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“Nationals October 2019

Adam DeMarco: The Wooden Rocking Chair of Politics (Guest Column)

| May 29, 2018, 01:05 PM

Campaign finance reform, while is an important issue in American politics, has unfortunately become the only issue for many, particularly in my own political party—looking at you Democrats.  I’ve spoken on this issue many times, and each time I’m met with both agreement and ire alike; which is an interesting response to say the least.

As the primary season is in full swing, more and more candidates are continuing to focus in on campaign finance reform as a crucial issue for the midterms, and it is exactly this misplaced focus that I want to draw voters attention to.  For instance, elected officials, candidates, and organizations alike continuously tout how they are going to fight the “big money” in politics, aim for grassroots donors, and institute a public fund for campaigns.  And these same politicians then think that by doing that, it will inherently fix the rest of our many problems.  Wrong.

The long road to where we are now, with the massive amounts of money in campaigns, didn’t start with the Citizens United case, and in fact it didn’t start with the several other lower court cases before it.  The system of big money in politics began with the establishment of the Federal Election Commission and then the subsequent Supreme Court case of Buckley vs. Valeo in the 1970s.  Why I bring this up is because campaign finance issues and big money in politics has been going on for decades.  And while much to my dismay, isn’t going to be reformed anytime soon.  Side note: one needs to look no further than the annual calls to overturn Roe vs. Wade to understand what I mean.

Why am I bringing this up?  Because the entire issue of campaign finance reform is a “smoke and mirrors” argument.  We can all agree that there is too much money in politics, but this isn’t the only issue affecting our country.

While elected officials, candidates, and organizations stake their claim as “small donor certified” or tout their “no PAC money trophy”, they forget that in the richest country in the world, we have the largest income inequality across our society.  In the country that has the best and most advanced medical treatment centers in the world, millions of Americans are still unable to access quality and affordable healthcare.  In a country with some of the most renowned educational centers in the world, we have an estimated 17% illiteracy rate across our population, the average student is graduating with over $30,000 in student loans, and starting salary earnings are lower now than they were in the 1970s.  And I’m just getting started; crime, opiates, scandals, guns, etc.  These are the real issues affecting everyday Americans.

During my travels across the state, I’ve been fortunate to speak thousands of Marylanders and each time, after we talk about the real issues that are plaguing their communities and affecting their lives, and I can tell you this, campaign finance reform isn’t one of them.

Campaign finance reform, the wooden rocking chair of politics; it gives politicians something to do but gets us no where.

Note: Adam DeMarco is a candidate for the US House of Representatives in Maryland’s 3rd District. We encourage all readers to learn all they can about the candidates that will appear on the ballot. Here is a link to DeMarco’s website.


Severn Bank


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