November 12, 2012
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President:
Being election season, I’ve seen thousands of political commercials, read hundreds of advertisements, and received masses of mail, which more than likely will end up in landfills. According to gop.com, together, both presidential candidates spent roughly $ 2.21 billion on campaigns this year; the majority of that was for advertisement and mail.
It disgusts me to see so much spent and wasted, when there is a deficit to be paid, education and research to be done, and hurricane victims to be helped. As president, and leader of this country, I hope you also see that this is a problem. There needs to be a law set in place which caps the amount a candidate can spend.
Wealth should not be the primary factor in policy-making and elections should not go to the highest bidder. I firmly believe, as anyone should, that politics ought to come down to which politician has the best ideas, strongest character, and who has the greater leadership.
What is two billion dollars? It’s just a small percent of the budget. But it’s not a small amount. At times it seems government gets so caught up in this idea, they lose sight of how important a billion dollars is. According to World Food Program USA, to provide a child with a healthy meal, it can cost as little as 25 cents with the money the candidates spent, they could have fed millions. That same money could have started and funded more than a thousand mobile health clinics. A thousand would be unnecessary, but it goes to show how much could have been done. There is a huge population of people that need plumbing, electricity, and food due to Hurricane Sandy. It’s almost cruel to stand back and spend millions on junk mail when we could’ve been helping them.
This has not been a problem just this year. The excessive campaign spending has been an issue the past several election years. In 2008, candidates spent $718 million. And even further back in 1980, candidates still spent $99.3 million on campaigns. In 1974, there were campaign finance reform measures passed by Congress as a set of amendments to the Federal Election Campaign Act. Later in 1976, in the Buckley vs. Valeo trial, the amendments were shot down for being unconstitutional .It was argued that limiting spending is against the first amendment. However, the candidates can express themselves plenty.
A presidential campaign should be based on what is said and what is done by the candidate. Speeches and visits by the candidates should be done in every state advocating why their plans are best for the country. What they should not do is spend a fortune on commercials tearing down their opponent. It is a waste and only makes the candidate look foolish and insecure. The decision in Buckley vs. Valeo needs to be re-evaluated, and I believe you, Mr. President, have the power to make this happen.
Our Nation is built on a democracy –and equality. Elections need to be fair and each candidate should have an equal opportunity. The power of money should not dictate the outcome. If politicians can raise this much money, it should not be spent on mail that never gets read, but rather, it should be spent something for the greater good of the people.