Class Warfare Blog

July 26, 2012

Keeping Political Money Local—The People’s Pledge

Filed under: Politics — Steve Ruis @ 9:06 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

Readers of this blog know that I have advocated that all political campaign funds need to be raised within the political boundary involved in an election (U.S. Senate and State Governor races only allow in-state money, etc). The reason being is that psychologically one cannot ignore a gift from another. Our brains are hardwired to feel gratitude (and to seek reciprocity) for such gifts. Consequently, gifts of funds from “outsiders” make candidates want to reciprocate, which basically is influence peddling, because those outsiders are just that, outside of the political boundaries of that candidate, hence he/she doesn’t represent the donors. This undermines the representational structure of our democracy. Why would an outside donor donate unless he/she wanted to counter the desires of the in-district citizens? The representative ends up acceding to the needs of the outsider rather than the needs of the people who he/she supposedly represents!

Well, lo and behold, this concept is being tried!

What’s one way to blunt the effects of outside interest groups on politics? Ban them. That’s what Republican Sen. Scott Brown and Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren did in their Massachusetts Senate race. The two candidates struck a unique deal in January to penalize one another if any outside group bought advertising to influence their race—and it has worked. Maybe too well. Consultants and political observers now question whether the ban has come at an electoral price.” (By Rachel Rose Hartman & Chris Moody | The Ticket – Tue, Jul 24, 2012)

So, the candidates agreed upon such an “outside money ban” for their Senate race and now the “nattering nabobs of negativism” are arguing whether this is a successful tactic on the part of the man (Sen. Scott Brown) who suggested it.

Huh? Letting the people of Massachusetts decide who will be their next Senator, without undue influence and influence peddling by outsiders—how can this not be a great idea?

If one argues that Candidate A or B lost the election because outside money wasn’t allowed, how can that be a bad thing? If the people in the state don’t want a candidate, why should outsiders be able to say, “Oh, no, you have to take him!”

Support the ban! We need a Grover Norquist-type crusader to insist candidates “take the People’s Pledge” like Brown and Warren did!


  1. I love this idea!


    Comment by thejumbledmind — July 26, 2012 @ 9:49 am | Reply

  2. I think this needs to be a growing trend. I can easily see this being someing one candidate could guilt their counterpart into. I mean how can someone honestly argue FOR outside money being spent in huge quantities on local elections. It’d be so easy to use against them.


    Comment by Mashed Potato Bulletin — July 26, 2012 @ 6:45 pm | Reply

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