For some time, we have been reporting the influence of the moneyed elite, notably George Soros and Tom Steyers, in choosing our elected officials from the White House -- with the "billionaire club" -- down to the local races. This happens when money flows in from outside the area candidates will serve, allowing those of wealth to replace constituent influence and effectively purchase the representatives from outside the districts. If constituents have lost their power to decide who their leaders will be, how can we any longer pretend we have a democratic republic?
On the congressional level, those holding "safe seats," as for example Democrat Nancy Pelosi and Republican Kevin McCarthy, can either build up gigantic arsenals to "nuke" a threatening contender or, worse, hand off their unneeded donations to a like-minded candidate in another state to impact elections in ways often contrary to the will of its citizens. These outside influences have to stop!
More funding allows more signs and literature to be distributed and more newspaper, radio and television ads to destroy an opponent or get a message out, resulting in a higher probability of winning. Candidates with the most money and publicity usually win; and the rich, by their funding, select contenders long before the people vote, therefore controlling the result. In many cases, more money originates from outside a voting district than from within. If no candidate could receive money or influence from outside his or her district, it would stop much influence peddling.
LibertyUnderFire is the lead advocate for ending outside influences in our nation's elections and thus offers the following new amendment to the Constitution. "All election funding, outside candidate's personal wealth, (individuals or organizations), in all elections shall originate from eligible voters in the district served by the election and donated since the last election for the same office."
Propositions are a part of most elections and can be considered without attachment to a candidate. This would not stop the funding or creation of ads for or against a candidate, or ballot issues, so long as all monies used in such originate from voters within the district served by the candidate. The word original is designed to stop donation transfer from outside district sources to inside donors to circumvent the amendment.
Under this amendment, the 1996 Bill Clinton campaign could not have received money from China to influence the election nor from any individual not eligible to vote for president; nor could Clinton Foundation monies be used to influence elections because much of that money comes from international contributors. Some of us still remember the Bill Clinton Chinese Fundraising Scandal involving DNC finance chairman John Huang and Chinese nationalist Johnny Chung. The DNC was forced to return more than $2.8 million in illegal or improper donations from foreign nationals, largely from China, to gain favor in the Clinton Administration.
Neither could the Koch brothers, Charles and David, who fund many Republican Party candidates on the right side of the political spectrum, and George Soros or Tom Steyer, who fund Democrat Party candidates and issues on the left, influence any contest to which they cannot personally vote. This amendment would limit the billionaire class to the "purchase" of only their own congressman or senator --not a large group of them.
Both Soros and Steyer bankrolled far left candidate Andrew Gillum's Florida campaign for governor, hoping to flip the state from red to blue, anticipating that the resulting electoral count increase could sway the nation for decades. Gillum "courted Soros' organizations and spoke at a number of their gatherings." When they met at San Francisco, "he promised to back Gillum's gubernatorial run." Steyer "funneled about $800,000 into the Get Out the Vote initiative prior to the Gillum run" (Ingraham Angle, August 29, 2018). An activity that was targeted to get Gillum elected would, hence, be denied Steyer with the new amendment, as with most of the $30 million he spent on the midterms. Steyer is a resident of California, not Florida.
Congressmen from "safe" districts could not "hand off" their unneeded donations to a like-minded candidate in another district. Nor could they hold over funding from previous victories to "nuke" a future opponent. Contributions are a form of voting normally intended for this candidate only, and for this election only, and they could only be accumulated since the last election for that office. Laws presently limit the amount of individual contributions, but the "rich" find loopholes in donating, as in the case of Gillum.
The "rich" have been involved in influencing elections at least since the 1896 "giants of the Industrial Revolution" buyout of William McKinley for president when they used their money to bury opponent William Jennings Bryan. This amendment would not have stopped that, as all citizens elect the president-- only a rigorous enforcement of present law restricting individual contributions could do that -- but today it would stop international campaign funding as happened in 1996 for Clinton.
Nor will it today stop all of George Soros' 11 major influence groups, some of which sponsor activities that border on treason. His funding Antifa, Kavanaugh "Hearing disruptors," and those accosting Senate committee members or funding caravans of illegal immigrants from Central America may have to wait for other solutions. But the amendment will prevent him and other rich from replacing constituents in choosing their representatives. Expect amendment by-partisan opposition from the rich.
Harold W. Pease, Ph.D., is a syndicated columnist and an expert on the United States Constitution. He has dedicated his career to studying the writings of the Founding Fathers and applying that knowledge to current events. He taught history and political science from this perspective for more than 30 years at Taft College. To read more of his weekly articles, visit www.LibertyUnderFire.org.Editorial on 04/10/2019
Print Headline: How to stop the rich from purchasing your representatives