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|Exploiting an Addict Rather Than Ending a dependancy
Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has joined a small but important number of business leaders who accept is as true to use their personal influence to create government are more effective. In a letter to colleagues and friends, Schultz pledged to finish his contributions to political campaigns "until [politicians] strike a bipartisan, balanced long-term debt deal that addresses both entitlements and revenues." He also pledged with respect to Starbucks to "hire and accelerate employment." Both pledges flow from an obviously deeply felt view that something profoundly wrong has happened to our government and nation. His efforts -- such as the efforts of Warren Buffett and Bill Gates -- aren't steps inside a political campaign. They are the actions of decent citizens trying to make a society better.
Schultz is appropriate that something profoundly bad has happened to American politics. He's also right to tie that profound bad to the endless addiction our elected officials have to campaign cash. We now have entered a time when politicians like Republican Scott Brown are not even embarrassed to reason that while programs like Medicare and Social Security must be on the budget chopping block, subsidies to big oil (a cause of Scott Brown) shouldn't. Or when Democrat Xavier Becerra, appointed to the "super Congress" which will have extraordinary capacity to make spending and revenue budget decisions, doesn't reconsider cashing in on his newly-found power by touting it inside a fundraising letter to DC lobbyists. (Update: Congressman Becarra writes that he "did not know, didn't ask, wouldn't ask and I won't ask some of my supporters to make use of my appointment towards the select committee for purposes outside its principle focus." Bravo.) Or when Congress,[url=http://woolrichdeutschlandarcticparka.albirank.net/][b]Woolrich Parka Günstig outlet[/b][/url], in the middle of two wars, an economic depression,[url=http://peutereyjacketsuppliers.webmium.com/][b]Peuterey Jacket men[/b][/url], a jobs crisis, as well as an impending government shutdown, spends most of its attention on whether "swipe fees" for an atm card ought to be higher (banks win) or lower (retailers win). Why would it do this? Because of course, each side for the reason that fight are just too wanting to shower the not-yet-wooed Members with endless campaign cash. In context after context,[url=http://wheretobuyrogerviviershoes.webmium.com/][b]buy roger vivier shoes online[/b][/url], the priorities and sensibilities of the Congress are queered by its perpetual addiction to campaign funds. Nothing in Washington will change until we change this.
But however right his motivation, Schultz's pledge to withhold campaign dollars until Congress agrees on a tight budget won't fix this mess. Without doubt, you will get an addict to clean up the garage by withholding his fix until he is done. But that won't assist the addict end his addiction. Exactly the same with this cash-addicted-Congress: What reformers like Schultz need to do is to use their ability to get Congress to end its addiction, by pushing for reforms that would make it easy for government to act sanely and independently of special interest funders.
Which was the goal of Arnold Hiatt (former CEO of Stride Rite) and Alan Hassenfeld (former Chairman of Hasbro, Inc.) when they launched an identical campaign just last year, by writing (PDF) towards the largest campaign funders, and asking them to withhold funds from any candidate who didn't pledge to support the Fair Elections Now Act -- a bill that would give candidates the opportunity to opt out of special interest funding, and into a voluntary system that would limit campaign contributions to $100, with each contribution matched 4 to 1 by the government. Abrams, Edgar Bronfman Jr., CEO of Warner Music, Ben Cohen, co-founder of Ben Jerry's, and Vin Ryan, Chairman of Schooner Capital -- to withhold campaign contributions from special interest candidates. It also inspired a large number of smaller contributors to make a similar pledge.
The Hiatt/Hassenfeld strategy uses the leverage of campaign contributions to alter the machine for funding campaigns. It doesn't withhold the fix. It ends the addiction. You will find any number of important causes that powerful souls like Schultz could organize funder strikes around -- bank reform, healthcare reform, tax reform, global warming legislation -- for our current Congress can't address any of these issues sensibly because special interests always block change. But much better is really a technique to alter the environment within which these special interests can always block change. Which was Hiatt and Hassenfeld's objective -- an objective that Schultz's approach cannot achieve.
Schultz could fix this flaw by adding an escape clause to his current pledge,[url=http://giuseppezanottisneakers.webmium.com/][b]http://giuseppezanottisneakers.webmium.com/[/b][/url]. Let contributors promise not to give unless Congress strikes an offer or a candidate pledges to funding reform. Congress:
1. Congress has honest,[url=http://wheretobuyrogerviviershoes.webmium.com/][b]http://wheretobuyrogerviviershoes.webmium.com/[/b][/url], hardworking, outstanding public servants and they don't sell their votes because they really believe they should be representing the very best interests from the United states citizens.
