What changes would you like to see in campaign finance laws?

There’s been a great deal of concern this campaign season about super PACs, which have changed the political landscape with their unlimited spending for and against candidates. There is talk of a constitutional amendment to allow greater regulation of such groups. What changes would you like to see in campaign finance laws?

  • Clark

    Outlaw all donations by public unions to impact elections thereby electing democracts who continue to rape and pillage private sector taxpayers and then I would agree to move toward public financing of elections. Otherwise, let the battle continue between freedom and no freedom.

  • Hiram

    I wold like to see the elimination of superpacs and outside funding. And I don’t think you need a change in law to do that. I think the candidates themselves can go a long way toward discouraging these groups.

  • Clerk

    Despite claims to the contrary, those of us who object to this have no problem with freedom of speech. It’s the giant mufti-million-dollar megaphones, and the narrowly-distributed collections of green-tinted Presidential portraits, to which we object.

  • reggie

    If we wanted to go out-of-the-box, how about levying a fine every time a candidate voices a factually inaccurate statement, with double, triple, etc. penalties for repeating them? That would quickly bankrupt several of the recent and current Republican candidates.

    More likely, in the interminable pre-campaign period we’re watching now, let the big money flow. Real-time disclosure of donors would be useful in knowing who is behind whom or what, but if some one-percenter and his wife each want to flush $5 million down the Newt, as the Adelsons did, that’s their right.

    Once a candidate officially files to run for office, though, it’s a different game. He or she should be limited to public funding. We should require real-time disclosure of the funding source(s) of all advocacy or campaign-related advertising by PACs, SuperPACs, or whatever form they will next take to manipulate the system.

  • Luke

    Take money out of the equation altogether: free, fair, PUBLICLY FUNDED ELECTIONS. NOW.

  • Richard

    (sarcasm mode:ON)

    I guess we DON’T have “the best government that money can buy.”

    (sarcasm mode:OFF)

    Regards

  • Bear
  • Mike Allen

    Public financing.

  • Bette

    It’s K street and their lobbyists that concern me. Campaign finance, not-so-much…

  • Steve the Cynic

    It doesn’t matter what the campaign finance laws are. Big money interests will find a way to use their money to distort the political process in their favor. Money is like water, and trying to control political money with laws is like trying to hold back a flood with a chain-link fence. The real solution is for voters to learn how to think critically so they’re not swayed by the specious rhetoric all that big money pays for. I’m not holding my breath for that. (And, Clark, fair’s fair. If corporations can spend money to sway elections, unions should be able to, too. Unless, that is, you’re opposed to letting workers have the freedom to cooperate for their common interests.)

  • Rich in Duluth

    Change the laws so that national campaigns are publically financed and network TV, radio, and other mass news outlets are required to broadcast debates and provide free air time for some equal number of speeches by the candidates.

    Local campaigns should be financed by real people, living in the candidate’s district. The amount of money allowed to be contributed by these individuals should be limited. If local people want to get together in a PAC to promote a candidate, fine, but money should be limited by the number of members in the PAC.

  • david

    Maybe we should scrap the whole system and just go back to having a king. The corporations can still buy favors from a king, but we won’t have to listen to these politicians lie every couple of years.

    If we can’t get on board for a monarchy, how about NO donations unless the actual politician literally passes a hat in public, and they have to claim every last cent as personal income on their taxes. And NO campaigning, caucuses, primaries, etc until 3 months before the actual election. I’m sick and tired of christmas starting in the middle of summer, and I’m extremely sick of elections starting a year before hand. Incumbents need to be working, not campaigning.

  • John P.

    Publicly funded and short. Limited to a month of debates and only the public money. Unfortunately it would take a constitutional amendment to make it stick.

  • GregX

    First – Human beings, who are legally able to vote in a specific election, may only donate to political candidates that they are legally able to vote for.

    Second – Non-individual-human-entities “NIHE” (Corporations, Unions, Non-Porfits, Super-PACS, PACS, etc.) may only donate to candidates running for elections in the ward,district, county, state in which the NIHE is incorporated and has a physical, legal and culpable liability for their actions.

    Third – Donations to any political activity are no longer tax deductitlbe. Not lobbying, not general donations to PAC’s not specific donations to candidates. None of it.

    Fourth – No political money of any nature (donations to candidates or NIHE’s) may be spent, transferred, shared, returned, or otherwise manipualted UNTIL the recipient has posted the name of the donor, the amount, the method of receipt ( CASH, Credit Card, other) , date of receipt for a period that allows 48 hours of direct review and download in a common, singular and non-proprietary format, by any person or entity. The 48 hours refers to the actual amount of time that the data is live and present for review – any period of time that the data is unavailable – extends the 48 hour time period.

