In 2008 Florida governor Ron DeSantis wanted to evolute the way campaigns were funded. Politicians have traditionally relied on private and public sponsorships to fund their campaigns. Governor DeSantis proposed to pass a bill which would create a new system where individuals could make financial donations to campaigns using a website, filling out an online form, and authorizing a check to be sent.
The bill was met with great support from different parties. It was recognized as a way to decrease special interest donations and reduce the influence of big money in politics. It would even provide more transparency for campaign contributions. All these ideas were thought to diminish the corruption that money can bring to political campaigns.
However, not everyone was happy with this law. Some special interests and lobbyists lobbied against the bill. They argued that the bill would reduce their influence in politics, especially when it came to the financing of political campaigns. Other opponents also argued that the new system could benefit candidates who are able to attract massive online donations. This could put other smaller candidates at a disadvantage.
The bill was put to a public referendum and Florida citizens voted against it. Nevertheless, the attempt to implement such a law suggests that the current system has several flaws. It is also a reminder that a system which works in one state can easily fail in another state, if it is not subject to enough public debate.
Ron DeSantis wanted to revolutionize the way campaigns were funded, but the conflict he faced with the bill’s opponents demonstrates how complicated and difficult it is to do so. As long as large-scale donors are allowed to influence political campaigns, issues such as bribery and special interest will harm the political process. Thus, the importance of attempting to restructure the way campaigns are funded should not be forgotten. It is important for the public to know how campaigns are being funded in order to ensure the integrity of the elections.