I wrote this in attempt to be constructive in my letters to the editor, instead of my usual argumentative self. I don't think they'll run it as it goes counter to their dreams of an expanded governmental role in election reform.

Well guess what, they ran it! Weeks after I sent it in and long abandoned hope. Of course they did a little editing that I thought made it less clear, but then it's their paper.You can reach the Post-Dispatch web page here.
You can send your own letter to the editor here.

Subject: Letter to the Editor

I have a couple of ideas for campaign finance reform. First, limit contributions so that only registered voters can give money to candidates registered in an election that the voter can vote in, with full disclosure on who gave what amount. The actual amount would be unlimited. Any amount left over at the end of an election would have to be returned to the treasury at the political level of the election (in other words, money would be returned to the federal government for federal elections, state government for state elections, county government for county elections, and so forth). This would get corporations and unions out of the election process where they don't belong, cut down on the length of elections, limit the amount of time a candidate spends fundraising, keep outside money from an election, and end the unsavory practice of politicians pocketing unspent campaign contributions. It might even be constitutional.

Second, make contributions a one for one tax credit up to a certain limit (such as 500 hundred dollars per person total contributions for all candidates per year). This would be true public financing of elections without additional bureaucracy and rules to hold new and small parties back. It might encourage more people to become involved in the electoral process, both through monetary support and through actual voting.

I understand this would be a huge change from the way things work now, but if you don't want more of the same, don't keep doing the same thing

Kevin Murphy

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This page last updated 10 October 1998

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