    Fifth – Every single political media message (internet web-site, TV, print, Radio, flyer, tweet, facebook post, etal) MUST include the name of a specific individual who: (a) a US citizen (b) will be individually and legally responsible for the accuracy and content of the message – incuding the payment of fines, prison terms, loss of licensure or any other penalties (3) will be personally accessible within twenty four hours of requests for validation of the content of the message.

    for a start …

  • Sue de Nim

    Changing the laws will only trade one set of problems for another. Here’s my suggestion.

    Some non-profit organization, such as MPR, should have a “Voter Guide” web page where any candidate for any office in the state can post a statement of no more than 5,000 ASCII characters and one photo of 640X480 pixels (VGA resolution). All the statements must be submitted by a certain deadline, none will be posted until after the deadline, and no changes will be allowed after the deadline (i.e., no rebuttals).

  • JasonB

    I’m somewhat ambivalent about the issue. Because ultimately this is about controlling spending on information delivery then the voter still has the freedom to decide and choose on their own. Concern should only exist if you believe people do not have the good sense to take political ads for what they often are – a negatively biased advertisement.

    It comes down to the responsibility of the voter. The question calls to mind the broader topic: do we need more laws to protect us from ourselves? You’ll find your answer depending on your level of cynicism towards humanity’s collective intelligence.

  • Gary F

    You are naive if you think that we can control campaign spending. Even more naive if you think public funding is the answer.

    FULL AND COMPLETE DISCLOSURE!

    You must post any campaign contribution over a certain amount (lets say for example $500) on the internet for certain amount of time(lets say 3 days), then you can cash the check after that. You must also list your complete organization name, board of directors, and tax filing status, etc.

    BOTH sides of the political spectrum will have time to research your donations and expose it to the world.

    I don’t care who you get your money from, I just want to know who’s giving it to you.

    You wouldn’t be able to hide under names like “Alliance for a Better Minnesota” or “People for the American Way”, etc. Both sides think of warm fuzzy feeling names, those were just examples.

  • Scott Slocum

    Limited to public financing and supported by a public information system.

  • Mary

    My campaign fantasy reform is to go back to public financing only and the ads would be about the candidates themselves not negative stuff about their opponents.

  • lawrence

    Here lies the big problem with campaign finance reform – advertisers CHARGE politicians for all ads; and the ads are not cheap. On some level, you have to pay up in order to get your message out, and because there are so many people living today, and so many different ways each person interprets or receives communication, candidates have to use a variety of mediums, costly mediums, to get their message out. The utopian solution is make ALL campaign ads illegal, but show more debates on television, radio, and you tube. Not only does each candidate have a fair shot at being elected, but the big corporations imprint on the candidates is lessened.

  • Steve the Cynic

    JasonB, it’s not that we need laws to protect us from ourselves. We need them to protect us from each other. When someone else’s greed, malice or stupidity can negatively affect me, I need the law to protect me.

  • John

    Individuals only, and limited to no more than $1000 per individual. NO corporate or Lobby groups!

  • Gary F

    “Individuals only, and limited to no more than $1000 per individual. NO corporate or Lobby groups!”

    AND LABOR UNIONS!

  • James

    I 100% agree with GregX @ 9:45 AM

  • Anna123

    Another 100% agreement with GregX

  • Steve the Cynic

    GregX has some nice ideas, but his proposal won’t work. First, no such reform will pass Congress, because those folks like the system they were elected under. Second, no matter what the law is, someone will find a way to game the system. Every campaign finance reform in history has resulted in the discovery of new loopholes. (Also, political contributions are already non-deductible.)

  • Dennis L. Wagner

    We appear to be at the point where we will get the worst government money can buy “Bought by the rich and for the rich” All men are no longer created equal, and do not have inalienable rights”

    Billions for elections, nothing for common sense!

  • Meg

    A constitutional amendment to the effect that elections are to be funded by the people and for the people. Define “person” in this clause as a single biological person, not a “group” of people.

  • Raymond Gorski

    Make it a law that all contributions have to be

    made public within 48 hours. With the name,

    address and phone number provided. That no matter if it is non-profit or not the information

    must be provided. There is a conservative group

    which is funneling their money into non-profit

    entities so they don’t have to disclose who they

    are. This must be for all groups.

  • Steve the Cynic

    Here’s another idea. Require all political ads to end with this:

    “Political messages are exempt from truth-in-advertizing laws.”

  • I would make it illegal for television and radio stations to profit from political ad revenues. No matter who ends up in the White House, the big winners in any political season are the media outlets.

    There should be one hour per day set aside by law; say from six to seven. Each party can air 20 minutes of ads, followed by ten minutes of fact-checking from a credible organization. If an outlet wants to show an ad as part of a news story, that time gets deducted from their half-hour.