This Blagojevich scandal is a big deal. This isn't just a story about personal corruption, but a story about political corruption and campaign finance. Nick Nyhart, president and CEO at Public Campaign has a new post up at Huffington Post about the scandal.
Nick lists a few of the allegations--selling a Senate seat for campaign cash, awarding contracts based on campaign cash, holding funds for sick kids for campaign cash. Gee, there seems to be a pattern.
In the end, it's time to change the way politics work in this country. Here's what Nick says:
Blagojevich needs to step down. It's hard to have faith in a man elected as a reformer caught on tape selling state contracts for personal enrichment. People don't go into politics corrupt, but the system sure is corrupting. From the day someone wins their seat, they are worried whether they will have enough money to win their next one. In Blagojevich's case, he seemed willing to do anything to get the money.
Congress and lawmakers across the country need to dramatically change the way politics works in America. It's time to reform the system to make elections about voters and not campaign cash and pass Fair Elections, or full public financing of elections, that's working successfully in seven states and two cities.
Fair Elections would end the pressure on candidates to raise large donations and give them more time to get out in their districts and talk to voters. While public financing won't eradicate blind ambition or bloated egos, it will make a political class more accountable to voters instead of big campaign contributors and take out a key thoroughfare for corruption.