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08:16 AM on 01/05/2012
Fact - People only work for those that pay them.
"Government of the people, by the people and for the people" is only possible if all the "people" pay for campaigns equally.
One person, one vote, one dollar.
True representation will follow and real debate will lead it.
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FirstGame72
The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters
08:04 AM on 01/05/2012
I'm not sure I'm understanding this. Are voting Americans actually responsible for their votes or not? And who decides how much or how little each individual is responsible for their own vote?
George Picard
Send lawyers, guns and money
07:50 AM on 01/05/2012
When I read stuff like this I laugh about how President Obama wont take public money and would rather raise a billion dollars.

Obama is a real do as I say not as I do kind of guy.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
Robert Frank
My last name is FRANK so thats what I am..
11:30 AM on 01/05/2012
very few (if any) politicians are free of the corrupting influence of money...and that's the problem..its not any individual politician its most all of them
06:37 AM on 01/05/2012
" how huge amounts of money are used to not only fund negative attack ads and to the determine to winner of the political process,"

Huh? The guy with all the money (Romney) tied with the guy with no money (Santorum) and only barely beat the guy with a bit of money (Paul). Or are you talking about the Obama victory, since he has all the money on the Democrat side?
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fiLthyLiberaLdotcom
Yes, it's a website for liberals.
07:49 AM on 01/05/2012
Santorum - no money? What color is the sky in your world?
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
LFox6
Always remember you are unique, like everyone else
02:35 PM on 01/05/2012
Hilarious and TOO true!
05:47 AM on 01/05/2012
The world is typically run by dictators, family connections, banks, and ruling classes.

If one wants a democratic national government with unlimited power one must accept that large commercial, political, social, political factions will form to advance their interests.

AT least in this country everyone has the freedom and opportunity band together in pacs, social and political parties, fund them, hire advocates and join the fray. If they don't want to compete in the political process, perhaps they should reassess their views of big government.

Indeed our freedom to band together isn't feasible, much less thought of in the so called Parliamentary Democracies, where citizens are governed by elitist ruling classes, unconstrained by Constitutional protections, who can tell them what to say or not say, what to wear, censor and ban movies and books without compunction, and even hold secret trials.

Our country is far from perfect and we've made many grave errors, but, every two years it is subject to the will of the people, as happened in 2006 when George Bush was forced to fire the secretary of defense, Rumsfeld. Our Canadian and European friends don't have "frequent election" weapon.

This is a big country. Many people want big government. Big government takes big money. Big money comes only from the monied class, the economically successful, or organizations formed and funded by citizens who are willing, as for instance the members of the AARP to put their time, effort and money where their freedom of speech is.
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fiLthyLiberaLdotcom
Yes, it's a website for liberals.
07:54 AM on 01/05/2012
Terms like "big" and "small" don't mean anything unless used in comparison with something else. They are subjective terms. Yes we have a "big" country. We need a government that is large enough to get things done ("big" enough, if you like that). Right now our gov. is lopsided - too big when it concerns our personal freedoms (who to marry, how to take care of ones own body, the ability to afford health insurance, etc) while far to small in other ares (monitoring major corporations, immigration, security at our ports, etc.). We need to rebalance. I frankly don't care how large it is as long as it gets the job done - right now it is NOT.
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Robert Frank
My last name is FRANK so thats what I am..
11:40 AM on 01/05/2012
too big is simply a catch-all term that means nothing...government should be efficient, fair, and work for the betterment of ALL its CITIZENS ..and if it takes many different branches of govt to do so be it...because like it or not many companies/corporations/businesses/individuals will NOT do what is best for all concerned and they also will NOT regulate themselves at the expense of the little guy which necessitates NOT that these entities will be policing themselves (which remember they sometimes will not do) but that somebody that is supposed to be impartial (govt) steps in and does the regulating/policing..so you see in a disneyland world where everyone and every company does the right thing every time and people are not hurt/ripped-off/killed all the time we wouldn't need govt for anything but this is the real world and humanity as a whole is still a bunch of immature, selfish, greedy children who will do whatever they please unless reigned in
08:07 AM on 01/06/2012
James Madison and the framers were realistic and understood human nature; that when presented with the opportunity to implement one's self interest or the general good, history showed that most people would opt for self advancement. Indeed, Madison made the famous statement Federalist. No. 51; "if men were angels, government's wouldn't be necessary.

