Coburn seeks "a different farm team" for GOP

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Earlier today Sen. Tom Coburn spoke to a blogger conference call in connection with the release of his 2008: Worst Waste of the Year" report. It was a wide-ranging, on-the-record discussion. Ed Morrissey at Hot Air has a good synopsis.

Toward the end of the call, Dan Riehl asked about getting Coburn more allies for his efforts. Coburn said that, "We need a different farm team, and I'm working hard on that." He didn't offer any specifics, but he said that we need to "recruit people who get it, not just people who say they get it." He said that we need to elect officials who will be willing to sacrifice position for principle and asked, "How do you call people to service?"

I'm happy to see that Coburn is focusing on this challenge. Our primary safeguard against excessive and unconstitutional spending are the people who make the decisions about spending. But I wonder if it's possible for us to create the kind of "farm team" Coburn wants. To elect a principled fiscal conservative to office, you have to fight against two powerful forces -- entrenched special interests that want access to public money, aided by their allies who run the mainstream media, and a voting public with a low level of understanding about economics, the proper role of government in general and the proper roles of each level of government.

There is this idea that every problem is one that government can fix. Voters want to believe it because it relieves them of personal responsibility. Politicians are happy to promote the idea because they then get credit for doling out the goodies to favored groups and businesses, and that translates to longevity in office and a golden parachute in the form of a lobbying job with the favored groups and businesses they helped while in office.

Here in Oklahoma, at least, we have enough voters who don't buy into that idea that we can elect principled officials like Tom Coburn, Randy Brogdon, Dana Murphy, Pam Peterson, and John Eagleton (to name just a few among many). But even here, good men and women get blocked from climbing the political ladder by a hostile media and a well-financed opposition.

Recruiting good men and women is only half the battle. You need to give them the financial and logistical support they need to get elected and to advance their legislative agenda once in office.

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3 Comments

XonOFF said:

Which brings us back to campaign financing....

I personally believe corporations to be paper entities, not entitled access to OUR elections.

I propose no candidate able to accept campaign contributions from anyone not actually able to vote for the candidate to whom they donate.

Corps, PAQs, etc are left to their own, still able to spend money (freedom of "speech") and seek donations, with the expectation that they are lobbying voters and not candidates. That is, they attempt to address voters and change their opinions on issues, not buy off candidates.

That means any money obtained by a candidate comes from a "person" from their "personal" stash. And, it can only be "personally" deducted for tax benefits.

Corps, PAQs, SIGs, et al may donate and deduct non-specific campaign monies spent for issue advertising and public service type announcements such as "Get out and Vote".

Cleaning up campaign finance would go a huge way towards better representation.

S. Lee Author Profile Page said:

Based on some news reports, the Internet seems to be a good way to raise money. One important thing to me is that prospective recipients of my donations make it easy for me to donate, and they guarantee my privacy will be respected so that I don't end up on a mailing list.

Brian Blackwell Author Profile Page said:

I haven't had time to read Coburn's "2008: Worst waste of the year", but did it reference the bail-out spending that he voted for and then came back to the state and defended his vote with the same old line that we always get from DC.."You don't know what I know!"

BS....and btw...it worked really really really well didn't. Money is flowing so extremely well in the financial markets and stuff like that. Yeah...we need more bailouts. Not less.

Good job! Senator. With spending watchdogs like you on the job, we don't have worry about waste...pfffft. Whatever.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on December 12, 2008 12:37 PM.

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