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23 June 2012 - Where is the money going?

Summer finally has officially arrived. But to me, it seems like we have already had a long hot summer, and I’m not just talking about the weather. I’m also talking about the long hot Presidential election campaign that seems to never end. Do any of the you remember “the good old days” when the election campaign for the White House started in earnest on Labor Day and ended two months later with the November election? It seems like the current campaign started two years ago and we still have another 4 months of heavy campaign rhetoric.

One thing that really bothers me is to hear the candidates brag about their fund-raising ability, traveling the country to hold countless fund-raisers, including dinner with the candidates at $35,000.00 per person, to build their political war chests. Those dollars are spent in all forms of media (including my personal phone) to attack the opponent rather than telling us what they will do if elected. So, since I’m in no position of leadership to change anything in this country, I will offer some ideas that I think would greatly improve our system.

First of all, let’s adopt the practice of some European countries, declare an election will be held, and then vote three months later. That would greatly cut the rhetoric and the dollars needed to win the election. Speaking of dollars, I shudder to think of the total money spent for the White House and Congressional campaigns this year.

So, I would suggest the term for a member of the House of Representatives be extended to four years instead of the current two years. Some of my friends in the House tell me the day after the election, they will have to start raising funds to keep their job just two years down the road. A four-year term would give them time to govern.

Finally, why does each party have to spend millions of dollars every four years to hold a political convention? We already know who the candidates are and four days of hype on television probably won’t change the minds of many voters, so save the money and save viewers hours of boring pomp and circumstance.

As I said, I’m in no position to change anything, but here is a sure-fire way for a candidate to get my vote...before the election, go on television and tell me that 25 or 50% of his campaign money will be given to local food pantries, and organizations that help the unemployed find jobs. To me, that would be a campaign speech with real substance that would get my vote.

My thoughts on Samuelson Sez.