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This morning as I was listening to “Think Out Loud” on OPB I was hearing about our gubernatorial candidates and the millions of dollars they are raising to support their candidacy. Meanwhile, Oregon’s General Fund is short millions of dollars needed to carry out the state’s fiscal budget and cuts are being made statewide to keep expenditures in line with revenues. Wouldn’t it be wonderful, I thought, if the millions of dollars these candidates are raising could go directly into the state’s General Fund?
Couldn’t we set up our electoral process so that any established political party could nominate one candidate for each electoral office and those candidates would then fundraise as they do now, but all amounts raised would go into the General Fund? Then the candidate that raised the most money for the General Fund as of the date of the election would be declared the winner. We citizens would literally vote with our dollars donated.
Suppose candidates, once elected in this way, had to poll their constituents prior to each session or meeting of the body to which they’d been elected. Perhaps a telephone poll could be held, and each constituent could say “Yes” or “No” to each item on the agenda. In order for a candidate to introduce legislation or work in any way on an item he or she would need to be authorized by at least half of the polled constituents to deal with that issue at this session or meeting. This way constituents would determine the agenda of items they saw as most essential for governmental action at this time.
If commercial or non-profit organizations wanted legislative action, they could use their money to convince the electorate of the need for this issue to be addressed now. Their success would be determined by the results legislators got when they polled their constituents. There would no longer be any need for companies or non-profits to form PACs to finance candidate’s campaigns, and legislators would no longer be beholden to them for their positions. This would mean that all the amounts raised by candidates for office and going into the General Fund would come from individual citizens.
posted 2 years, 9 months ago
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