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Monday, May 2, 2016

Winding Roads: Offices for sale

Thursday, November 16, 2006

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Can you believe it? The money it takes to run for political office is astronomical. I really had no idea that the pay scale for fulfilling those offices was so great. I've never heard anyone I know say, "I want to be a politician when I grow up so I can become rich." Have you?

Honestly, it is getting way beyond all reason. Even if one has millions to toss away on a campaign, is it the prudent thing to do? More importantly, is it the decent thing to do?

Did I hear someone say it is their money and they can squander it any way they want? Pete Ricketts is a good example of this. If he wants to help people, give that money where it would do some good. If one is so blessed to have that much money, they could do much for society. Well, I say it is about time we started to protect the political process by limiting big time spending so one with a few dollars in the bank can have a fair chance at becoming involved.

The trouble with much of this is that corporations have too much political clout by purchasing influence on the direction our laws and regulations are written. Some of these loopholes which allow corporations to get away with what they do were supposed to be closed a couple of years back, but the reality of it is that little has been done.

The dollars that both candidates spent on Iowa's governor campaign could have done more good by giving it to charity or, better yet, finding a cure for one of many diseases. If that doesn't catch your fancy, what about improving education, medical facilities, housing, development of fuels and the list goes on. Perhaps we could pay down the government's debt. What about infrastructure that's being neglected?

It wouldn't take long to find something that needs doing. Between the two candidates, they spent around $16 million. They sure didn't have that in personal accounts. Money came from many sources and how much will they need to pay back that obligation with their votes one way or the other?

I guess if you aren't rich, there would be no hope of getting your political message out. But then again, most of that money was spent running the other guy down as opposed to bringing out new ideas, new programs, new methods of financing, improving old programs.

How about a campaign regulation that you have to come up with a new idea to counteract the dishing out of criticism of how it is now being done? You just couldn't criticize or say just negatives without offering something substantial of what they would do. Ads should be limited in the number of times they run.

The only people who benefit from all these dollars spent on advertising are advertisers. The TV networks, radios, newspapers and magazines make a mint when you consider it nationwide.

The other thought I had was that perhaps these folks running for office ought to serve without pay. After all, they are spending more on their campaigns than what their annual salary will be to serve anyway.

The trouble with all of this is putting the power in the hands of a few. How can these politicians go against someone who provides them with vacations, plane rides and so forth?

Media are to blame for much of this as well. Their focus is limited to sensationalism and that my dear is why the final finger pointing goes back to many a reader or listener. If it isn't exciting one tends not to listen or read. Too many want entertainment as opposed to facts.

We now may have a four- to- six- month break before it starts up again with speculations about who is going to run. After each campaign, we think this has been the worst. Truth is, it keeps going downhill and not enough folks seems to care enough to do anything about it.