Elected Officials and Letters and Opinion and Barack Obama and Elections and Politics and Government & Economic Development and Government

Let's limit campaigns to public funds

November 24, 2008

[Regarding Peter Schnitzler's Nov. 10 article], the most influential fact regarding this past election that is largely ignored is something pointed out in your [article]: " ... Obama spent more than $5 in Indiana for every $1 from Republican John McCain."

It is a shame that our own laws diminish democracy. The only way more ideas, more candidates, more party platforms can gain any traction, any consideration by the public at large, would be for all political parties to receive, and run only on public funds.

Let's face one fact about this election: Obama bought it. His ability to raise dramatically more money (by not taking public funds) allowed him to purchase advertising anywhere and everywhere.

If the United States required all presidential candidates to run on public funds only, and supported all legitimate parties with public funds, you would have five or six candidates/parties to choose from, all with equal resources to communicate their differences and the options voters have, and an electorate that would be much more versed on all their options.

The current law setting minimum-vote thresholds is completely unfair. Which comes first, the chicken or the egg? Enough votes to qualify for public funding, or enough funding to get the message out and receive the vote? There's such an uneven playing field that no one else can succeed enough to get the funding that could put them in the current game.

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Jim McConville

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