The Common Denominator

John Cox
John Cox is a San Diego area businessman and a Republican candidate for Governor. He can be reached at John@JohnCoxforGovernor.com.

Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders won their respective primaries in New Hampshire.   Not a surprise.

What was a bit of a surprise was the common theme in their election night speeches.  They both paid quite a bit of attention to a burning issue that has appeared to ignite the electorate this election season; the purchase of our electoral system.

Trump and Sanders approach the issue of campaign finance from a different perspective but with a common theme.  They both assert, quite correctly, that the influence of money has a disproportionate impact on policy.

Trump’s assertion is that he is so rich and not in need of campaign funding that is he is able to put forth good policy without heed of the special organized interests that rule Washington, D. C.  In other words, he can’t be bought, so he will do the right things to make America great again without regard to what those interests want.

Sanders is at sort of the opposite extreme.   He laments all money and its influence, suggesting quite openly that billionaires and millionaires control our politics and he will advocate policies that will erase that power and return it to the people.  How?  His preferred policy cure is public funding of campaigns with severe restrictions on political speech and spending by those with resources.

The trouble is, neither candidate is proposing policies that would actually return power to the people.  Trump’s answer is for the wealthy to rule, since they don’t need funding.  They therefore won’t be answerable to the whims and wants of those organized interests who usually spend to make their wishes become reality.  That is not exactly going to result in policies reflecting the interests of the general population

Sanders’ solution is worse.  He would have the government fund campaigns, putting bureaucrats in charge of deciding who gets funding and how much speech they get.  He would also put incumbents in charge of deciding who speaks and how much, a sure recipe for incumbency protection.

No – in a country with lots of people and expensive media, the only way to truly return power to the people is to erase the power of money.  Make it unnecessary and much less powerful to an election result.  The only way to do that is make election campaigns so tiny that money isn’t an overriding factor in who wins and who loses.  That’s the Neighborhood Legislature.

The first step in this process involves focusing the minds of the people on the problem.  That is the purpose of our initiative – the Name All Sponsors California Accountability Reform (NASCAR).  This initiative ridicules the present money besotted system by requiring our legislators to wear the logos of their major sponsors.

Once this qualifies for the ballot and passes, we will then have the public’s attention so that we can continue our work on building support for the Neighborhood Legislature.  That will be the restructuring of our electoral system that will return our political system to some semblance of reality and sustainability.

The time is now.  The future is uncertain.  This state has tremendous potential and can return to its prior greatness.  The Golden State can be golden again and a beacon for people all over the country.  It’s not right now.  It now has the highest costs, the highest taxes, the highest poverty rate and the highest welfare rolls.  It has the most jobs leaving, not arriving.  It has the worst educational results despite spending huge sums on education.

This doesn’t have to be.  We have to break the stranglehold that the organized interests have on Sacramento.  It can be done.  The politicians won’t do it on their own.  They have to be pushed – by you and me.  That is why I am involved in this and why you should to.

Go to californiaisnotforsale.com.  Print off the petition.  Sign it as a voter and circulator.  Send it to your friends and acquaintances.  We can do this – together.

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