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Tue Feb 9, 2016, 01:44 PM

Publicly Funded Elections, Bernie's solution to the root problem of campaign bribes.

In the MSNBC debate the other night, Bernie was asked if he would tackle first if elected. Immigration was suggested as a possibility by the moderator to trap him into either committing to that issue first, or pissing off the Latino vote by suggesting another issue first. Bernie avoided this trap by explaining that immigration and a whole host of other important issues would not go anywhere unless we first deal with the corruption in Washington caused by campaign contributions (bribes).

For his plan to work he has said all along that the people will have to pressure Washington into doing what we need and eliminating campaign contributions and Super PAC's. What he is fighting for is a return of Representative Democracy. Currently, we have politicians who only represent Donors, not "We the People." Hillary is the perfect example of what Bernie is talking about. This is what makes this the most important Presidential election for many decades. It will determine if we can throw off the yoke of the shadow government that controls our politics and regain control over our Democracy, or be subjected to more corporate control over our lives and our future. The stakes couldn't be higher!

Despite Hillary's denial that the huge personal fortune she and Bill amassed by speaking to these power brokers, and all of the campaign and Super Pac contributions would have an effect on her policy positions, it does have an effect, on both her, and all of the Republican and Democratic politicians who are lining up to endorse her and receive money from her massive list of wealthy donors.

We have been ranking candidates by how much in bribes they can amass each quarter, that's how ingrained this crap is! This has to end and Bernie is our best chance at doing it! I no longer choose to live under corporate rule!

Feel the Bern!!!!!!!

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Response to Dustlawyer (Original post)

Tue Feb 9, 2016, 01:47 PM

1. Don't have breakfast with The Oligarchs

While decrying purity.
Just saying

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Response to misterhighwasted (Reply #1)

Tue Feb 9, 2016, 01:51 PM

2. She is counting on a lot of us being too stupid to understand the obligations incurred by taking all

of that money! They don't give that kind of money to someone opposed to what they want. Bernie is the prime example, they wouldn't donate to him if their lives depended upon it!

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Response to Dustlawyer (Reply #2)

Tue Feb 9, 2016, 02:51 PM

7. so why'd they invite him to breakfast with the oligarchs?

And why'd he attend?
I call bull on this scheme.
Why do any politiciane rub shoulders.
One is in it as much as the next.
Some just don't use against another to polish themselves as purists.
Only difference there is.

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Response to Dustlawyer (Original post)

Tue Feb 9, 2016, 02:08 PM

3. Then I don't get why he doesn't take any public funding for his campaign now

Well, I get it: he would get federal matching funds for each dollar he raises, but it would impose spending limits on him, and he doesn't want to do that.

But if you're going to argue for public funding so vociferously, might you not think it a good idea to set an example by taking it yourself?

I'd be thrilled if we went back to taking public funding--G. W. Bush was the first to reject it, in 2000. And I was frankly sorry that Obama did, too. That train seems to have left the station because of the ease with which Internet funding is available.

Even Bernie Sanders, who has made limiting the political influence of the wealthy a central tenet of his campaign, has no intention of taking public financing. Under questioning by NBC’s Chuck Todd at a debate in New Hampshire last week, he called the program “a disaster,” adding: “Nobody can become president based on that system.”

And so, the funding mechanism devised after the Watergate scandal to prevent the unseemly spectacle of candidates for the nation’s highest office cadging funds from well-heeled special interest pleaders is “basically dead,” says Ken Mayer, a University of Wisconsin political scientist who studies public campaign finance systems.

The reason has nothing to do with altruism on the part of office-seekers, or concern about the public debt. Public financing has grown unpopular with presidential candidates because the amount of money it offers them, which is indexed to inflation, hasn’t kept up with the torrid pace of campaign giving or the ingenious ways that private donors have discovered to insert themselves into campaigns.


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Response to frazzled (Reply #3)

Tue Feb 9, 2016, 02:13 PM

4. I am fine with the people supporting this campaign.

He is doing this for us after all!

