We citizens can spend the money up front to pay for candidates to run in the elections, or we can let the people with large sums of money available pay for the candidates. The government our society gets does different things. Do we want better society, or do we want more wealthy and powerful investors?
If we want money to determine how our state works, then we will continue to let people like Leinnenger or Sanchez spend whatever they want to win elections for their candidates. This is called "plutocracy" or rule by the wealthy. Their purpose is control of government for their purposes. If these purposes are what society needs, it is almost entirely an accident. That is the nature of the tool they use to sway elections - money.
When money is the investment in an election, it is expected to provide a return on the investment that exceeds the expense by an amount that gets larger depending on the risk involved for the investor. Large amounts of money into the system requires an assured greater amount of money back out. Because of the risk involved in elections, the investment has to provide a very high return.
What do the voters get? Not good governance. The voters get "bought politicians" and the opportunity to watch the investors in those politicians make a lot of money. That's all. The voters' votes are mostly bought by the large money people through the highly sophisticated techniques developed by the Public Relations industry since the 1920's
If we (the voters) are lucky, then the investors will ALSO offer some level of competence in governance, but it really doesn't matter much to the incumbents if they provide good social governance or not. Money is what elected the candidates, money is the required output of election, and money will reelect the incumbents. Good governance is an accidental side effect.
If we want ideas, character and good governance to determine how our state works, then we will institute public financing for elections as Arizona and Maine have done. This will remove money as the key element in electing our representatives, and will permit a larger variety of potential candidates to run for election. Then those candidates will run on their ideas, character, and personal history, and as representatives of organizations we voters can evaluate.
We can demand that they provide competent governance as return for being elected. I don't oppose investors getting a good return for their efforts, but their efforts should be aimed at providing better goods and services to their customers, not getting control of tax revenues for their own purposes.
Candidates elected using public financing will be elected on their ideas and competence. Such people might actually establish a reasonable system of funding the schools. The investors won't. This benefits society massively, but it does not provide a direct return to the investors. They can't get any cash return on their investment in electing candidates by establishing a decent school finance system. Those investors will do nothing except block any reasonable education finance system - as they have done for at least three decades.
Educating other people's children is a major benefit to society and to the parents who spend the time and money to raise the children. In the long run it builds a better, more wealthy society. What it does not do is provide an immediate high return to the investors in elections. It is only an expense to those investors. A few such investors will spend the money anyway out of altruism, but most will not. It's not a good investment.
Unless we remove the money that controls our elections and government, we will never get decent government. In the long run, even the money men will get a better society. They just won't control it.
But we are not going to get good government until ~WE~, the voters, pay for the selection of our policy-makers.
Lost to history until an archivist at the Texas General Land Office found it two years ago in the agency's collections, it is about to return temporarily to its birthplace 100 miles east of Austin on the bank of the Brazos River, where in March 1836, 59 delegates from Texas gathered to pledge independence from Mexico.The Draft Constitution of the Republic of Texas with associated documents will be on display from March 2, 2006 to March 16, 2006 at the Star of the Republic Museum at Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site, off Texas 105 northeast of Brenham from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Further information can be found at the website of the Star of the Republic Museum.
An armored vehicle will stop at the land office this morning, and armed guards will emerge to pick up the draft. The guards will also swing by the State Library and Archives Commission to collect the only handwritten copy of the Texas Declaration of Independence still in existence. In addition, they will get a diary of convention proceedings and Spanish versions of the constitution and declaration at the University of Texas' Center for American History. [Snip]
The constitution, the declaration and other documents were all penned within a few weeks in March 1836, a time of great uncertainty about the Texas revolution's prospects for success. No one signed the draft, but there is no doubt that it was written by Herbert Kimble, secretary of the 1836 convention, said Jerry Drake, director of archives and records for the land office.
It's unclear how the draft, complete with strike-throughs and inserts, came to the land office. Another mystery: No final draft of the constitution is known to exist. One theory is that the final version was lost after it was published in newspapers.
A site for cross-posting and posting original stories from around Texas that reveal the character of the Texas right wing. So much dirt. Such a big state.
This site brings Texas bloggers together to keep an eye on the actions of Texas right-wingers. Yes, friends. The radical conservative Republican politicians and activists who rule this state assume that nobody is watching.
They are hoping that nobody remembers Sen. John Cornyn's statements justifying violence against judges or Majority Leader Tom DeLay's zealous intervention into a private family dispute that spawned a media circus. Or Congressman Sam Johnson's intimation that he could personally nuke Syria. Or that Kay Bailey Hutchison has hired one of the "swift boat" smear architects for her gubernatorial campaign. Or that Republican corruption in the Dallas County Police Department has contributed to outrageous crime rates. Or the actions and stunts of the Young Conservatives of Texas on college campuses all across the state.
Well, they have had over ten years to lead. They haven't led. We will.
Email GaremkoReport at yahoo dot com to join.