Archived Story

Money in politics an intimidator of Americans [UPDATED]

Published 11:13am Thursday, November 1, 2012 Updated 1:15pm Thursday, November 1, 2012

As many of you may have noticed over the last month, the amount of advertising for/against certain candidates on local newscasts and channels has gone up exponentially. It even has infiltrated Youtube and Hulu videos, for those who watch them. In the last three days, I, myself, have seen an attack and response ad for the hotly contested North Dakota race of Heidi vs Rick. This is troubling, and sickening, to one running for office on a local level, not only as one running, but as a citizen of this country as a whole.

Too often we see that there are large budgets thrown

into political advertising, everything from yard signs to banners to billboards and television ads.

The amount of cash that flows into political advertising each election cycle is getting bigger and bigger, which is making more of the working class feeling less and less powerful in having any influence on the policies of our great nation.

I personally have felt quite intimidated by the large quantity of signs around Fergus Falls for three out of the other four mayoral candidates I am running against, mostly due to the cost of purchasing said signs.

I believe that regardless of the outcome of this election cycle, we, as a people, should work hard in the next two to four years to make the playing field of politics more level, by working with our representatives to get the money out of politics, and trim down the large expenses of political advertisement.

We are a nation in debt, with trillions of Federal debt to be paid off, yet every two years our politicians spend well over a billion, if not a trillion, on advertising in an attempt to get elected.

Though these methods appear to be “proven” to work, it’s still a gross display of financial ignorance for companies and political parties to spend so much yet complain about the budget while spending so much that could be used to help in reducing its cost.

This isn’t saying they don’t deserve to be paid, or have money, but their current uses of funds appear to me, a citizen and working-class American, to be an injustice of our political system of the hypocritical order.

One cannot argue fiscal responsibility of a state or nation without exhibiting restraint and efficiency in their own political spheres.

I believe in Fergus Falls, and our great country, and love it dearly, but also fear that the continued use of exorbitant spending on political races sends a bad example to the nation at large as to what it takes to be a good representative of the public, as well as what qualifications are necessary to be elected to even a local office.

I thank you for your time and consideration.


Jeffrey McSorley Jr.

Mayoral Candidate, Fergus Falls

  • camobabe

    So, I suppose you would love to deny Americans the right to donate to poitical candidates? It is a principle of our law that making donations to political candidates and parties, special advocacy groups is a protected element of our right to free speech. When anyone donates money for political races, they are exercising free speech.

    If a candidate has ideas, principles, experience which appeal to other people, those people will want to promote those ideas through publicizing that candidate in print, radio, yard signs, other means of making known the possible benefits of his being elected. If his message fails to motivate supporters to do this , perhaps it is because the message lacks support, or he is unable to clearly stae the message. Is taha justification to suppress supporters of his opponents from showing their support, their choices?

    • Richard Olson

      Geez Camillabill, you just can’t wait to jump on anyone to show how you are once again the victim.
      You sound like some hysterical mad woman screaming at some little kid on your lawn.

  • The Derp Squad

    The intention of this letter was not to say that donating to candidates is the wrong idea, but rather that the large sums spent by those candidates after being donated to for advertising on radio/television, in particular for state/national elections, is quite intimidating for many to even feel the urge to vote. I know many who believe that their vote doesn’t count simply because they see how much money is being spent for ads supporting a different candidate, and that they have no chance. It’s become more about money, and who has more of it, than something to do with policies/plans.

    As far as my campaign, I set out with the intent to tell others not to pay for signs for me, not to spend any money of my own or others to campaign, to just do it all with as little financial input as possible. This is more as a demonstration of principle that it is possible to get votes, at least in local elections, by utilizing free and low-cost avenues like social media, the public forums, newspaper editorials, and word of mouth. The amount of signs on lawns is just more money spent and more trash to pick up on November 7th once it’s all over.

  • nerdyni

    Camilla Ryan- You make very valid points and I support you. Money is needed to spread the word for candidacy and the person who attacked you below is the Op’s friend, so they are being biased. Objective point of views are needed more, though.

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