On today’s segment, however, I joined an esteemed panel that included former Congressman Alan Grayson and Academy Award winning film maker Michael Moore to discuss the overwhelming influence of money in modern American politics. Our lively discussion focused on the corrupting influence of money in politics and how the astronomical amount of money one needs to raise (in excess of $2 million per US House seat) keeps the majority of Americans from successfully running for office.
During the discussion, I shared my idea for how we can remove money from American elections. The US television broadcast spectrum is owned by every American tax payer. The FCC licenses out the use of that spectrum to corporations on our behalf. Those same corporations, charge our political candidates an arm and a leg come election time to access that same spectrum. An informed electorate is best for democracy. The problem with our current system is that to inform the electorate, a political candidate must either be personally very wealthy or very very good at fund raising. The problem is that personal wealth and proficient fund raising does not equal good governance, it just equals good at accessing money. Having been a candidate for federal office, I can tell you that too much of our representatives time is spent having to raise money in order to buy campaign ads come election time. Thus, the FCC should make free access to all candidates who have received the requisite number of signatures to get on the ballot a condition of the licensing agreement to air television. This simple change would dramatically lower the monetary bar to run for elected office and thus, increase the likelihood that the people with the best ideas would be elected, rather than the person with the most money. That and a constitutional amendment that states that inalienable rights recognized under the constitution belong to human beings only, not to entities such as corporations.
All in all it was a thrilling experience!