One serious problem in this country is that anyone, or any corporation, can give money to anyone else, to encourage them to run for elected office, and to sway them with promises of more money in order to dictate their own personal policy choices. This is the way the system works:
- Joe wants to run for Senate.
- Joe believes is Gun Control.
- Joe gets funding from Bloomberg and in his puff pieces on “policy” never actually defines what “commonsense gun regulation” would look like.
- Joe mounts a tough campaign, complete with well-funded opposition research, and wins.
- Joe lives in a state where 90% of the public supports gun rights. They oppose more gun control. He needs their votes to win. Since he’s in the Senate, he has to do anything on guns in his first two years in the Senate, otherwise the voters will turn him out.
- Joe does what Bloomberg wants and supports an assault weapons ban.
- His constituents oppose it. They write. They call. They protest outside his office. He doesn’t care because he isn’t getting re-election money from them.
- Four years pass. Joe needs to run for Senate again. Because of the lag of time, many people forget that Joe stabbed them in the back the last time out. And Bloomberg continues to shower Joe with money.
- Joe is a bought-and-paid-for member of the Senate. He could care less what the people think, because the media controls what the people think, and as long as you can buy ads and whisper into the ears of friendly media, your re-election is assured.
The only way to stop this is to stop, via a Constitutional Amendment, the purchase of government officials. No one should be able to go to Washington, pick out a nice Senator or Congressman, and purchase his vote for thirty pieces of silver. But that is what corporations and lobbyists do. And, it’s worth admitting, by way of explanation, that but for the NRA, we would have draconian gun control because the NRA plays this game better than Bloomberg.
There is a solution: publicly fund all federal races. Each candidate gets $250,000 in the primaries (and unused amount must be refunded). Then the two primary winners both get $500,000. National parties may (but are not required to) give their party’s candidate $500,000. No politician may spend his own money. PACs may still run issue-related ads, but may not directly support any candidate. So the NRA could run ads supporting the Second Amendment, but not one supporting Billy Bob running for Senate (on the .308 is superior to .300 Blackout platform).
Now you get principled leaders running, not to feather their nest, or take home large campaign war chests when they retire, but rather, to do the work of the country as patriots. This cannot happen without a Constitutional Amendment. But it needs to happen.