Here’s an idea

Okay, okay, I know that I said no more politics posts, but this one is slightly different.

I’m not exactly sure where to find this data, but I’m under the (perhaps mis-) impression that some campaigns end up with a surplus once the election is over. Particularly the national committees. (I’ve always heard anecdotes about “campaign coffers” and “war chests” in off-election years).

On November 5th, any and all surplus funds that the Obama/Biden and McCain/Palin campaigns have should be turned over to the treasury to finance the bailout. Any and all surplus funds raised within any of the U.S. House and Senate races get turned over to the treasury to finance the bailout. All money currently raised by incumbent Senators not up for re-election this year, gets turned over.

The campaigns and the national committees will be allowed to hold a portion of funds for operating expenses. A volunteer independent panel of American citizens that do not have family or direct business ties to the national committees and campaigns will be selected, similar to how juries are selected, to review and make decisions on the “fair wages” (operating budgets) of the staffs of the campaigns and committees.

For the next year for all House candidates and those Senate candidates up for re-election in 2010, and for the next two years for all others, including the DNC and RNC — they will solicit contributions to the campaigns as normal, but all funds, minus operating expenses, will go to the bailout.

All public financing is cut off and that money shifted to the bailout.

Those campaign bailout investments, once recouped from those institutions that the government is investing in, will be directly returned to the campaigns, along with all investment earnings (calculated as a flat percentage across the board of all investments — making sure that it’s fair to all parties), minus administrative overhead. The more you put in, the more you earn out — provided of course, that the investments bear a return. For those investments not yet coming to fruition, and for campaigns that are not needing the liquidity for a few years, they get “shares” in the ownership stake that the government gets in the institutions that it invests in.

Yes, of course, aspects of this are an absolutely ludicrous idea. Yes, of course, we aren’t talking too much money, percentage wise to the overall bailout monies, maybe a few million dollars, or slightly more across all of Congress and the committees.

But can you think of a better way to get the campaigns personally invested in seeing that the oversight on the bailout is done right?