In Federalist No. 10 he observed that the predilection for advancing one self interest always led to the formation of factions, which could if not countered by others, could and would combine to form an oligarchial dictatorship which if not countered by others would arrogate all power to themselves and destroy any democratic based system.

So we have a choice. We can put aside our self defined sanctimony about what ought or ought not be and embrace a government made up of people who enjoy and hold sacred their individual freedoms and are not afraid to compete, or kneel to some form of cultural dictatorship or oligarchy with the power to impose only collective rights, determined of course, not by you, not by me but by them.
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Steelsil
Warren/Grayson 2016! Yes We Can!
03:47 AM on 01/05/2012
The good news is that the Republicans don't like their candidates. That's why they have a shelf-life of about a week.
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10:39 AM on 01/05/2012
Just shows it isn't the personality it is who can be more influenced by Corporate America and will they play ball for them!
01:47 AM on 01/05/2012
He had me until he started talking about "income inequality". His position as one of the biggest moguls in the music industry makes his comment just a tad disingenuous...or maybe hypocritical would be a better choice. I would suggest that Mr. Simmons take a little more time to decide what he really wants to say before he puts it in front of the whole world. The best intentions can be derailed by an ill-conceived comment.
02:50 AM on 01/05/2012
Just because someone is rich does not make a belief in social justice inauthentic.
10:37 AM on 01/05/2012
Social justice is a fine and noble thing, and having money certainly does not exempt one from believing in it. "Income inequality" however, smacks of something else entirely; it's too much of a blanket statement, and one that could too easily be construed to mean something else entirely. Do you want to raise the minimum wage? Fine. Fund more programs to put people to work? Wonderful. Just say so, and don't assume that people will know that that was what you meant to begin with.
05:30 PM on 01/05/2012
He is 1 percent trying to infleunce public mind. How many Americans make his stuff that he sells?
04:38 AM on 01/05/2012
Actually, a rich person deriding the unfairness of income inequality is the opposite of disengenuous. If a poor person made that argument, you could say "you're just saying that because you don't have enough money to compete." If a rich person said the system was fine, you could say "you just feel that way because you're rich and can manipulate the system."

But, for a rich person to say that we should impose restrictions on fundraising and spending, he is speaking against his own interests and saying that in a fair fight, rich people like him would be restricted in how much they could press their advantage.

May I offer you your own advice... take a little mor time and think about what you want to say before putting it out in front of the whole world.
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01:06 AM on 01/05/2012
The charade is going down at the White House Mr. Simmons. How about starting here if you want to get the money out of politics.
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0711/58861.html
"Income inequality leads to economic injustice that undermines basic fairness and democracy."
What about cutting us a check for half of your stash Russell? You would still have $250 million left. You're hypocrisy is showing. Give me a break.
http://www.celebritynetworth.com/richest-celebrities/rappers/russell-simmons-net-worth/
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progressivestance84
The Right is Wrong.
02:09 AM on 01/05/2012
Russell doesn't owe you a dime freeloader.
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rkmerriman
08:38 AM on 01/05/2012
He doesn't want his money he is simply pointing the hypocrisy of Simmons. The number one money man in the whole election sham is barrack h. obama. Since he cannot run on his dismal record, all his millions goes to attack ads on anyone that offers the slightest challenge to his kingdom!
04:18 PM on 01/05/2012
And I don't owe an extra dime of my hard earned to the freeloaders that were in Zucotti Park.
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Kevin Rayburn
GET YOUR GOVERNMENT OUT OF MY LIVINGROOM
12:08 AM on 01/05/2012
why not ban all political ads and contributions, politicans are only allowed to campaign by themsleves and for themselves and are not allowed to mention their opponents name while speaking in public and all speaking apperances are one on one with the voters? at the very least my suggestion would keep these DC clowns too busy to screw anything else up.
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Robert Frank
My last name is FRANK so thats what I am..
11:44 AM on 01/05/2012
lying or half-truths, or twisting facts should be illegal for anyone running for or in any public office in this country..after all they are supposed to be applying for a job to work for US ( or working for US)
11:48 PM on 01/04/2012
Congress can do public financing by statute. But a constitutional would be ok. Where is your draft Russel, here's mine.

