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Presidential Campaigns Could Use Some Limits

June 27, 2004

The attempt by Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) to vote on one of his pet bills -- thwarted by the Senate Republican majority (June 23) and Kerry's commitments across the country -- again brings into focus the ridiculous amount of time and money devoted to electioneering by both presidential candidates. President Bush spends an inordinate amount of time away from his presidential duties; Kerry has missed almost four out of five Senate votes and debates. They both canvass the country, spewing their same views over and over.

Why not limit this circus? Pass legislation that limits the amount of time and funds for this pre-election campaigning to, say, six weeks and a fraction of the money now being spent. Our government would run better; interested voters would get sufficient and up-to-the-minute views of the candidates; the public would not be drowned in a sea of electioneering; voter turnout would probably improve, and the tens of millions of dollars would be better put toward correcting the existing problems we face (like education, Medicare, local services, etc.). This approach should not favor either party, only the public.

Nick Barnett

Los Angeles

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