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Money in politics isn't bad - it is the way it is expressed that counts

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 Monday, 24 January 2005
Monday, 24 January 2005 12:28:46 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) ( )

There's a mounting outcry about the way money funneled into 527 organizations during the recent election. An example is here at the Star Tribune.

The underlying theme of the article and much of the outcry is that there should be less money in politics. That may or may not be true.

The real goal should be to ensure that the common citizen has a voice at least equal to the voices of corporate America. Since a “voice” requires money to exist (to buy air time, publicity and so forth), the real goal should be to ensure that money from a common citizen has the weight of money from a corporation.

To a large degree I think the 527’s did this. Look at all the random crap on MoveOn.org or from comparable right-wing organizations. Much of that content was generated by “normal people” rather than massive commercial interests. (I put the quotes there, because normal people don’t seem to care at all about politics – so nothing here is really normal)

But even if 527’s didn’t help give common people a voice, the continuing attempts to remove money from politics are silly.

The amount of money doesn’t matter. What matters is whether my contribution of $10 or $100 can somehow be used to combat the ideas I oppose and support the ideas with which I agree.

Whatever system we have or come up with in the future must address this fundamental requirement that a common person’s contribution should make an impact.

527’s, at least to some degree, allow this to happen. Common people pooled their money into various 527’s and had a voice. And that is only good!

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