Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Lobbyists and PACs Represent Americans?

I think that lobbyists and PACs represent corporate interests and a few people who have a lot of money. So, it really pisses me off that in order for me to pay for Utah for Obama to have a booth, or advertise an event in City Weekly like our Bowling for Barack fundraiser this Friday, that we have to jump through hoops to make sure we are within FEC guidelines. We, as a small group of citizens cannot hold a BBQ without worrying that we save every receipt that might be slightly related and turn it in as an in-kind donation to the campaign. And, if we wanted to form a Political Action Committee, so that we can pay our own way for events and BBQs, we couldn't because a PAC can't have the sole purpose of helping a presidential campaign. Besides which, Obama isn't taking PAC or lobbyist money in this election.

So, we jump through those hoops, and it's so frustrating to watch PACs and lobbyists funding Hillary's campaign. We, average citizens who want Barack to be our next president, cannot be a PAC, but yet PACs and lobbyists donate to Hillary's campaign, and she turns around and declares that they do represent us.

She's wrong. A very small portion of PACs and lobbyists might represent us. But, her statement is far from true. By far, the money that has gone into Hillary's campaign represents special interests, and not the individual American. 350,000 individual people have donated to Barack Obama. Very few of those donors are maxed out, while far more of Hillary's are.

We truly need campaign finance reform. Until then, sadly, the lobbyists and PACs get a greater say in who our next president will be than we do. Donating helps, but considering that most "average" people aren't going to be able to max out their $2,300 donation limit in the primary, it still feels like "they" get a far bigger say in what happens than "we" will. I do have faith that Obama will continue to outpace Hillary with the sheer number of donors. That's been why he had higher fundraising dollars than Hillary did for the first two quarters.

Why does it have to be about money, though? This has got to be fixed, and soon.

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