Friday, February 8, 2008

Voters and Candidates are BUYING the U.S. Presidency

The ferocious money war between Obama and Clinton illustrates once again the urgent need for campaign finance reform.

Is this going to be a horse race which will be won by the candidate who raises the MOST money?

Obama's donations are claimed to come from about 300,000 online donors who (repeatedly?) gave $100 or less. Clinton's donors are less transparent and she has said she will not release her tax returns unless he wins the nomination. But could Hillary please release her list of donors?

Either way, both Obama and Clinton AND the voters, are caught up in the money game. We need campaign reform that will allow candidates to present the issues they care about, fairly to the American people and to demonstrate their leadership skills. But that does not mean we the voters have to buy into a broken and corrupt system in which the candidate with the most money becomes the President.
Buying the Presidency is not a viable option, either for candidates or voters, in an authentic ethical democracy.
Dr. Chithra KarunaKaran
City University of New York