The Cost of Elections is Out of Control

Courtesy County of San Diego

Courtesy County of San Diego

Oct. 24, 2014 (San Diego) Here is the breaking news to our political system. This year’s midterm season is going to run approximately $4 billion. This is according to Open Secrets.

One of our local races so far, has run approximately $10 million. Most of the money is going into highly deceptive adds from all sides. Some observers expect it to go all the way to 16 million by the time it is all said and done.

One of my favorites in the deceptive add department is the one that accuses Scott Peters of using $70,000 in vehicle allowances while at City Hall. The political add is not telling you is that every member of the San Diego City Council receives those allowances. Yes that includes his opponent, and I am just using this as an example.

Moreover, members of the city council in El Cajon get vehicle allowances (much lower, their annual budget is minuscule when compared to San Diego City). Nor have they told you that this applies to every other city council in the County.

The reason for this, and in 2012 that became a hot potato in El Cajon, is that your members of the city council do not just go to work at City Hall, they also use their private vehicles to visit constituents and do ribbons cutting and the rest that comes with the job.

Now, as a voter, since candidates have mostly gone negative in almost every race, I have no idea what many of these candidates will actually do when and if their get to the office they are running for. The dark money coming into the system makes it almost impossible to run what we might term a positive campaign.

But when you go vote Nov. 4, remember, this year the midterms will run close to $4 billion. This is a consequence of the Citizens’ United decision. This is in no way a democracy in any form we might be familiar with.

There are other examples of this bad behavior, and they are even at lower tier levels. The La Mesa race is dirty as it has ever been. Some of our local fireboards are just as bad.

So in effect, we have a political system that has been corrupted by money to the point that the average voter is left with the he said, she said, and not really what they intend to do. It is time to pull back from Citizens United, and the United States Congress should act on it. Then again, when two candidates, so far, have spent 10 million, good luck with that one. They are not working for you, but to raise money for the next campaign.

It is time for publicly funded elections. It is time to limit the time for campaigning.

Categories: analysis, Citizens United, Elections

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