Rep Don Young (R-AK) is a perfect example of why campaign finance reform is so necessary in this country. According to a report in McClatchy Newspapers, about 85% [Correction: I mistakenly typed 895%. This was not intentional, and I was not being sarcastic. I meant 85%. My apologies.] of the money he raised to get re-elected came from people who did not live in Alaska. (Alaska only has one US Representative At Large). Why should any candidate for US Representative or US Senator be allowed to accept money from people who would not be constituents? There is no excuse for this, and it is unacceptable.
Let me give you a broad hypothetical. Suppose I was a multi-billionaire (many times over), and I wanted to heavily influence every Congressional race in the country. I want to see people in Congress who share my view about the licensing rights of the product I make and sell. Current law is eating into the potential for me to make billions more, and I want that to change. So I contribute the maximum amount allowable under federal law to a candidate in each and every race in the country. I will also part with several hundred million more dollars in soft money to the political parties. When the time comes to have legislation passed that would benefit me and, for the most part, me alone, to the tune of billions of dollars, how can legislators, some of whom might be voting against the best interests of their own constituents over mine, justify casting that vote? I'll tell you how. They don't, because they don't have to. They do it, I make billions, and most people never learn the truth. Why should I be able to wield that kind of influence over lawmakers who do not represent me in Congress?
How many people in Alaska knew that their sole Representative on Congress was taking $17 out of every $20 he raised from people he should care less about than the people from his state? If Alaskans liked him so much, then why did he need to raise money from people he's not supposed to be representing in Congress? As I have not looked into it, I do not know what percentage of his or her campaign funds his opponents collected from non-Alaskans, but I understand they were considered weak. If so, then why did he need so much money from outsiders? More importantly, why is this even allowed?
I know it sounds naive, but so many of our elected officials, who are supposed to be representing us, their constituents, accept money from people they won't be representing in Congress, and we all know that those political contributions are expected to be rewarded. None of them will ever admit this because it would be a crime to give back such favors in exchange for political contributions. Yet they do it, and they get away with it. And the reason they get away with it is because it's allowed. And it shouldn't be.
You want to clean up politics? You must start by banning any political contributions from non-individuals (that's means both corporations and Political Action Committees, or NAMBLA) and from people who will not be represented by that candidate in Congress. Otherwise, people you don't even know and will likely never meet will have more influence over your Representatives in both Houses of Congress than you ever will. And if they don't represent you, then you are being denied your constitutional right to a republican form of government. And that should bother you a lot.