comment by: Tongue-in-Cheek .

As long as the Unions and Green Energy investors are not restricted on contributions, only Corporations then Christine will find the system fair and balanced. Without Electoral College we could save a lot of time and money, because then only Los Angeles, New York and Chicago would need to vote, because their populations would overshadow the rest of the country anyway. According to Christine, our founding fathers were nincompoops and of course we all know that the new enlightened generation knows better.

Posted: Wednesday, December 05, 2012
Article comment by: David Kerr

In the 1970s, liberals had a near monopoly. They won control of university education and journalism departments, television and newspapers. Talk radio and Fox broke the monopoly, but liberals harshly seek to restrict if not outright censor them.
Liberal commenters dismiss facts reported in the WSJ, Forbes, or publications aimed at investors as propaganda from the publisher.
Paid advertising, whether by the unions or conservative groups give a more level playing field, although, like anything else in human behavior, nothing is perfect.

Posted: Wednesday, December 05, 2012
Article comment by: Kathy Svendsen

Christine, I agree with everything you say about getting money out of politics and eliminating the electoral college, and like the straightforward way you express yourself. There is question about your remark that we are a quarter of the way to getting the Citizens United decision reversed. The last I heard, only 11 states had passed a resolution, and it still has to be voted on by Congress. To get an amendment passed, there has to be 2/3 or the states on board, and 3/4 of both houses of Congress approving, or vice versa. We're a long way off, but I like the idea we might be that close.

Posted: Wednesday, December 05, 2012
Article comment by: Tom Steele

Ms. Ashley, you need to read the U S Constitution and what the Founding Fathers said about the Electoral College. As for your "general" comments about money you are correct and everyone would agree. However your specific comments refer to a liberals view of the Citizens United case where it was determined on free speech grounds. How about legislation limiting the campaign period to six weeks? Now that is doable if the politicians in Washington can make it happen.

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