It is an even-numbered year and, unfortunately, election season. Generally, the only salvation comes from the distractions offered by the start of the football season and the baseball playoffs. I hate politics. I hate politicians. The following is something I wrote a few years ago and my opinion has not changed.
There is one thing about the election and campaigning and the candidates that I don't like. That thing is - everything. I've thought real hard about it and may have come up with a solution. This is somewhat radical and may need a little bit of work. Let's remember Columbus was headed for India when he ran into America.
One of the underlying things that no one seems to like is campaign finance. What I propose here is the ultimate campaign finance reform. Raising money is tough. It is difficult to make one case to the people whom you are seeking to get money from and another case to the voting public. That's the problem. Our founding fathers saw fit to give everyone, well, every man, one vote no matter how much he contributed.
There is a much more efficient way to do this. This new method will do away with campaign rhetoric and save the government a ton of money. The notion is simple. We put all national offices: President, Senate and House of Representatives up for bid. There are two rules which will make this extremely profitable.
Rule #1 - when you submit a bid you need to send a cashier's check for the entire amount of the bid and the government keeps all of the money - even the losers'.
Rule #2 - all of the winners will take the offices that they have purchased but none of them will be paid. They don't act as if they
work for us, so why should we be paying them? They will have to pay their own staffs and their own travel expenses. This is not a cold, heartless proposal. They will be given office space in government buildings (150 sq. ft per employee) complete with utilities and janitorial services. They have to pay for their own phones, copies etc. just like any other business.
Do you like political commercials on TV? Radio? Do you like all of those darn signs saying "Vote Yes on N and No on Y?" Do you like not being able to find your doorknob for a week? Of course not! With my plan we do away with all of this and instead of the money going to TV networks and stations it goes to the Treasury.
This is just the beginning. Congress needs to be run less like NASA (a financial disaster) and more like NASCAR. No more of this 109th (or whatever it is) Congress stuff. Corporations will be encouraged to buy the naming rights to Congress. It will be the "Microsoft Congress" or the "Yahoo! Congress." For some reason, I like the sound of Yahoo! Congress but, hey, if Google wants to pay more, that's the way it goes. In addition to Congress, in general, we will sell the naming rights to the House and the Senate. The opening of each congress will be more like a Hollywood movie where there are 14 assistant-associate producers.
Each session of Congress will begin with a prayer but that will be followed by a 60-second commercial message. When a Congressman gets up to give a speech on the floor he will be required to wear a baseball cap with an advertiser's logo. Bella Abzug had this idea first but she did not know how to monetize it.
This is just the beginning. We can sell the naming rights to Federal buildings, monuments, parks and maybe even holidays. Professional sports have learned this lesson from NASCAR.
Who makes more money, C-Span or E-Bay? Washington Mutual would probably be willing to pay a lot to not have the name of the Washington Monument changed to the Countrywide Monument. Yosemite is a nice place. Kodak should be willing to shell out big bucks to become "the official film" of Kodak National Park.
The important thing is that we will be spared campaign rhetoric. We won't have to listen to the candidates debating about how many debates they are going to have. In fact, we won't have to listen to them at all.
And you know what? In the end it will make little difference as to who gets into office. It will just save us a lot of money.