For too long there has been no check placed on political campaigners that enjoins them to honesty in their political ads. This has been no more evident than in the recent mid-term elections in which campaigners lied to the public again and again, hoping to saturate the airwaves with their falsehoods to the point where voters could not tell the difference between fact and fiction.
Clearly we need to put a barrier in place to prevent these kinds of false and misleading ads. The method of implementation is best left up to our representatives, but there are many options available to us.
The verification of statements in political ads is already done by non-partisan entities such as FactCheck.org, and others, which would make this process easily accomplished with no investment in tax payer’s money.
One method that I propose is that there is a compulsory $5,000 fine per instance directed at any politician, or political group, which propagates a falsehood, or misdirection on television, radio, internet, or other medium. This fine would be levied at the offending person or group in order to discourage the use of rhetoric designed to confuse and mislead the voting public. Half of the money collected from the fine would go to the state in which the politician is campaigning, and the other half to the organization which exposed the falsehood or misdirection.
The overall purpose of this petition is to let our government know that we don’t want to be misled anymore. We don’t want to have to parse through the false rhetoric and misleading dogma in the hope that we will find a kernel of truth. As American citizens, we are better than that, and we deserve more honest and forthright political campaigns.
The following references are a very small collection of factcheck.org’s analysis of various political ads and events. Some of which are truly outrageous, such as Rep. Grayson’s creative video editing that was intended to make his opponent appear similar to religious fanatics in Afganastan and Iran.
FactCheck.org is a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania: http://factcheck.org
The one place on the internet that you can trust to keep politicians honest.