Monday, June 4, 2012

Happy (Almost) Election Day, California

Money may have an outsized influence over our political system and campaign spending may (consciously or not) sway legislative votes so it increasingly seems we have little power over that phenomenon. But we do have the power over our own votes.

We, the voters, just like they, the lawmakers, are inundated with campaign spending each election cycle. We hear radio spots, we see television commercials, we acknowledge online advertisements, we get slate mailers, and we may also get emails. But it is up to all of us to determine how much weight to give each of these.

Campaign spending undoubtedly skews the debate and the information that is readily available. Heavy campaign spending often means we, the voters, must spend more of our most precious resources -- time and energy -- to get useful information about candidates and ballot measures. The burden to educate ourselves in the face of substantial campaign spending is real. But the alternative is far worse than that burden.

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