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Money In Politics: What Does It Buy?

WASHINGTON, DC – APRIL 2:: Joan Stallard (L) of Washington DC talks about the issue of the Supreme Court striking down the limit one can donate to political as Scott Dorn (R) of Washington DC looks on in front of the U.S. Supreme Court April 2, 2014, in Washington, DC. The Supreme Court struck down the limits on how much one person can donate overall to political campaigns. The limit to individual candiates is still $2,600 per candidate. ( Photo by Rod Lamkey/Getty Images)

Once again the Supreme Court has made a ruling that has many people taking to social media and the air waves to bemoan the freedom of American’s to participate in the political election system. Why are we so upset by a ruling that American’s can give more, not less, to the candidate of our choice?

What Did The Supreme Court Say?

The amount you can give to a single candidate doesn’t change. The aggregate amount you can give in an election cycle is now unlimited. So you can still only give $2,600 to a federal candidate but you can give that amount to AS MANY candidates as you like rather than having to stop once you reach the $48,600 cap.

The bottom line is that if you are prosperous in America you can support as many candidates that reflect your views as your budget can handle. What exactly is wrong with that?

Are Elections For Sale?

Every year the scorecards come out from the left and right. The Koch Brothers spent this much George Soros spent this much. Unions spent this much. Dark Money. Non-Profits don’t have to disclose donor names. PACs (Political Action Committees) collected this much. What exactly happens to all this cash?

Many people feel that whoever collects the most money will win their election. History shows that this is not always the case. But even worse, many American’s feel that if that candidate is elected, he or she has a moral and financial obligation to repay those donors buy voting the way they want rather than representing their constituents.

Is Your Vote For Sale?

When you step in that voting booth and look down at that ballot aren’t you selling your vote? You vote for those who think like you do. Or, assume they think like you. You are voting your own self-interests.

If you want lower taxes you are going to vote for candidates who indicated in their campaigns that they we work to lower taxes. You didn’t pay the candidate any actual money to do that, but by paying them with your vote you are expecting them to carry out your wishes nonetheless.

Is Your Candidates Vote For Sale?

This is a whole other can of worms. If a lobbyist, or group gives money to your candidate to pre-pay for future votes in their favor, to my mind that’s nothing more than a bribe. This is the concern of many American’s about the money that finds it’s way into political coffers.

Some Final Thoughts

Elections are more about emotion than issues. Which explains why negative campaigns are so effective. If you are mean to our candidate then we’ll flock to the polls to fix you. Issued be damned. The next two years are going to be a dream for those of us on radio. We are going to have so many topics and so many issues to tackle it will be hard to fit them all in. What’s your top issue in the upcoming elections?

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