Sunday, April 17, 2005

The Jeffersonian: More Serious Consequences Needed for CFR Violations

Cincinnatus at The Jeffersonian astutely observes:

Finally, here's something I started thinking about while I was in the shower (I'm a nerd, this is what I do). Campaign finance reports are based on the idea of open campaigns/open government. Any sort of accidental or intentional deception would be a move away from this idea, and ideally, should be punished by the governing body's ethics board. But any punishment is most likely going to be a slap on the wrist or a fine that will look much like the sort of fines we see in the NBA. So therefore, shouldn't there be some other type of punishment?

For instance, removing one's name from the early voting ballot for X number of days, dependent on the severity and intent of the act. That would make an impact in the mind of candidates, and give them added impetus to turn in a correct report. Now keep in mind that I have no idea of the legality or constitutionality of this example (I would assume its both illegal and unconstitutional), nor am I in any way advocating that Julian Castro should have his name removed from the ballot or withdraw from the race. This is just one guy ruminating what would be a better way to help make sure we get correct campaign finance reports. Because let's face it, with fines either the candidate takes out a loan and pays it off on some sort of timetable, or should s/he win, fundraise the money to pay it off. Not the best way to send an example to the candidate and the campaign. But this is obviously reaching a level of thinking about campaigns and government that my brain is not suited to do- what do y'all think?

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