PAC-ing it up
Published: Thursday, September 20, 2012
Updated: Thursday, September 20, 2012 21:09
I voted in 2008, but I’ll openly admit that was the extent of my political involvement. Soon after the election in 2008 I discovered an odd fact about political campaign finances. As an individual I can only donate a maximum of $2,500 per election to a federal candidate. After all, it wouldn’t be fair if I could donate unlimited money to a politician because then I would have the ability to donate millions upon millions of dollars to a single candidate to influence his vote. Who wants a candidate answering to one person in fear of losing the massive droves of money he’s been given by this person?
In a similar vein there are types of contributions that cannot be made. Foreign nationals are not allowed to contribute to a political candidate. Cash donations by any person may not exceed $100. A citizen cannot make a contribution in the name of another person. Unions and corporations are also prohibited from making political contributions, and a business owner may not make a donation from their business accounts.
Wait a second…. If corporations can’t donate to a candidate then why are the top five contributors to the Romney campaign banking corporations? And how could Goldman Sachs donate $1,013,091 to Obama in 2008? If foreign nationals can’t donate to a candidate, then how can Credit Suisse Group (a Swiss-based international banking corporation) donate $427,560 to the Romney campaign? The simple answer is these corporations created Political Action Committees.
A PAC is defined by West’s Encyclopedia of American Law as “a group not endorsed by a candidate or political party but organized to engage in political election activities, especially the raising and spending of money for ‘campaigning.’” There have even been PACs created with the sole purpose of defeating a political candidate the PACs feel would harm their group. In the eyes of the American government it is fair that PACs can be created and millions upon millions of dollars can be spent by them to help elect a suitable candidate, but I can only donate $2,500. It is obvious the advantage of political money influence belongs to the corporations and PACs, but we the people have a strength they will hopefully never have. We have the power to vote.
I urge all of you who are eligible to get out there and vote in every election: local, state and federal. Change does not happen overnight. Change takes time, effort, blood, sweat, tears, fights, discussions and debates. Until we are able to push for a fairer form of campaign finance our votes are the best weapons we have against injustice. Vote in the election and let your voice be heard.
Readers can contact Dante at email@example.com or (219)989-2547.