And my Tea Party was hateful?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Obama and Ethics

University scholars devote their lives to the study of ethics. Politicians devote each election cycle to the discussion of it. The passionate nature of politics combined with the monetary impacts of ethics, spawns hours of campaign promises, federal investigtions and special sessions of congress.
Obama proposes a centralized database of lobbyist and political action spending so the public can monitor where the money has been spent. The Federal Election Commission allows anyone to search the quarterly and annual reports of politicians, PACs and their close relatives. Internet watch dog groups, like http://www.opensecrets.org/ provide more users friendly formats. In 2008, people can access ample information about the political process, but they rarely try. When the President creates an independent agency, it is by definition not independent of the government.

Obama promises a new type of political movement where money is removed from politics. Conventions, bumper stickers, phone calls, polls, ad space, air time, consulting fees, editing time, photo sessions, mailers and yard signs cost money.

“Obama supports public financing of campaigns combined with free television and radio time as a way to reduce the influence of moneyed special interests. Obama introduced public financing legislation in the Illinois State Senate, and is the only 2008 candidate to have sponsored Senator Russ Feingold’s (D-WI) tough bill to reform the presidential public financing system.”
-Barack Obama’s Blueprint for America

Obama’s “Blueprint for America” proposes raising the level of government involvement in the electoral process. If candidates were provided with public funds to purchase or access radio waves at the expenses of the operator, the public would lose additional influence of the direction in the electoral process. Elections should focus on what the people want, not what the law allows. Either Obama is proposing the tax payer purchase campaign air time or media providers will “donate” air time to a federal agency to divide the coverage equally among the candidates. Once again, more government is the solution to achieving the goal of the citizenry. Obama declined to use federal campaign funds in the Presidential election (freeing him from campaign spending limits). The fair playing field Obama is promoting is too fair for him to participate. Having the same spending limits as his opponent would put him at a disadvantage.

Obama promotes the sponsoring of Feingold’s ethics bill. I was only able to locate one major piece of ethics legislation by Senator Feingold was McCain-Feingold. Obama is taking credit for the bipartisan effort of the Republican candidate? McCain-Feingold was radical legal reform, whose purpose and benefit I will not defend.

The nation does not need Obama to solve our political dilemmas that is our job. Despite the “transparency of government”, no progress will be made if no one is observing the process. Increased government involvement in any situation leads to more paper work and frustration. The more regulation we enforce, the larger the burden to the tax payer. When the paper work and bloated budgets are too frustrating to handle, the people elect to create new regulations enforced by new agencies to solve the same old problem. This is not a change in how things are done in Washington.

But no one listens to me
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