Campaign Finance Reform

January 9, 1998

The Honorable Saxby Chambliss
1019 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Rep. Chambliss:

With respect for your position in the lawmaking process I would like to express concerns regarding the overall accomplishments of the bodies of Congress that seem to be too muddled with special interests to achieve what is best for the American people. You will agree the public perception is that little is done without a careful balance between alienating the wealthy American interests and personal political beliefs.

If I may speak frankly, and assume a voice for many, we are dissatisfied with the proposals for campaign finance reforms currently under scrutiny before you. I would like to offer an idea that if seriously considered might begin to restore faith in the political process.

Because of the seemingly commercial nature of campaigning it has become impossible for the public to hear the platforms of all the candidates who enter the race; whoever has the most money gets so much air time that the less-than-wealthy citizens stepping forward to offer their services to the country are drowned out. I feel in all fairness that every candidate deserves to be heard by all Americans, so that the voting public can make the best decision at the polls.

I would like to suggest that perhaps we could remove the funding issue and provide equal opportunities for every candidate to be heard. Instead of soliciting campaign contributions for a particular candidate, redirect the contributions to a particular seat being filled by the election. Have a "presidential election committee" to receive all campaign funds and divide the funds up equally among registered, qualified candidates. Grant each candidate equal airtime on public access channels instead of paying outrageous fees for commercials that do little more than point out flaws of other candidates. Apply similar rules for Congressmembers. Something to this effect would eliminate a perception of special interests influencing our representatives and restore the respect for the office itself. It would certainly remove speculation as to whether the politicians were "bought" by the wealthy contributors, and would provide a level playing ground for all candidates.

I would donate to the election committee if I knew I would be given a chance to hear each candidate equally, out of respect for the capacity of the office to be filled. I think this is in the interest of fairness, both to the candidates who run and to the public who can truly pick the best man (or woman). And if something this different were considered in the public light, much faith would be restored in the effectiveness of public offices.


Chris Coggins
[address omitted]
Macon Georgia 31204

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