This Amendment also adds necessary campaign conduct safeguards to the Constitution directly.
If we continue to pay for campaigns by granting spenders tax exemptions,
campaigns will continue to be conducted at the corporate sphere’s ethical level.
How can the public control the ethical conduct of campaigns?We have a right to oversee what we are paying for,but tax exemptions are not immediately reviewable by the public as they are taken after the year is over, too late to prevent or affect conduct.
This amendment establishes it as a budget item instead.
This amendment adds necessary campaign conduct safeguards to the Constitution directly. For example:
See the amendment for all of the safeguards. There are many; the Constitution barely addresses ethics in the political process.
Today, money not spent on campaigns remains in candidates’ war chests for future campaigns. If we don’t like someone's work in office we can’t take unspent money back. And while that money isn’t supposed to be spent on anything else the IRS is very liberal about what can be considered campaign spending, even after the election. Some officers have been prosecuted for treating their war chests as personal slush funds.
Donations to candidates and parties are still not deductible. But there are other abuses involving donations to spenders.
Private financing of campaigns is becoming a larger and more complex problem every year. Although nothing can completely prevent abuse, sole public funding gets us off this slippery slope now.
How can the public curb private-sector influence on government? Without mandatory sole public campaign funding, we can't. Even though the public pays for most campaigning (see You Already Do), PACs and other large spenders are in a position to exert inappropriate influence (see Preserving Consent in a Democracy, the Constitution and Politics). When candidates become beholden, government waste and fraud result, and interests are judged not by their values but by how much money they have. By funding campaigns through the budget instead of by tax exemptions, we keep candidates from forgetting that the public is actually footing the bill.
This form of influence is ended completely by this method, but there are other ways private influence creeps into the process. See the rest of this amendment, particularly Leashing the Gerrymander and Balancing Access Inside Congress. .