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Response to Dustlawyer (Reply #4)

Tue Feb 9, 2016, 02:25 PM

5. I am too, but it's not what is meant by public funding

I have always been in favor of public funding--the government provides funding, and the candidates have to agree to spending limits (which seem pretty generous, if you ask me). We have far too much money spent on campaigns, to cover far too long periods of time. Television ad revenues, Internet ads, travel, gizmos, rallies (very expensive, with arena rentals and security and equipment costs) over a period of two years.

Since we all want to be more like European countries (cough), why don't we make our elections more like theirs, which last only a few months, start to finish? If no one could spend more than $48.01 million for the primary election and $96.14 million for the general election (the current 2016 legal spending limits for candidates who accept public funding), wouldn't that be ok? (It wouldn't get rid of private spending, however--unless we can overturn Citizens United, which must be done.)

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Response to frazzled (Reply #5)

Tue Feb 9, 2016, 02:38 PM

6. I am all for this, but what you are talking about would guarantee Bernie would have no chance to

win. He has fore sworn Super Pacs and big corporate donors to avoid the influence peddling all other candidates are taking part of. Bernie is fighting for Publicly Funded Elections as you claim to support, but with one arm tied behind his back. What you are suggesting is to fight with both arms tied and his mouth taped shut.

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Response to Dustlawyer (Reply #6)

Tue Feb 9, 2016, 02:54 PM

8. Super Pacs have nothing to do with publicly funded elections

That is an entirely separate issue. And yes, Bernie does get support from Super Pacs. As we know the National Nurses United Super Pac has spent more money on promoting his candidacy during the primary than any of the Clinton-related Super Pacs have done (they're apparently saving their funds for the general). There's also the CWA SuperPac. Candidates do not control this outside money or how these groups can spend it. They can't even refuse to have a Super Pac--they have no control over whether outside groups decide to spend money supporting them.

Here's what a Super Pac is:

Super PACs are a relatively new type of committee that arose following the July 2010 federal court decision in a case known as SpeechNow.org v. Federal Election Commission.

Technically known as independent expenditure-only committees, super PACs may raise unlimited sums of money from corporations, unions, associations and individuals, then spend unlimited sums to overtly advocate for or against political candidates. Unlike traditional PACs, super PACs are prohibited from donating money directly to political candidates, and their spending must not be coordinated with that of the candidates they benefit. Super PACs are required to report their donors to the Federal Election Commission on a monthly or semiannual basis – the super PAC's choice – in off-years, and monthly in the year of an election.


Public funding is a separate issue. It means candidates raise funds from individuals (who have set limits for contributions; this is true for all candidates, whether Republican, Democratic, or Independent). The government matches the first $250 of such funds. In return, candidates must agree to spending no more than $48 million during the primaries and/or $96 million during the general.

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Response to frazzled (Reply #8)

Tue Feb 9, 2016, 04:41 PM

9. I understand what you are saying, but we are dealing with things as they are now, not how we would

like them to be. Sure, you can say that Bernie is like Hillary and is being hypocritical, but the key difference is that we the people are the only ones he owes. You cannot expect him to further limit his ability to win by capping him to $48 million to fight Hillary who started with a war chest of over 100 million. It would be unfair for Bernie to try to win and make these much needed changes, by crippling his campaign with even less funds. Hillary would say the same thing, that she will fight Citizen's United and campaign finance once elected, but we know she will not be allowed by those that she took all of that money from. Bernie is raising money from the people to specifically get rid of fundraising altogether. That is what he owes us and he is very clear about that.

Bernie also does not ask or expect anyone or organization to create a Super Pac for him. If someone did than they are truly independent from him and his campaign, unlike candidates I don't need to mention by name. I am not saying that every other candidate's Super Pac coordinates with the campaign they support, but too many do, even if its just asking your Citi Group buddies to start one for you.

Bottom line is that you cannot take all of that money from Wall Street, MIC, Big Pharma, insurance companies, Big Agriculture, fossil fuel companies, private prisons, charter schools... and be independent. Studies have shown that what the 99% want makes zero difference in policy, whereas donations make all of the difference in the world. Bernie is fighting for our country and for us, Hillary is fighting for herself and the power.

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