June 23, 2012

Election Money Madness by Donald L. Cleveland

            The madness of spending money to win an elected office is reaching a point similar to the Mad Hatter’s tea party in Alice in Wonderland.  Elections are no longer won on the issues of the public welfare, but on the largess of the greatest propaganda machine output.  “A lie told often enough becomes the truth!” 

            Just for example, according to Mother Jones, the present dollar cost of Abraham Lincoln’s campaign was $2.8 million.  Then 100 years later, the Humphrey-Nixon-Wallace race topped $600 million.  Many thought that the 2008 Presidential Election was a barn burner with a $1.8 billion spent.  The interim U.S. Supreme Court decision in Citizens United has opened the flood gates.  Now, PAC’S and large corporations can open their treasuries to elect those who will do their bidding.   News sources are predicting unprecedented spending in this year’s election.  Business Week and Reuters News have projected that at current levels of fund raising and spending the 2012 Presidential election will reach $6 billion in spending. News Max.com has predicted a total of $8 billion.

            While the candidates try to imply that it’s the small contributions that drive their campaigns, the reality is that few average citizens can afford a $35,000 a plate dinner to be with a candidate.  Then when it comes time to pitch a point to provide a change in the law it just takes a phone call from a member on the large contributor’s list to get an appointment with the chief of staff, the candidate or the President.  A contribution of $5 to $100 might not even merit a robo signature letter reply to a request to visit the Whitehouse.

            The large contributors also know how to butter their bread on both sides.  The Fanjul family , Florida sugar barons, have provided large contributions to both parties.  They could then ensure that regardless of who won, they could still get a favorable hearing on sugar subsidies and import duties.

            So, it is really important to ask if one vote really counts in an election dominated by such vulgar campaign spending?  Does your vote count?

One vote counts.  Make your vote count (editor's note)!

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