Politics Again - Let's Try Something Different

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Quite frankly folks, all the talk of secession and armed rebellion posted over the past year on this forum is wearing a bit thin. So, humor me for one day, at least.

If you were guaranteed that one or more amendments to the U.S. Constitution, authored by you, would be immedialtey applied by special act of Congress and the 50 state legislatures to help heal all the divisiveness in this country, and still maintain the Union (that's the catch),what would they be? I'll start.

The XXVIII Amendment The largest sum of money that any individual may contribute to a Congressional or Presidential election, for the duration of that election, shall not exceed $10,000. The contributor must be a legally registered voter, and may contribute to any Congressional or Presidential contest anywhere in the United States. Contributions by PACs, private corporations and other private organizations, public utilities, and foreign nationals will not allowed. The Congress shall pass and the courts shall uphold, all necessary legislation to insure compliance.

Okay, have at it, if you're interested... :)


-- Craig Miller (CMiller@ssd.com), July 20, 2000


How about another version of Craig's proposed amendment:

You can have freedom of speech but it is limited to 10,000 words per year.

Craig, it's my money, not yours. Feel free to limit your own rights. But don't limit mine.

By the way, how much money have you contributed to political candidates or political parties in 2000?

It's been my experience that the people who want to limit political spending (i.e., political speech) don't give any money to the political process or they do so stingily.

-- walt (longyear@shentel.net), July 20, 2000.

I'd just like to see the existing ones honored, especially the 2nd and 10th!

-- Brad (Homefixer@SacoRiver.net), July 20, 2000.

I agree with Brad. Honor the existing ones. With one very large exception. The 16th ammendment must be repealed. It is illegal, wasn't properly ratified and is a large contributor to many of our problems.

We don't need more laws, we need less and the ones that we have should not contradict each other.

-- Doreen (livinginskin@yahoo.com), July 20, 2000.

Ammendment Emeritus: All laws passed by Congress and every regulation of Governmental agencies are required to include a Freedom Impact Statement.

-- charles (clb@watervalley.net), July 20, 2000.

How 'bout this one? I am tired of hearing from people about being fed-up with the dismal choice of candidates they are given. Why not have a category of "none of the abovre" added to every primary? If "none of the above" wins, the party has to go back and find someone who the voters will support. Take too long, you say? Cause the political system to shut down, you say? I ask you, is that such a horrible alternative to what we have?

-- John James (jjames@n-jcenter.com), July 20, 2000.

I think that John James is on to something here. The more I think about his suggestion the more I like it. Dittos to Doreen as well. I don't think capping the contributions for campaign funds will do any good. Besides, the only reason we heard about that was because the liberal media can't stand it that G.W. Bush had over $35 million in his warchest before the campaign even started.

-- dave (IA) (tidman@midiowa.net), July 21, 2000.

Ditto Craig except to reduce the amount to $5000.

Ditto John James.

Would ad mandated debates for the candidates, maybe six of them, to include alternative-party candidates.

Would mandate public media, radio, tv and cable networks to run x amount of political ads as part of their public service duties, costing the candidates nothing.

Say for example, with our tax money, we were to allocate 50% controlled by congress and 50% controlled by us. We, as individual taxpayers would determine where the money would go and not go. I kinda like that.

-- john leake (natlivent@pcpros.net), July 21, 2000.

John James' idea I have heard before..can't remember exactly where, but I thought it was from a Libertarian candidates newsletter. I like it. Also, one thing I think would be FABULOUS is that if less than two thirds of the eligible voters didn't vote, the election would have to be held again. Or in the case of the House and Senate if 100% of the reps hadn't cast a vote the legislation could not be passed. They also must have personally read the legislation in it's entirety. That would cause all of us to be more acountable for our laws and governance.

So do you all agree with the repeal of the 16th ammendment? The money from that doesn't even stay in this country. Nor do we get to use it for infrastructructure or anything.

Despite all of my railing about secession, I love and believe that the representative democracy is the best form of government available, it has just been abused too much and lost it's essence.

-- Doreen (livinginskin@yahoo.com), July 21, 2000.

Hmmmm. An "informed electorate" rears it's ugly head! Great Stuff!

