Star Tribune: Outside Cash Floods Rematch of Rick Nolan & Stewart Mills
“Residents in Duluth, Brainerd and the Iron Range: Get ready for a sustained bombardment of political advertising.
The Eighth Congressional District race between Democratic Rep. Rick Nolan and GOP challenger Stewart Mills has now drawn the largest flood of outside cash in the country.
As of Thursday, more than $9.6 million had poured into television advertisements and mailers in the northern Minnesota district, which has seen congressional representation swing back and fourth** between parties over the past decade.”
—Star Tribune, “Millions Pouring Into Stewart Mills, Rick Nolan Race in Northern Minnesota” (Oct. 21, 2016).
I don’t have a preference (honestly) in the rematch between incumbent Rick Nolan and challenger Stewart Mills in Minnesota’s sprawling 8th Congressional district.
But, I do think the decision should be made by their constituents, not influenced by outsiders — and their money.
Exhibit A that both campaigns are awash in outside-the-district cash: the superficial, posturing and very expensive TV ads flooding the Twin Cities airwaves the last 6-8 weeks.
What makes those ads especially idiotic and wasteful is that Twin Cities TV stations only reach a small slice of the 8th District, which runs from the north ‘burbs past Duluth, all the way to the Canadian border.
One Person (Corporation?), Many Votes
So, in addition to repealing Citizens United and its “campaign cash = free speech” mantra, how about a ban on outside-the-district campaign contributions?
At all levels of government.
Practically, that means if you live in, say, Duluth, MN, you can donate all the money you want to candidates for the 8th District, Minnesota Governor, and the state’s two U.S. Senators — plus anyone running for Duluth city and (St. Louis) county offices.
But, you’d have no business giving to candidates for office outside the district, let alone state, with the exception of President.
After all, the expression is, “one person, one vote” — not, “one person, many votes” . . .
P.S.: I don’t believe Donald Trump’s assertion that the system is rigged. But, I do think the so-called mainstream media — who sell all those lucrative ads every election cycle — are complicit in not challenging the very flawed status quo.
**Note to Star Trib proofreaders: it’s spelled “back and forth,” not “back and fourth.”