Our Broken Political System: Fixed Jappler Style

Tomorrow is mid-term elections and over the last few weeks I have grown more and more disgusted with the campaign tactics and politicians in generally. Not only do we have to put up with horrible attack ads, we have to also put up with “well they are not going to do anything with issue y in an election year”. Sometimes government just does not seem to work – even with the best intentions.

There are multiple issues with our current state of government and I would like to go over two issues I think some major overhauling.

Campaigning
Campaigning is particularly frustrating to me. There are plenty of people out there that I would love to represent the people in the state/federal government but cannot either afford it or do not want to drag their family through the media. The people remaining (who can afford it and do not care about the media)…are these the people that really have our best interests at heart? And what do they do with all that money? This election it seems like almost everyone had a few horrible attack ads – even using children to belittle current issues including health care. Not only are the candidates themselves attacking one and other – there are special interest groups doing more of this as well. (Look at the paid for by…). This is just outrageous. The fact that there have been so many horrible ads coupled with the amount of money spent on all of this makes me sick.

What we need is a more open and available way for people to get known and to run with a more positive path. I realize there are caps to campaigning – but that is not enough. I think if you want to run for office – a simple collection of x number of names and a general fee ($5,000 – $10,000) should get you a spot. The entrance fee would pay for the centralization of all campaigning activities as well as make sure that the candidate was serious. There would be a central office that would control six months of actual “campaigning”. No money can be spent on negative commercials or negative advertisements. The central office would set up open debates (if there were a number of people running – a bracket (Final Four style) would be created). These debates would run on TV/radio at both set times and then available online. Furtxhermore, a web site would be created that listed everyone’s bio, past votes, and some testimonials. No one would be able to “campaign” for more than six months – as it is a waste of everyone’s time and money. The candidates would also fill out a contract of sorts that clearly lists their realistic goals of what they would complete while in office.

Pay
I am sick people running that promise “x,y,z” and do nothing. This is nothing more than jr high politics as the kids promise to bring junk food, give days off, etc when running for class president. You want someone to do something? Mandate everyone creates a contract with their campaign promises. (see above)

For each promise they keep, they get paid. Think good salesmen that actually not just talk about the sales they can get – but actually get sales. Do we really need more people with all kinds of promises who either do not follow through or turn around and do the opposite? We constituents deserve more. We help elect these people on certain beliefs and grounds. In return – I do not think it is too much to ask that they actually follow through. Perhaps this is the way to also make a dent in standing up to special interests as well as make the elected officials work more before elections instead of less.

Questions/Comments? Am I on to something or just crazy?

PS – do not forget to vote tomorrow!

Wasting Money the Government Way

Here in Illinois we have been hearing about the Rod Blagojevich fiasco for weeks. I have been busy for the last few weeks and have not watched the news or his trial – but I did happen to catch that as soon as he was impeached – IL spent $15,000 to remove signs on our highways that had his name on them (Open Road Tolling–Rod R. Blagojevich Governor). PS – these signs cost $480,000 to create and put up.

I am disgusted with the waste that I continually see government organizations partake in on a daily basis. I remember when I transitioned from working for a higher education/non-profit workplace to working for my own for-profit company. The first few weeks I really saw how much more effective for-profit companies are and have to be (both mine and others that I worked with) compared to the constant flow of tax money into some government/non-profit organizations.

Not that I believe all non-profit and government organizations are extremely wasteful – but the moderate in me – would love to see some of our government and non-profit organizations have to make money before they could spend it. I bet you things would quickly change (and it drives me crazy that it would change…because organizations should spend money carefully and responsibly regardless of their profitability – in my opinion). Responsibility should not be forced…but perhaps it should for some?

Do I agree that most of the organizations have the best interests in mind for Americans? For the most part…yes, but just like with anything – you really do not appreciate what you have until you have worked for/earned it. I can guarantee you that some of the projects that take years to complete would either get outsourced or dropped as they should instead of taking up valuable resources. Ineffective managers/workers would get the boot and every dollar brought in and then spent would be appreciated, counted, and better used. I would love to see this play out because I think a wake up call is needed – especially now since our government is in so much debt, programs are bloated, and general waste is high.

Do I agree that Rod Blagojevich needed to be removed from office – yes (assuming the evidence holds up)…but do I agree with removing the signs and wasting overall almost half a million dollars? No. Please – whoever made this decision…wow. Thanks for wasting more of our money, especially when we could have used that for education, construction, etc.

White House Blog

I came across the new White House Blog today: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/. Although it is not WordPress 😉 – I will definitely follow this and see how they actually use it. If you have never been to the White House web site – it is definitely worth a visit. The site has all kinds of facts, videos, speeches, and of course – the blog.