The huge push of the Republican party over the last decade has been to make voter registration more difficult, expensive, and controlled- you know, so there can’t be any “voter fraud” or “stolen elections.”
When was the last time you heard about doing the same to the people who actually buy the politicians they want in office? What about them? As it stands now, there is no registration process for political donors- no certification, no government ID required, no way to truly tell if the money is in fact coming from the donor- or someone else.
Funny how all of a sudden a CEO, his wife, his teenage daughter and her illegitimate child and even the family dog can all donate to a candidate campaign fund (I have no example for this- but, I’m sure it’s out there) or when a start-up company like one in Dayton- has the entire staff donating $1000 ea on the same day, to the same congressman (the company, a Dayton Development Coalition darling called QBase– was outed by me- and the FBI investigated and did jack squat). Of course there’s a law against this, but, as we all know, laws are only for little people in America.
The crazy thing about the Federal Elections Commission database of all campaign finance donations– is it’s so useless, a private organization has to reorganize the data so that it’s actually useful- see OpenSecrets.org How do I know that the data is bad? Well, a long time ago I researched the donations of a wall street wizard billionaire who had just been banished from trading with other peoples money over insider trading. His name is, well, according to the candidates he donated- either Steve, Stephen or Steven, middle initial- sometimes- A. with a last name of Cohen. He had a company called SAC capital, but now may be better known as the owner of the NY Mets. Back in April of 2013, I did a bit of research and posted about this: Surveillance, the Boston Marathon bombings and the real crime in America
I believe the FEC should provide every candidate with a donation portal, where registered donors fund the campaigns. It displays not only donations in real time, but it also tracks all expenditures in real time, since candidates would be given a debit card to make payments with. No more setting up bank accounts, getting employer ID numbers, or having to mess around with payment processors like ActBlue or Anedot. I’d even take the tracking one step father, showing all donors to a campaign- on every elected officials site (also provided by the FEC) which would also record all votes- and compare votes to donors that would benefit by the candidates votes. It’s time for total transparency in the auctions we call elections.
As I’ve often said, voters now know more about what’s in their breakfast cereal and it’s nutritional content than they do about their Congressman and his corporate ownership.
Campaign finance reform must start with the end of self reporting by candidates, because if you want to know the real fraud in elections, it always is best to follow the money.
This is one of the primary initiatives of my 501(c)3 non-profit, The Modern Policy Institute, which is working toward building a complete, open-source, transparent, voter information system to change government as we know it.