Monday, May 12, 2008

Election Burnout

Anyone else feeling afflicted with what my friend Paul calls TMI on the election front? I used to be an avid Chris Matthews/Keith Olbermann fan. Now I can hardly bear to watch them. I’ve had it with the mud-slinging and the gun-slinging. Let’s have the election already!

It’s not going to happen that way though. No matter how much I want it to.

I went online to research how much money has been spent in the 2008 Presidential race to date. Any guesses?

In January 2007, Federal Election Commission Chairman Michael Toner estimated that the 2008 race will be a $1 billion election.

A billion dollars. A billion.

Gee, what do you think we might have done with a billion dollars rather than spend it on persuasion?

I don’t begin to pretend to understand how elections are funded. There are complicated formulae. But I do know that I receive emails asking me to contribute to candidates, parties, and special interest groups daily. I’ve taken to adding them to my blocked senders list as I can’t seem to get them to take me off their lists by personal request.

Here’s an outrageous idea:

What if the candidates were allowed to spend one dollar per registered voter in the United States collectively?

According to the latest statistics, there are 2.8 million registered voters.

That would leave 7.2 million dollars for . . .

Health care
Job retraining and greening
Alternative energy programs
Medical research
Education initiatives

I could spend 7.2 million dollars on a ton of things outside of elections, couldn’t you?

It’s time to insist upon radical campaign finance reform.

1 comment:

Scott Bonnell said...

Great point... 1 billion...