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Citizen54
Conservatism is a con job!
03:21 PM on 01/20/2012
48% of Americans agree that Congress is "corrupt."
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I'm no pollster, but that number is disappointingly low.
I imagine many Congressmen/women are rubbing their hands in satisfaction and thinking, "Well, that's 52% that thinks we're A-OK! And 52 is higher than 48, right?"
05:06 PM on 01/20/2012
52% watch Wolf Blitzer.
06:44 PM on 01/20/2012
I think you are right. 48% seems inaccurately low. Especially when all voting in Congress in done along two party lines. There is no way two party lines can represent our diverse society.
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jhnnxn
03:15 PM on 01/20/2012
Indeed this is one of the greatest threats to our liberty, but then by the same token so is an electoral system in which people are able to vote themselves pay raises. This is just as corrupting as the big corporate money, in the opposite direction. So that makes it ok.
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zogimperator
is this microbiology?
03:13 PM on 01/20/2012
A brave effort. I salute you both, and I'll be doing my bit to turn the debate to this important issue as well. I hope everyone does.
03:12 PM on 01/20/2012
"Alcoholics and addicts are masters of denial. There is no better metaphor for our money-flooded politicians than that - utterly dependent on a substance (big money) that is ultimately destroying them and everything around them. But incapable of admitting there's a problem. It's time to yank our elected officials out of their collective state of denial." Well put... this should be shared far and wide!
03:11 PM on 01/20/2012
Thee are deeper questions involved in the "Miss" whomever contests. Maybe the debates should include pageant walks and swimsuit contests.
03:46 PM on 01/20/2012
To spare us the sight of Ron Paul in a one-piece, I propose military uniforms and judicial robes.
03:10 PM on 01/20/2012
The whole process is a sham.... really these are the best leaders our country has to offer? If there was an option to vote "No, this whole election is a joke" I think it would easily get the majority of votes....
03:01 PM on 01/20/2012
Anyone whose half way intelligent knows all those ads are akin to a bad reality TV show with all its drama. What Canadate is going to say hay vote for my opponent because I’m corrupt, I’ll raise your taxes, take away a few more of your freedoms for big money, I’m going to give big favors to all those people who paid 3000 dollars a plate at my fundraisings and I’m going to ignore everything an average person needs. By the way I’m going to help the rich get richer, sorry about your luck if you’re poor and out of work, I never vote for anything full of common sense and I love me some pork. Nope there more like a beer commercial, good looking men and women, sunshine, roses, a great party and winning the lotto. We can all join this great new world if we vote for them.
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lrobb
Gold standard = four paws and a tail
02:55 PM on 01/20/2012
You cannot get money out of politics or all you would have are a bunch of candidates being interviewed over the phone while sitting on their couch at home. There is nothing with wrong modest contributions by people who are eligible to vote for a candidate. There are a lot of things wrong with contributions in excess of $2,500 per election made by people or entities who/which have no ability to walk into a voting booth and pull the lever for the individual who is running for office.

My suggestion is very simple. Unless you are a human with a pulse who resides in the candidate's district you don't get to donate. No PACs, no money from outside a district, no political party cash, no corporate bundling, no unrelated organizations, nada. Every voter in every district deserves that candidate who can make it on the merit of their appeal the their own constituents. Note: A senatorial district is a state. A Presidential district is the entire country.

Under these rules you would see far more average middle class candidates running who, while they might be pillars of their community, could never go up against well funded insiders.
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Mississippi Red
Stoke City: ugly football that works
03:34 PM on 01/20/2012
Seems reasonable to me. I would suggest limiting donations to $1,000 per election or perhaps even $500 or the temptation would be there to spontaneously create eligible voters who can donate.

Really, how much money do the candidates need to get their positions on the issues across?

No unions, no corporations, no PACs... I like that.
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ChiBloger
And the truth shall set us ALL free
04:06 PM on 01/20/2012
So what if the districts is one that has wide variations in income? You can find this type of situation common in some urban and near urban environments. In this case by rule, "the money" wins again.
06:27 PM on 01/20/2012
There's no perfect solution. But if there is a limit to modest donation totals within each district, it limits the influence of the wealthy . . .
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MikeDu
Both salubrious and lugubrious concurrently.
02:48 PM on 01/20/2012
A primary purpose of the debates is to *shape which issues the election focuses on*. If the RNC wants to run on the dangers of drinking water fluoridation then that's what the questions will be about, if they want to run on the threat of communism that's what the question will be about. No questions about children going hungry, no questions about the corporations buying the candidates, no question about Republican obstructionism in congress. These lacunae in the questions are deliberate.
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ChiBloger
And the truth shall set us ALL free
02:41 PM on 01/20/2012
"helping end the denial and force the real debate that we all - left, right and center - are hoping to have."

It is NOT the left that is benefitting from all this corporate and billionaire money in our politics. Lets start the conversation by stopping with the false equivalency.
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Nick Penniman
President of United Republic
02:38 PM on 01/20/2012
Sick of the fact that the buying and selling of Washington is not part of the national debate?...We are too.
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Bibulus
On my way back from Hawaii with the long-form bio
02:32 PM on 01/20/2012
If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be ?
05:12 PM on 01/20/2012
A money tree???
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4 EYES
01:46 AM on 01/21/2012
Believe it or not, that was always the last question I used in interviews. There's no correct answer, of course, but the response was always revealing....8-)
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02:26 PM on 01/20/2012
Everyone knows the press and the media are mere forms of bad reality TV. It has nothing to do with substance, truth, or accountability. It has everything to do with ratings and advertising dollars.
mikiao
Empty my micro-bio is.
03:25 PM on 01/20/2012
is there such thing as good reality TV?
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pghken
consider the source
03:55 PM on 01/20/2012
NFL
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tomdavis
02:25 PM on 01/20/2012
Money definitely buys access and favors, but it does not buy elections. Is your vote for sale? Mine's not. I don't know a single person who's influenced by political advertising.
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GeorgeBurnsWasRight
My micro-bio is running on empty.
02:45 PM on 01/20/2012
I don't know anyone who admits they're influenced by political advertising.

Yet, once a bunch of campaign ads are released, poll numbers move. So someone is being influenced, whether they admit it or not.
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DocJoseph
A bleeding heart will heal; a cold heart will not
03:35 PM on 01/20/2012
If it didn't have any effect, the whole money scheme would collapse. Why spend money on something ineffective?

But it is, in fact, a science with fairly predictable results, and well worth the investment for the wealthy and the candidates.

But I'm being redundant.
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Mississippi Red
Stoke City: ugly football that works
03:35 PM on 01/20/2012
Isn't that the truth. Nobody thinks they are influenced by advertising of any sort. Yet billions of dollars are spent on advertising because it has been shown to be very effective AND advertising shows a return on the investment.
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ChiBloger
And the truth shall set us ALL free
02:45 PM on 01/20/2012
that just makes you pretty neive then.
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booksnmoreforyou
Progressive educator, activist for good government
03:19 PM on 01/20/2012
Exactly.
06:30 PM on 01/20/2012
Exactly. It's why companies continue to advertise, push PR, and so forth. Because despite what we think we like to think, even the most strong-minded of us are subtly influenced by what we see in the media . . .