[ExI] public funding of election PR

Damien Broderick thespike at satx.rr.com
Mon Jun 29 21:26:07 UTC 2009

At 01:37 PM 6/29/2009 -0700, spike wrote:

> > ...I'd ban private donations for the most part, and have
> > a public money system replace it at a much smaller scale
>We tried that here in the last presidential election.  Didn't ban private
>donations, but rather limited them.  Both sides agreed to it, but when one
>side saw how much potential money they were giving up, they backed out.

I didn't follow this closely, but isn't the key point not the 
abrogation of an agreement but that the agreement was intended to 
minimize *huge special interest bribes*, then turned out to have the 
unfortunate side effect of also blocking an unanticipated influx of 
zillions of small individual donations?

The latter source is intrinsically far less vulnerable to corruption, 
and far more democratic (not a term of commendation to many here, I know).

My guess is that even if the wealthier party agreed to a public 
source of funds, it would own sufficient means to manipulate the 
populace outside whatever formal advertising is constrained by such 
an agreement. In Obama's case, the big surprise was that the web 
created opportunities to bypass TV, radio, newspapers and other old 
fashioned centralized vectors.

Damien Broderick

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