2012 Presidential Campaign

“President Obama’s campaign has $88 million in the bank. Mitt Romney’s campaign has $30 million in the bank. The Obama campaign plus the Democratic National Committee has $123.7 million in the bank. The Romney campaign plus the Republican National Committee has $185.9 million in the bank. And that advantage is increasing month by month.

What’s more, the major Romney-affiliated super PACs have tens of millions more in the bank. American Crossroads, for instance, is sitting on $29 million. Restore Our Future is sitting on $20 million. Priorities USA, the major Obama-affiliated super PAC, is sitting on $4 million .  . . .”

–Ezra Klein, “If Obama Wants the Money, He’s Got to Show the Love”; Washington Post (8/24/2012)

I’m no (Star) Trekkie, but I seem to recall an episode, set sometime in the distant future, when warring countries agree to set aside “messy” weaponry and actual fighting in favor of simulated battles.

So, the combatants’ computers fight virtually, and when a district is “destroyed” online, its denizens are notified by their respective governments, and must promptly report to civil “collection centers” where they are not-so-virtually (but painlessly) euthanized.

How, umm, civilised. 

And grim.

Money = Votes

But the foregoing does suggest an alternative to today’s “corporations-are-people, open-the-financial-floodgates” elections, thanks to the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling.

The idea?

Skip the onslaught of expensive political propaganda sure to dominate the public (and private) airwaves the next 10 weeks or so.

Instead, simply stipulate that whichever candidate raises the most money from Labor Day until Election Day, wins.



Post-election, the two nominees’ (unspent) war chests would be applied towards paying down the national debt, and the winner administered the oath of office next January.

Under such a system, giving to the candidate of your choice would not only literally count as a “vote,” ala “American Idol,” it would actually serve a public purpose (not unlike buying war bonds during WW II). 

Whaddya say??

(And how far away are we, really, from such a system today?)

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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