I am really tired about hearing about campaign finance. I am also tired of political parties, even my own, constantly asking for donations. They do not need the money.
Let us get this clear up front: money does not elect representatives, people do. Nobody wins elections based on money, they only win if a) lots of people hear about the candidate and his views, and b) if the majority of people agree with his views.
Television is outdated and expesnsive.
Television is a poor return on investment. There are people who say that money is needed for television commercials. What commercials? The only political television ads I've ever seen in all my life are the ones that are later broadcast on other late night media as a discussion of the ad.
Throw out the commericals. It is a poor return on investment: you are not getting the viewership, even with the viewers, there is not much to understanding your position, and yet the commercials are very expensive. The candidates will save lots of money and be more effective in other ways.
The internet has changed all the rules.
The candidate needs to get his views known. Brief commercials and debates are too limiting with information, but a website - now we've got something. A candidate can put all of his views on a thousand different issues on a website. You can learn everything you want to. His views are not limited by the media, he has everything in full. This is what we need to know, and he has it, in full, in a place everyone can read.
What about getting to know the candidate's name and encouraging to vote for him? Again, the internet works well. You e-mail all your friends to vote for John Smith. No cost of bumper stickers or signs, just a message through the computer.
Furthermore, when a person says to vote for John Smith, this person can also talk a bit about why you should vote for him, and list Smith's official website. Look at that! Americans know about the candidate, and where to find more information, and, this didn't cost a cent!
Bumper stickers and shoe leather
Small advertising works well - bumper stickers are especially effective to get the name out, and to show support.
Then there is the traditional shoe leather route - walk the neighborhood, talk to co-workers, talk to friends - boosting up interest in your favorite candidate.
Who needs millions of dollars? All we need is enthusiastic people to talk up the candidate.
People, not dollars, elect representatives.