As it happens, I [Burka] met last night with a group of interns who work in Houston city government. One of the group was from Arizona. His analysis is that Arizona’s fair elections law, which calls for public financing, has been a disaster. Anyone who runs for office can receive public money. So you have a lot of ordinary citizens with no political experience jumping into races and winning them, and proceeding to enact their prejudices into law. The bill sponsor of the Arizona immigration law was just such a candidate.
Well, there's a scary thought. Anyway, the last paragraph of the blog says it all, but that business about public financing is gonna stay with me.
_________________________ I always deserve it. Really.
Loc: Alexandria, VA
And "experienced" politicians don't advance their own prejudices?
They're just better at hiding them ;-)
I guess the basic question here is wether or not a government "of the people" should really be entrusted to ordinary folk running for office. On the one hand, that's the very essence of the idea. On the other, there's a really good reason we have a *representational* government =)
I guess I don't have a problem with an experienced "professional" representative except when they turn into a professional politician concerned less with governing and more with simply getting re-elected. This, of course, seems to describe 98% of elected officials (at least at the national level) ...
The way you limit the wackos wanting to run, is by requiring X% of the registered voters to sign a petition... so if you set it even at 5% or 10%, you won't likely have more than 5-6 candidates to start with. It still favors the 2 parties who have the machinery to get the petitions filled, but ordinary folks with grass roots backing could still get on the ballot (but it'd take a bunch of popular support).
That would eliminate most of the fringe elements. Like anything else, there needs to be prudent rules.
Rick Perry belongs to the Texas GOP. I don't see how he'd be considered a gift to anybody except late night comics. Or folks who need to look down their noses at Texas in general.
The curve? We are ahead of Arizona.
On many issues, he may put the "right" in "right wing," but treatment of Latino residents under the broad umbrella of immigration reform isn't one of them. Perry, despite what you may believe, has repeatedly taken immigration stands that have irritated significant parts of his political base.
And like his predecessor, George W. Bush, Perry has pushed for stronger border security while rejecting harsh and punitive measures against Texas' Latino residents.
It's hard to accuse Perry of political opportunism today when his record also shows support for in-state tuition rates for the children of illegal immigrants; opposition to the hundreds of miles of fencing along Texas' border with Mexico; and a careful distancing from the hardest-liners in his own party.
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