If you want change- first thing is we have to close the store where you buy a Congressman

Remember when John McCain used to be associated with campaign finance reform instead of “Joe the plumber”? Well, if we want change, it’s not through term limits, but by placing restrictions that limit political donations to people in their districts.

I always knew we had the best politicians money could buy, but this report should make it crystal clear:

Even though Congressional approval ratings are at rock bottom, incumbents are enjoying their usual advantage. A massive cash advantage. According to a study from the nonprofit campaign watchdog maplight.org, over the past three years House members have raised more than $700 million dollars for their reelection campaigns. More than 70 percent ($500 million) of it from people who can’t even vote for them. From Washington, Marketplace’s Steve Henn reports.

Steve Henn: The typical congressman raises almost 80 percent of his campaign money from people who live outside his district, according to Dan Newman at Maplight.

Dan Newman: Politicians will tell you that they represent you–but if the money that fuels their campaign comes overwhelmingly from elsewhere, that raises real democratic questions about who is really running the show.

James Thurber is a campaign finance expert at American University. He’s been tracking political giving for years.

James Thurber: If members follow the money, in terms of talking to people or even voting a particular way, that really undermines what the constituents want in their district.

Members who represent low-income districts say they have to raise money from outsiders to survive. And no one’s surprised that powerful members who sit on key committees raise money this way.

Thurber: Money goes to people who have power.

But Thurber was surprised so much outside money flowed to even junior lawmakers. In fact, just 13 House members raised more than half their cash from their own constituents.

Marketplace: Outsiders pay most to House campaigns.

Does this bother you as much as it bothers me? Read the whole story to hear about the congressman who gets 99% of his money from outside his district, and thinks it’s rude to ask his constituents for money, when his pockets have already been stuffed.

Is the Turner Effect about to “Get DC”?

More than a few sources have told me that the Turner Effect has laid off many staffers and is about to close its doors. After the “Get Midwest” debacle, apparently clients weren’t that interested in associating themselves with an agency that grossly overcharges.

The Turner Effect is headed by OH-3 Congressman Mike Turner’s wife, Lori and it has served as a way to slip the Congressman funds outside of the campaign finance rules. The most obvious example: being hired by the Home Depot PAC to do promotions packages to be handed to members of Congress.

The other news seems to be that Mike Turner is about to do a Jon Husted (or follow in the footsteps of his beloved predecessor Tony Hall) and is moving to DC. The grapevine said that his kids are now living in DC with their grandmother- just waiting for Lori to close things up in Dayton.

An absentee congressman? Please note, this is all still unconfirmed, but I’m sure by posting this a few other sources will let me know the rest of the details.

Does Turner have an “oh shit, I lost” backup job waiting in DC? Or, has some lobbyist promised him a big job- or is he slotted for something else? We should know more in a week after the election for sure.

Keep tuned.

Sinclair’s new megalomania mission

Montgomery County voters have subsidized Sinclair Community College, over and over. Now, we’re subsidizing campuses in Warren county- and soon- Preble County.

Sinclair Community College will move forward with plans for a Preble County campus, following a decision from its executive committee.

Campus officials said the executive committee voted to pass a resolution Monday to accept an invitation from a nonprofit organization in Preble County to open a satellite campus attached to the Preble County YMCA.

Sinclair to proceed with Preble County campus – Dayton Business Journal:.

I have no problems with Sinclair growing- I just want other communities to share in the burden. Just charging more in tuition isn’t enough. Everyone pays for Sinclair in Montgomery County- yet, not all of us use it. Time for equality.

US attacks Syria: Story on page 9?

On September 11th 2001, the US was attacked. It took balls and a lot of hatred to do it. It wasn’t an attack by a nation, but of a small group of extremists- and it was the rationale for the US to invade 2 countries, spend billions of dollars, and try to impose “regime change” because, well- because we think we have that right.

Diplomacy be damned.

Now, a little over a week before we decide between a Statesman and a Shooter- we have the old guy, attacking yet another soverign nation- and it only makes page 9 of the Dayton Daily Newsless:

The deadly U.S. raid into Syria may complicate efforts to win approval for a new U.S.-Iraqi security deal by drawing attention to a fact many Iraqis detest — that they can’t control everything American forces might do.

Syrian officials say U.S. troops and helicopters launched the raid Sunday inside Syrian territory close to the Iraqi border, killing eight people.

The U.S. command in Baghdad would not comment, but a U.S. military official said American special forces targeted the network that smuggles fighters and weapons into Iraq. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the raid was classified.

Analysis: Raid into Syria complicates Iraq’s ties.

This is a paper that’s “informing” people who have the keys to the next election. Page fricking 9.

What’s worse, this raid was the kind we should have been doing all along, instead of trying to control countries (remember, we were attacked by a small group of extremists). But, because we went big first, instead of tactical, now, this tactical use of force just looks like a preamble to something bigger.

Had we had a smarter leader in 2001, our doctrine for dealing with terrorism might have been much more efficient- attacking the attackers, instead of entire countries. Had our economy not imploded, maybe we would be paying more attention to this incursion, yet somehow I doubt it.

Either way- this doesn’t belong on page 9 of any “news” paper.

And, we don’t have to be in Iraq and Afghanistan as occupation forces to take the fight to the terrorists. Something to think about if you still think “winning in Iraq” makes any difference at all.