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Campaign Finance

Oct. 24, 2000

Democracy selling out to corporate soft money

Campaign finance reform is a major issue in the presidential election. And it should be., Something should be done to reduce the influence corporations have on the political process.

The United States is a country of, by and for the people. But, as it stands, powerful, wealthy corporations are drowning out the voices and influence of the individuals.

Corporations are allowed to contribute outrageous amounts of money to the political parties. And while that money is not supposed to be used to directly advocate a candidate, it is.

Politicians run their campaigns off money that these companies donate to them, and, in turn, government officials are held accountable to the policy agenda and special interests that these companies want to be pursued. The office holder has little incentive to actually work for the people instead of the corporations who have the potential to control their political livelihood.

Yes, the voters are the ones who ultimately decide who gets elected to office, but the issues of the campaign, and the candidates' positions are determined by big businesses, not necessarily the true needs of the people. This goes against the democratic process, and something needs to be done about it.

Political parties must be banned from accepting political contributions from corporations. In only this way will individuals be able to have their voices heard because the overpowering role of corporations will be eliminated.

Also, major presidential candidates should be allowed to have free television air time during the weeks preceding the election, and the government should play a larger role in financing campaigns through a larger check off on the income tax form, so that the need to raise vast amounts of money is reduced. This way, there would be less priority given to fund raising, and campaigns would be issue focused.

In our democracy, elections must be fair and legitimate. But currently, corporate money, plays too big of a role in politics, which diminishes the influence of individuals.