Saturday, April 12, 2014

"Press release" re suggestion for improving Congress

Yellowhammer has an article reporting "DeMarco’s congressional campaign fundraising tops $850,000".  The article says
“The people of Alabama’s Sixth District have embraced our campaign for conservative, common sense leadership in Congress,” DeMarco said in a release. “The people standing with this campaign are not the special interests of Washington, but hard-working Alabamians looking for people of courage willing to fight for what we believe, no matter what.”
More than 1,200 individuals have contributed to the campaign, according to the DeMarco camp. Contributions range from $5 to the maximum $2,600 allowed by an individual under federal elections law. They also noted that nearly 97 percent of the contributions came from donors inside the state. Rep. DeMarco did not make a loan to his campaign other than for what his campaign referred to as “nominal expenses.”
“People from Clanton in Chilton County to Remlap in Blount County, and everywhere in between, have responded to our call to restore Alabama values in Washington,” DeMarco said.
Lesters and Lesterland analysis.  

That terminology comes from Harvard Law Professor Lawrence Lessig's short book Lesterland: The Corruption of Congress And How To End It and his 20 minute companion video that is here.  They refer to the very small percentage of voters who provide funding and establish that a candidate is a viable.

The population of the 6th Congressional district is about 650,000.

Total campaign contributions of $850,000 divided by 1200, is an average contribution of about $708 per donor.  Those 1200 donors are about .2% of the population. ( Perhaps later some analysis will be done of the breakdown of the donors, to determine what number of donors provided, say, $840,000 of funding.) That .2% of the voters has made Representative DeMarco a viable candidate, who will have a robust TV advertising component and a decent chance at winning.

If the foregoing is multiplied by 6, to include the other 5 candidates besides myself, that means about 1% of the voters will determine who are viable candidates and have a chance to win.

So, essentially 1% of the population in the 6th district have determined who the choices are on June 3rd that the voters will have to choose from. 

How representative is that 1% of the total population's interests?

Why have Representative DeMarco's donors contributed to him?  

Will they get special access to Representative DeMarco or special treatment by him if he is elected to Congress?

How "equal" will Representative DeMarco's service to the other 99% of the population be with his service to the 1%?

A suggestion for improving Congress

I have a suggestion about how the voters in the 6th Congressional district can monitor Representative DeMarco's service to all of his constituents (if his elected).

Why not deploy our fantastic surveillance and data collection technology to Congressional offices, and require that all communications between a Congressional office and the outside world be captured, digitized, and searchable on the Internet?

Let us discuss in this 6th Congressional district race the viability of that suggestion, and the improvement of Congress for the benefit of the American people that could be provided by the suggestion.

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