WALT - To answer your question, my contributions were greater than $1 but less than $10,000 :). Which brings up another issue of privacy vs. public disclosure. But the real point of my proposed amendment was to put a muzzle on "soft" money. It is absolutely rapeing the political process. Since there are no limits, the whole process rachets higher and higher. So my take is, one person, one vote. One person, one contribution. The spending ceiling could be negotiable. I simply stated $10,000 as a reasonable limit.

JOHN JAMES - Bingo! But why stop at the primaries? If a certain congressional race turns into a spiteful, mud-slinging brawl, let the voters choose "none of the above" and void the election right then and there?

DOREEN - Actually, I agree with what you say about the 16th Amendment. I DO believe that the Spanish-American War has been paid for.:) Unfortunately, the wording of the Amendment doesn't make mention of that fact.

THE WEB - Stay tuned for the the effect of the Internet on the American political process. I fully expect my daughter in the not too distant future will vote for candidates and issues with a mouse click. Can't say where campaign contributions and political campaigning are going to fit in all of this, but web pages are cheap. TV is VERY expensive.


-- Craig Miller (CMiller@ssd.com), July 21, 2000.

Walt: You say "You can have freedom of speech but it is limited to 10,000 words per year."

Spending or investing money is not speech, despite what the Supreme Court says. In this case its buying influence and "access" just as a corporation is not a person, despite what the supreme court says. I know a person when I see one and a corporation does not qualify. It is a business entity structured in such a way as to avoid 1) taxes 2) accountability for the individuals involved in the corp to the general public 3) answers first to stockholders, then to the public at large. Way too much power in too few hands and a violation, imo, of the essence of the constitution which first and foremost addresses the liberty and commonweal of the individual citizen.

I think it was Doreen who suggested that the elected reps read the legislation they're debating. I agree! but would ad that they also be required to write the legislation. Often times these days the legislation is largely written by the lobbyists, then debated and amended in committee, then introduced to the floor.

-- john leake (natlivent@pcpros.net), July 21, 2000.

John hit on yet another thing I have a great big problem with. Lobbying. I feel that it is no more than politically sanctioned bribery. It's like the indulgences of the Roman Catholic church. You should not be able to pay someone to bend the ear of an elected or appointed official.

Just because CorpXYZ has money to burn it does not mean that they should have a louder voice in the legislature. So let's make lobbying a federal crime!

Let's keep going and maybe we can come up with something to submit to the Congress ourselves.

-- Doreen (livinginskin@yahoo.com), July 21, 2000.

First, we'll shoot all the lawyers... Thank you, John Leake, for your comment.

-- snoozy (allen@oz.net), July 21, 2000.

My two cents worth. Snoozy! AMEN! Time to go back to the days of yore when our elected officers were in there for the good of the country and NOT themselves. Working for one term for NO PAY! Did you know that our elected officials are NOT on Social Security? They have their own retirement program that pays a whole lot more than what we workin stiffs get. Wonder how that all came about? And just who are we to question them -- the gods of d.c.? Time for a change already and I don't think it's algore or georgie bush jr. My vote would be for Joel! Radical? Probably, but if Jesus Christ was walkin the face of the earth-He would be considered radical too!!!! Matt. 24:44

-- hoot gibson (hoot@pcinetwork.com), July 21, 2000.

I have an amendment that I would really like to see made law. It is an amendment adding to the way amendments may be made. As you will see by this amendment i believe in states rights. I would like to see that any state can propose an amendment and if the required 75 percent agree an amendment would not have to go through the federal government at all until it is law. I think the federals would do a lot better if they knew they were not the final athority on anything. I think we would get allot of crazy amendments in the system but I don't think that we would have that many passed as it would be hard to get the 75 percent of the states agreement on anything. But I think to have an oversite ability of the states on the feds would be a very good idea. Even would allow the states to overrule the Supreme Court when needed. just a thought gail

-- gail missouri ozarks (gef123@hotmail.com), July 21, 2000.

