Let's Auction Off the Presidency-With the Winner Being the One That Raises the Most Campaign MoneySomervell County Salon-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass....Texas


 

Let's Auction Off the Presidency-With the Winner Being the One That Raises the Most Campaign Money
 


27 May 2007 at 6:21:59 PM
salon

Saw this in Texas Observer, May 18, 2007, in an article about the book "The Money Men: Capitalism, Democracy and the Hundred Years War Over the American Dollar" by Brands. I liked what Stevenson (who wrote the article, not the book) had to say:

Though I would like to do away with the Electoral College and let the people directly elect the president, my fear is that the system would be replaced with an auction, with the candidate raising the most campaign money emerging as chief executive.

Imagine a constitutional convention ("brought to you by Geico") resolving the following amemdment (Amendment XXVIII). "The president and vice president shall be chosen among those candidates who have demonstrated a proven ability to raise funds during the previous four years. The president shall be the candidate who has successfully raised the most money, net of bank loans, matching grants, and other internal transfers, including that of family trust funds. The vice president shall be chosen by the political action committee that has disguised the most donations as spontaneous, small gifts from its membership. In the event of a tie, an eight-hour telethon conducted live on the floor of the House of Representatives, will determine the winner."

I thought wistfully of the Electoral College- that gathering of wise men and women who ensure that democracy does not get out of hand- when the press seized on the Federal Election Commissions's first-quarter 2007 fundraising summary as though the presidential campaign was a variation on mutual fund results. Hillary Clinton raked in $26,041,107, confirming her bona fides as a candidate. Barack Obama and Mitt Romney proved their political wisdom by raising, respectively, $25,665,688 and $20,737,149. Other candidates chances and competencies were ranked according to cash flow. Those who could not even pull together $500,000, such as Dennis Kucinich and Tommy Thompson, were dismissed as unworthy. Why have an election if money means nothing?

I've been thinking about those comments along with "Government by the people".. but it is NOT government by the people if whole segments of society are left out as viable candidates simply because they are not among the rich.


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