We can’t ignore how money is spent in political campaigns because, plainly, those who contribute expect something in return.
If you give a $100 contribution hoping that will offset the cost of a candidate’s flyer or postage, there’s little expectation that this relatively unsubstantial sum will buy a candidate’s undying obeisance to your wishes should your candidate prevail in November.
But what if you are contributing hundreds of thousands of dollars in ads that your dream media team creates, if you are glorifying “the candidate” and slander-blasting any opponent to kingdom come with half-truths and whopper lies, if you bundle the contributions of others to show the reach of your influence, if you provide endorsements from organizations that you control that appear independent of each other (but are not), and, if you do snazzy multi-color snail mail mailings, robo-calls, push polls, social media, print and electronic blast “press” releases tearing down the opponent, who may be financially unable to shout back with anything like equal force, while, all the time, continuing to deify your candidate?
The scale of influence enjoyed by this Daddy Warbucks’ species of no-holds-barred contributor tilts the scales of our electoral process from anything fair to grossly inappropriate because the candidate elected by such extraordinary largesse is beholden to the contributor who brought him or her to our dysfunctional political hoedown – the U.S. Congress.
This pay-to-play phenomenon appears to be the rule, as evidenced by the fact that candidates raise millions to get jobs that pay less than two hundred thousand dollars. Continue reading