"Here's My Take" gives you an opportunity to present your view, opinion, or choice in a way that commenting or op-eds don't permit (Check out #1, #2, and #3 to see what it looks like). It's a new format! And a new way for you to engage others in the HuffPost community. We'll publish peoples' submissions on HuffPost's OffTheBus as part of the "Here's My Take" feature. Think of it as a citizen think-tank, a series of discussions, each one focused on a single issue or scenario. This idea came to me after editing op-eds for OffTheBus and moderating comments for HuffPost. Got ideas for ways to make it better? I'm open to them - email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Don't have time, but want to participate later? Join OffTheBus.
HERE'S MY TAKE: TAKE #4
QUESTIONS: What should the campaigns spend money on and what do you see as the effect of negative ads?
SUBMIT YOUR ANSWER: Simply click on this Survey Monkey link or you can send your entry to email@example.com and put "Here's My Take" in the subject line. Include your name and a quick bio, three sentences or so.
DEADLINE: Midnight Monday, October 27
DISCUSS: OffTheBus"s op-ed editors will format and publish your submissions, as well as a quick post on the most popular and interesting picks sent in. Everyone who participated will be notified when the feature goes up.
In past columns, we have focused on the future. We have picked our administration, we have named our top three issues -- excluding the economy -- and we have mapped out our administration's first 100 days in office.
In this posting, I want to look back. I want to know what you think of the campaigns themselves; this can be Barack Obama's, John McCain's, Hillary Clinton's or any of the other presidential hopefuls. We will concentrate our reviews to the areas of finance and negative advertising.
So, this week's question is: What should the campaigns spend money on and what do you see as the effect of negative ads? Are negative ads more revealing that policy-based ones?
For instance, is $18K a week for clothing something that you feel is acceptable when running for the Vice Presidency? Are negative ads more revealing that policy-based ones? Should campaign funding be overhauled, should they allow corporate contributions, should the money only come from citizen contributions with a cap and what about PACs? Do you feel that policy ads actually LOSE votes whereas personality-based ones spark interest?
Following this line of thinking, here is My Take:
On campaign finances I would prefer that NO corporations could contribute but I do not want the Feds to handle the disbursing of funds. I think that Barack has demonstrated what can be done when direct appeals are made to the voters. I am well aware that PACs are everywhere, I want them gone too. I would raise the limit for contributions to $25K for any candidate's entire campaign; primary and general. If I can afford to and want to spend that much to help get someone elected then I can but if I can only make small donations I can also do that. As proud as I am of Obama's "haul", I am also put off by it. Discounted rates for political advertisements, not flying the press around -- there are reporters wherever you are going to - as well as myriad other sensible spending strategies can make this a reality.
On the subject of negative campaigning, I want it gone. The reason is that rather than simply pointing out personal issues which your base will dislike, these adverts end up as a lie-fest or pushing right up against that edge. I demand more class and thought from my leaders. Tell me your policy, tell me why it is better, tell me why your opponents is not good but do not tell me your opinion of the others' friends, family and what you think they think. I can make my mind up on character; if you try to influence my perception your character is diminished. Yes, people respond to these statements but if the statements stop the problem goes away.
Now I want to hear what you have to say. Take a few minutes and think through these issues then use this Survey Monkey link to send in your reply. Alternatively, you can send it to "heresmycall AT gmail.com", although the Survey Monkey link is a superior submittal method.