► Let’s make elections fairer by having online auctions Print E-mail

Let’s make elections fairer by having online auctions

In an April 20 article in the Washington Post titled: Turned off from politics? That’s exactly what the politicans want” Steven Pearlstein said that on average U.S. Senate candidates raise and spend $9 million to win an election and House candidates spend $1.4 million.  
According to Mr. Pearlstein’s figures, $609 million will be spent on the 435 house seats and $297 million on the 33 senate seats. Of course this doesn’t take into account the millions that will surely be spent by special interest PACS.
Millions more are paid by taxpayers for wages and fringe benefits paid to members of congress  for the time they spend trolling for votes. Another cost incurred by taxpyers is the millions spent by states to conduct elections, which would include wages paid to state workers.
A simple method to save taxpayer money would be to conduct online auctions for every Senate and House seat. For a Senate seat the bidding could start at $2 million and for the House $500,000. Of course the names of each bidder would be posted online along with his/her bid. In the case of a corporation the name of the CEO or President would be posted online. The same would be true of any unions.
Since the bidding would take place online and the cost could be borne by advertising dollars. I believe the appropriate venue for such an undertaking would be the Mustang Ranch in Sparks, Nevada.
Here’s a few examples of possible opening bidders, their bids, and their targeted legislator.
  1. $1.5 million – Intermountain Health Care in Salt Lake City – Sen. Orin Hatch
  2. $1.3 million – Eli Lilly & Co. in Indianapolis – Sen. Richard Lugar
  3. $500,000 – Rohm & Hass Chemicals in Cincinnati – Rep. John Boehner
  4. $1.5 million – Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers/Trainmen in Cleveland – Sen. Sherrod Brown
The bidding should last no longer than 30 minutes and the maximum single bid for the services of a Senator should be $10 million and for a House member $3 million.
At least when the bidding is done all of us can  take comfort in knowing how much was spent in total and the names of the succesfful bidders.  As Yogi Bera famoulsy said, “To the highest bidders goes the spoils.”
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