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Campaign Finance Reform is Possible

January 18, 2012

We need to get money out of politics. Our politicians are being bought by the highest bidder and they are not working for the rest of us. A 2010 supreme court case (Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission) ruled that corporations can spend an unlimited amount of money on politics because it’s free speech and corporations have first amendment rights. Many see that as an insurmountable barrier to getting rid of money out of politics. Even so, it is possible.

Lawrence Lessig recently wrote a book Republic, Lost that outlines at least three meaningful ways we can have Campaign Finance Reform:

  1. A voucher system — Politicians can agree to only accept subsidized donations. (Each voter would get $50 to use to lobby politicians.)
  2. Anonymous donations — We can give any campaign contributions we want, but the politicians can’t know who gives them to “return the favor.”
  3. A constitutional amendment — We can make sure the constitution states that corporations are not people and don’t have free speech.

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