Successful presentations today in Tallahassee to Ethics & Elections subcommittee of Constitutional Revision Commission

I was part of a small presenting team that argued to the Commissioners to defeat P56 & P62 below {I was the only one acting on my own – rather than representing an organized public lobbying group (LWV, Common Cause, Open Primaries, & one other?) and also the only candidate.

My presentation: P56 – Banning public funding of candidates

‘I have heard it argued that public funding of candidates is welfare for politicians. My retort: It is Health Care for Democracy.

In the last 10 years or so, spurred by the legalization of corruption epitomized by Citizens United, untraceable dark money spending has grown 30 times. We don’t know where the money comes from. But we know what it does that. We know 84% of the elections lately have been won by the candidate with more money. [That statistic may not survive 2018.]

People are fed up with the obvious corrupting influence of our donor-owner elections. It is no co-incidence that the large majority of states had anti-corruption laws – which were overturned by Citizens United.

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In this context it is pertinent to note that Congress has the authority to require some degree of disclosure. That they do not do so is telling. It tells us that neither donors nor recipients want us to know who’s buying who.

But we shall know them, we do know them by their Acts. By the Acts of Congress.

A single Act, Medicare Part D -2003, is definitive: It does not allow the Medicare administration to negotiate drug prices. The VA does – and the prices it pays are 40% less than paid by Medicare. This single Act costs the American taxpayer ~$100 Billion per year. That is the Cost of Corruption. It really is but the tip of the iceberg!

Big Pharma spent $100 Million lobbying Congress that year. Donations that are so generous 97% of Incumbents that run are re-elected.

The only viable competitor to the inherently corrupt big donor campaigns is public funding. It is quite apparent that Big Public Funding – funding at or exceeding present campaign levels – is 1) necessary to be competitive & 2) is cheap relative to the Cost of Corruption.

I will not argue that the Florida legislature has legislated effective public funding. It has not. A commonsense criterion is that every candidate in local or state elections know that public funding to run a competitive race is available. The cost is much more than we are spending now. But far less than the Cost of Corruption that we are paying now.

We must not BAN public funding of elections. I ask the Comissioners to vote against P62. Giving the legislature the opportunity to produce a more effective implementation.’

It was gratifying that in the committee debate following public presentations that Chairman Coxe echoed my general comment ‘that the only alternative to big private funding was public funding.’ Another Commissioner referred to dominance of dark money. [Exact wording should be available when the official video is posted. Nice has video of my presentations – these need audio enhancement.]

It was far more gratifying that the Committee voted 5 to 4 against [I believe this marks the demise of P56 – but the rules of CRC are opaque, especially when you don’t have a copy.]

P62 was passed (moving to another committee; the 1st step in a multi step process)
How important is P62? If it had been in force in FL 2 years ago, Bernie would have won the primary.

1-26-15 Committee Action: Fav/CS Yeas 6 Nays 3

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