Being Plutocratic

Remember when a political novice in South Carolina won the Democratic nomination for senator in that state in 2010, and practically everybody in the Democratic Party political establishment got their dandruff up, especially Rep. Jim Clyburn from S.C., who is in the Democratic Party hierarchy in the House of Representatives.  See our Almanac post about that event in the immediate aftermath, entitled "Jumping to Conclusions in Carolina."  Just about the entirety of the discussion about that primary election was whether there was some kind of voter fraud or vote tabulation error, so naturally when a non-establishment candidate wins an election, then all of sudden there is a discussion in the media about stolen elections and fraud.  Clyburn smugly questioned how someone like the particular black man that won the election, who incidentally didn't get Clyburn's blessing to run for statewide office in S.C., could get ahold of the $10,000 that was necessary to file for the position. The point of this essay is not about the candidate or Clyburn's sly accusations and skepticism about the election, but why does it cost $10,000 to run for any office in democratic America.  This was lost on the media in the discussion about the S.C. election, but for a nation that perceives her self to be the beacon light of democracy in the world, it's very difficult to merely run for office in many instances. 

Florida and California, and many other states, are similar to S.C., with high, outrageous plutocratic-type filing fees to run for Congress.  In Washington, it costs $1740, which is tame compared to the outrageousness of the fees in the just mentioned states, but that's too high, and the petition process is arduous as the bar for signatures is raised in practically every election cycle.  The costs should not be unrealistically high for any citizen to run for office, nor the rules merely left to the arbitrariness of established political parties and politicians.  Filing fees, of course, are just one aspect of a generally unfair electoral system across America.  Commoner touched on the dubious nature of campaign finance generally in a recent post, "The Corrupt Supreme Court."  If the system is heading towards outright plutocracy, which is what appears to be happening, major reforms need to be made, now.

[revised on 4/17/14]

Commoner is 99% certain that the 2004 G.O.P. primary election was stolen from Mark Greene and handed to a political novice. Help us solve the mystery of "The Other Curious Election of 2004" (WA 9th Congressional District U.S. Rep. primary) by contacting real journalists and asking them to look into it, and writing or calling the U.S. Attorney for Western Washington, Jenny Durkan, and requesting that she make public all matters relating to the '04 primary. Regarding the journalists, ask them to use "Freedom of Information" requests to get to the bottom of this case. For more information: see 2/26/13 post entitled "Major Election Irregularities (Graph & Essay), and from there, there will be a list of other related posts on Commoner. Elections are too important for shams to be ignored and for accountability to be neglected.

If possible, please, consider contributing to the Party of Commons, by sending a check or money order ($10 recommended), or contribute to Mark's U.S. Representative campaign that will be on the ballot in August, 2014 (checks should be made out to "Mark Greene for Congress"); for either matter, write to P.O. Box 612, Bellevue, WA 98009. Thank you!