Tuesday, March 26, 2013

NASCAR--Not a Sport--But a Good Model...and Ultrarunning

Saw this at Boing Boing, and it seems like a good idea.

I've never quite understood how giving cash to a candidate or to a political office holder is not bribery...or how the recipient is not subtly or overtly swayed to then vote for the donor's interests rather than the constituent.

So I grudgingly give credit to the NASCAR model (even though it, along with golf, are not real sports).  Boing Boing requests readers sign a White House petition to require Congress to wear outfits with their "sponsors" logos displayed in patch form, in a size commensurate with the amount of donations:

The idea of forcing Congresscritters to wear NASCAR-style coveralls with the logos of their financial backers has been bandied about before, but here it is in official White House petition form.

Since most politicians' campaigns are largely funded by wealthy companies and individuals, it would give voters a better sense of who the candidate they are voting for is actually representing if the company's logo, or individual's name, was prominently displayed upon the candidate's clothing at all public appearances and campaign events. Once elected, the candidate would be required to continue to wear those "sponsor's" names during all official duties and visits to constituents. The size of a logo or name would vary with the size of a donation. For example, a $1 million dollar contribution would warrant a patch of about 4" by 8" on the chest, while a free meal from a lobbyist would be represented by a quarter-sized button. Individual donations under $1000 are exempt.
So...click over to Boing Boing for a link to the White House petition.  If they 100,000 signatures the White House must formally address the issue.  They'll reject the idea, of course, but at least a point will have been made.  And who knows, maybe the idea will take off and gain some true national traction?

Oh, and Ultrarunning?  It's tough to make a connection, but Nature of course comes to mind in the guise of, say, fracking or gutting of National Parks budgets.  We may well need the White House petition venue to address some pressing environmental issue that will affect us.


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