Campaign Finance Reform: A Modest Proposal

With the news that one of Hillary Clinton’s biggest fundraisers is a criminal fugitive, I’ve been thinking about campaign finance reform. And I think I have a fairly simple set of ideas that ought to clean up politics a bit.

  • No limits to political contributions from individuals, corporations or organizations.
  • All contributions to a political campaign must be posted to a public web site within 72 hours of processing.
  • Once every two weeks, candidates must produce a NASCAR-style jacket bearing the names (for individuals) or logos (for organizations) of their top ten contributors. These jackets must be worn by the candidate and designated spokesmen at any and all campaign-related events.
  • Any and all attempts to conceal the source of a contribution, through “gifts” and “loans” to third parties, will be considered a form of election fraud and subject to serious criminal penalties.

The basic concept uniting all these is simple: “sunlight is the best disinfectant.” No games, no tricks, no shenanigans will be tolerated, and everything will be as open and aboveboard as possible.

If some group wants to “buy” a candidate, and the candidate is willing, fine. But everyone will know precisely who is doing it, and can choose whether or not to let that influence their vote.

The biggest drawbacks to my plan (which is by no means original, but a synthesis of various and sundry ideas I have collected over the years) is that it’s too simple, too honest, and too transparent. It would require the cooperation of far too many politicians who are dependent on the current Byzantine rules and regulations to maintain their grip on power.

But it’s a fun little fantasy.

Update: While I was writing this, my colleague Jim Addison posted a piece linking to six stories over at Wizbang Politics — and three of them are precisely the sort of stories that support my argument. Kevin, I want to formally complain about people stealing my ideas — Jim, DJ Drummond, and cirby have all apparently tapped into my computer, and I’m getting sick of it.

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