Hot Potato: Food for Thought
Where Did All the Money Go?
Campaign Financing
1997 June 23

Campaign finance reform is essential to the restoration of healthy politics in America. Few things in recent history have had such a terrible effect on the functioning of the US government. The cost of special-interest legislation is enormous.

Every registered voter should get a book of coupons at the start of the campaign season (which could be much shorter than it now is). There would be one coupon for each federal office on the voter's ballot. Each coupon would have a fixed value, say $10.00. The voter would give the coupon to the preferred candidate, who would exchange it for campaign money. This would be the only form of campaign financing allowed.

By limiting the amount of money spent, the influence of television advertising on election campaigns can be limited. The candidates would then have to battle it out on the basis of real ideas instead of 10-second TV spots. This could only help the quality of campaign dialog. Once politicians don't have to sell their souls to get elected, there is a chance for a return to honest politics in America.

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