If you asked me what has made politics so bad in the last twenty years I would answer, the ‘Business of Politics.’ Once you’re a candidate, it finds you: I get email from direct mail firms, job requests from field managers, questionnaires from PACS, and this morning a pamphlet from a cable company about how to “reach my audience.”
Experts in the future will dissect how it came to be, but all I know is: win or lose, lots of people still make lots of money. The direct mail firms, the pollsters, the cable companies, the campaign managers, the cable news channels, the websites, etc, etc. Like stock brokers who make a commission whether you buy or sell, gain or lose, the Business of Politics wins no matter who wins or loses. And that, I believe, is what is corrupting our politics.
In the Business of Politics a vicious cycle exists that requires vast sums of money for someone to get elected: over $1m per House candidate, $10m per Senate candidate and $1b for presidential candidate. There is no way a candidate can raise that from constituents, so they are driven to get money from PACS, where wealth bundles its money anonymously and dangles it in front of candidates who need it to pay staff, and advertise, and so on.
No wonder citizens have given up on politics; they are no more than market share, demographics, audiences. The ‘Business of Politics’ has bought out democracy itself.
How to change this? Pass laws!
Not this Congress. We need a new one. And that takes two ingredients.
- Candidates who are willing to risk failure by not doing the ‘Business of Politics’
- Voters who are willing to vote for those that take such risks
I am such a candidate. I got into this race to be that candidate, knowing it would reduce my chance of success. But I also believe I can get elected for less than $1m, that I do not need more money than any individual person can legally give ($2700 by the way). I believe there are 3000, even 5000 people in my district who are willing to give $50 or $100 to support such a candidate. I am also betting that you will vote for someone who walks this talk.
I also believe that it is worth it, because this is how we defeat the ‘Business of Politics’ and if we succeed it will send a shock wave of hope to others who want to believe that we can have a better Congress, that we can have Representatives that actually represent the people, not the money, that we can still be a democracy.
I believe I can help this happen. But I know that only you can make it happen.