2. Congress happens to be within the pay of the Robber Barons and can be purchased cheap.
3. Senators to bribe to keep the general public option out of those health care bills (swindle bills) and stop other things they don't like from passing. Sad is it not!!! and anyone who says America is still a Republic will be an liar, a fool or totally deceived.
'. Fair Elections Now Act -- a bill that would give candidates the opportunity to opt from special interest funding, and into a voluntary system that will limit campaign contributions to $100, with each contribution matched 4 to 1 by the government.'
I have a better idea Mr Lessing. What about all of us stop mindlessly voting for candidates with flashy, expensive, and intensely vulgar (re)election campaigns and begin voting third party / independent who spend far,[url=http://rogerviviershoesshoponline.webmium.com/][b]http://rogerviviershoesshoponline.webmium.com/[/b][/url], far less cash on their campaigns. At bottom of it isn't pols who are addicted to campaign finance money, it is the electorate who're addicted to fancy, gee-whiz, who-can-spend-the-most-money campaigns.
Vote third-party or independent. Vote Libertarian.
How absurd -- offering up an example of Democrats acting badly. Even Boehner, as reported about this blog,[url=http://parajumersoutletdeutschland.albirank.net/][b]http://parajumersoutletdeutschland.albirank.net/[/b][/url], noted he got 98% of want he wanted. an imaginative marketing ploy. 3) Copping out is easy -- just mindlessly repeat the narrative: each side are bad--that way it's not necessary to think, if perhaps Obama had given the GOPsters all they wanted, compliantly, things would be good, ummm I am talking about bi-partisan, non? What a mislead state that both sides are equally responsible. I hate 5bucks anyway, and can take or leave Whole-foods. Now I will avoid patronizing either. Claiming that each side are at fault is a myth, with different poor grasp of inescapable fact and chronology.
Your very statement demonstrates your partisanship. I along with many are deeply frustrated with a political system which involves constant the calculus of re-election and politics to cloud legitimate making decisions processes. You obviously can't stand the GOP and appear to have an issue with business. Political Kabuki sets vote getting and power over the needs of our country. Obama established his priorities when taking office so when Democrats controlled each house. His pandering towards the middle class is equally as disingenuous because the Republicans no tax policy. Democrats demonize Republicans as heartless, coddlers from the rich for referring to entitlement reforms while the Republicans accuse Democrats of never seeing a tax the didn't like and socializing the nation. BTW, have you ever hear of anyone proposing to means test Medicare and SS as methods of entitlement reform and taxation rather than increase income and capital gains taxes? Absolutely not,[url=http://peutereyjacketsuppliers.webmium.com/][b]Peuterey Jacket outlet[/b][/url], this means rising from the AARP crowd.
Holding back financial support from both sides is probably to not work as too many people like yourself are dead set on getting their side to win and will continue to reward bad behavior of both parties by giving them money.
I think men like Schultz ought to be commended as well as put in office--because he understands what the real problem of the country is. Our representatives don't even have time to read laws, with so much POWER - like a teenager to some parent nagging for the car - these Lobbyists just drum their beat again and again and over until our representatives clearly lost touch with the rest of citizens who don't put on a lobbyist.
I love the purpose the article makes concerning the pledge but sadly, these addicts may need instead some tough love until all lobbying is ended.
If Corporations are Citizens, let them write instructions for their representatives like everybody else.
Surely that we've had a lot of campaign finance reform come and we have a vast amount of money with its attendant influence in Government. We've continued through the years by attempting to "shut from the faucet." Soft money, and other fund raising methods have simply bypassed the well-intended reforms.
I suggest that people get rid of the demand side, or at best control it. Let's say Congress enacted election laws,[url=http://woolrichoutletitalia.albirank.net/][b]http://woolrichoutletitalia.albirank.net/[/b][/url], at least in the Federal Level that restricted Campaign SPENDING, to say, five times the annual salary from the position being sought.
The relatively severe funding strictures would require the candidate to spend nearly all their funding on travel. Debates would become critically important, along with meeting constituents. Candidates would HAVE to accept any interview opportunities, from whatever media would talk to them. Negative campaigning would be far to expensive,[url=http://peutereyjacketsuppliers.webmium.com/][b]peuterey womens jacket[/b][/url], and also the PAC attack ads would become just background noise. I'd support a rally that encompasses left, right and center with this, but it's one thing that all voters could support. National and State Parties may be the source for the funds, however the candidates would be limited, legally, to a rational expenditure.