'Public financing shall be the exclusive means of financing elections
and Initiatives in the United States. Legislative bodies shall lay
uniform levies to finance elections and initiatives. Television and radio
licensees shall make candidate debates available in prime time
and give equal time to answer issue ads; as the appropriate
legislative body shall prescribe.'
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Carl Caroli
I just don't understand people
11:23 PM on 01/04/2012
Everybody in the country agrees with you except the people with the power and the money. We need that constitutional amendment.
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WaveRhydr
DIEBOLD-WE VOTE SO YOU DONT HAVE TO
10:43 PM on 01/04/2012
To the author: Fanned. Brilliant article.
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Hoosier451
10:40 PM on 01/04/2012
More like a failure of money than a victory. Santorum nearly won and he had barely spent any cash compared to the other candidates.
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Steelsil
Warren/Grayson 2016! Yes We Can!
03:49 AM on 01/05/2012
If you call @30k votes cast by people who pretty much despise all of the Republican candidates winning.
RedneckLiberal
Redneck is not synonymous with Conservative
08:08 AM on 01/05/2012
Except you have to look at who did spend money, what it was spent on and who was taking the brunt of the attack ads.

The other candidates have spent a fortune tearing apart the frontrunner and mostly ignoring Santorum since they didn't see him as a threat. It was sitll money spent against another candidate that helped shape the outcome. It just wasn't money specifically spent by the second place finisher.

So, it was still the money.
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tnlcallen
10:38 PM on 01/04/2012
I suspect that you don't get the irony of the fact that your ability to post here is because of your wealth. Not only are you a part of the 1%, you are most likely a part of the .001%
02:52 AM on 01/05/2012
Why are people against a rich guy who believes in social justice?
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Robert Frank
My last name is FRANK so thats what I am..
11:47 AM on 01/05/2012
so because he has a lot of money that means his opinion doesn't matter? on the contrary its because he has a lot of money and is speaking out against its corrupting influence that makes his opinion all that more powerful...and if you don't see that then you are either naive, blind or buy into right-wing lies
04:22 PM on 01/05/2012
The capitalist economy we have is what allowed Mr. Simmons to rise to such extreme wealth. The reason people call foul about his commentary is not soley because he's wealthy but because he does not practice what he preaches. How can you slam an economic systems and yet enjoy it's benefits? If you are really so against wealth inequality why not start buying your sneakers at walmart instead of Gucci and take the remainder of your money and write checks to the poor? You can't have it both ways. You can't say that money in politics is dirty yet pay $10,000 a plate for an Obama fundraising dinner.
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10:15 PM on 01/04/2012
Actually, as much as I like Mr. Simmons and appreciate the point he's trying to make, there is a gap in the argument. A Big one. Santorum didn't have money. What he had was small numbers that magically scaled up in concert with media's decision to give him millions and millions in free press this last week.

That is campaign money, no matter how you cut it. And more easily shaded when it comes to obama, because then, media's just 'talking about the president. I think it would be very wise to read this
http://www.salon.com/2012/01/03/matt_taibbi_on_the_2012_election/singleton/#comments

and this

http://www.salon.com/2011/12/31/progressives_and_the_ron_paul_fallacies/singleton/#comments