I would like to see NO MONEY being given to candidates from individuals or private interests groups. I would like to see any candidate who is interested in running go through a process of gaining a certain number of signatures, say 500,000, and to submit a platform and officially apply for candidate status. Then the government officially recognizes them as a candidate and provides the funds and forums for all of the candidates. The government would pay for media coverage for all of them, they would have a certain amount of time to state what they stand for, no cutting down of the other candidates, just talking about what they will do if elected, etc. They could cover several of them at a time to run on Public Service Announcement commercials. There could then be a primary election type of thing that the public then narrows it down to maybe ten or twenty final candidates to run which will be held six months before the election. Those final candidates then are given public forum (television coverage) again paid for my the federal government to make their case. This way even a poor candidate has a chance to be President if he is doing what the People want. All candidates will be prohibited from using any other money, theirs or otherwise to campaign. The only time they can use their money is to initially obtain the needed signatures. But someone with a lot of get up and go and not much money could still accomplish that. I think it is high time we quit letting politicians buy their way into office.

-- Colleen (pyramidgreatdanes@erols.com), July 22, 2000.

Colleen's idea sounds good. I know that there were several people in the primaries that I would have voted for before G.W. Bush or Al Gore, but the news media basically ignored them as much as possible. People who cared enough to search out information on the various candidates did a good job of voting for some of the better ones, and we almost got one, I think -- but most people only know what the major media chooses to tell them, and the major media are way too left wing to promote someone like Alan Keyes, for instance. I don't know if he would have made a great president or not, but his values were sure better than some of the others. Te media picked who they wanted and basically only covered them, deliberately leaving the others out in the cold.

-- Kathleen Sanderson (stonycft@worldpath.net), July 22, 2000.

I would like an amendment to end the federal government !!! As Jefferson told the King--we are FREE and INDEPENDENT States. Grant the original 13 colonies freedom and I'll shut up. This was intended from the beginning. I'm only asking for what should already mine !

-- Joel Rosen (Joel681@webtv.net), July 23, 2000.

I like the idea of a European-style governence where everyone who gets voted for, beyond a certain minimum, gets a say (or seats) in proportion to their votes. This way if the Rep. won at 60%, for example, the Dems. would get 40% of the vote in governmental matters. In real life, this is usually divided up into many factions, most of whom do not agree, so that in most cased the majority rules, but if they try something egregious, the others would band together to prevent it. This way everyone is represented. In the present state, only the (sometimes slim) majority who wins is represented by goverment, leaving the rest of us to hope they don't send the whole handbasket down too fast for us to pull up before we crash later on.

-- Soni Pitts (thomkilroy@hotmail.com), July 24, 2000.

I like Colleen's idea.

-- snoozy (allen@oz.net), July 24, 2000.

My amendment would be to suspend the voting rights of anyone who was on some type of government dole - if you aren't contributing to the tax base, only depleting it, you lose the right to decide how the money is being spent - usually you'll vote to spend more on yourself. That would include any "programs" that taxpayers get stuck with. If this were put into law, only a few people who acutually support the tax base would be allow to vote and they would certainly be very selective about who or what they voted for.

-- Jerry Cummings (futures8@bellsouth.net), September 09, 2000.

Wow, Jerry I like that! How about an amendment that called for adherence to the Constitution & Bill Of Rights. To propose legislation that conflicted &/or opposed these, would require a "truth in legislation" rider. This would state clearly what right/ammendment was affected by this new legislation, were it to pass. If legislation was introduced without the rider, while containing "proposed legislation" that would indeed conflict or nulify our rights &/or purpose of our constitutional form of government, the author would be tried for treason. With the appropriate punishment if found guilty.

I hate deception in any form and much prefer truth. Even if it leads to something I would oppose. Imagine, a congressman who proposes legislation time & again, with the rider clearly attatched. This would point out to all the voters that this congress "person" is working towards a different form of government. If they continue to elect him/her, the people are, with full knowledge, advocating the same. At least then all is in the open, the backdoor piece by piece destruction of our rights & responsibilities are made known.

And if one wants to risk being tried for treason by failing to acknowledge this legislation is contrary to our Constitution and attempts to "sneak" it in, appropriate punishment is available.

I know, just kinda dreaming here, but I do believe it would "encourage" our esteemed representatives, etc... to educate themselves completly regarding our Constitution, and the rights held therein. Oh well, just a thought..... God Bless! Wendy

-- Wendy@GraceAcres (wjl7@hotmail.com), September 09, 2000.

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