Buying the Presidency? August 13, 2007Posted by Daniel Downs in Barak Obama, campaign finance, Democrats, elections, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, John Edwards, John McCain, Mike Huckabee, political campaigns, political primary, politics, presidential election, Republicans, Ron Paul, Rudy Giuliani, Sam Brownback.
The total amount raised by presidential candidates so far is $295 million, according to Federal Elections Commission. If the candidate raising the most money could buy the popular vote, Hillary Clinton would be the winner. Her piggy bank bulges at about $63 million. Barak Obama trails her green smoke by $4 million. For a new Washington politician, raising nearly $59 million is impressive. Looking at the bigger picture, the party of jackasses does exemplify the ability to win the rich special interest jackpot. The party of big dumb elephantés is not doing as well. Not far behind in the collection of promissory votes from the rich by donations is Republican Mitt Romney. He leads the Jumbo pack with campaign funds of over $44 million. Contributions to Rudy Giuliani’s collection plate overflows at $36 million and the nearly broke John McCain used to have $26 million. McCain’s current cash on hand at a mere $3 million is still more than what other Republican candidates have raised. Just to show that Democrats are better at convincing like- minded millionaires to dish out their money in order to end the restoration a limited government and previous moral principles, other Democrat party candidates are raising two to four times more than their Republican counterparts. For example, John Edwards raised over $23 million, Bill Richards, $13 million, Chris Dodd, over $12 million, and Joe Biden has raised about $6.4 million. It must be remembered that all of those millions of dollars flowing into political coffers probably came from the millions who the rich have and keep impoverished.
Another way to look at buying the presidency is by considering how much candidates spend on things like advertisement and straw poll votes. Over the weekend, the Iowa Straw Poll winner was none other than Mitt Romney. The American principle of buying votes was shining brightly over the Romney campaign. All combined, he spent nearly $5 million on campaign ads, marketing materials, bus fares, and voter tickets, which means he spent over $1100 per vote, according to the Washington Post. President Bush did the same in 1999. Mike Huckabee, who was the runner up at the Iowa Straw Poll, only spent about $39 per vote. If Straw Polls are any real indication of future campaign victories, Romney just might be the next Republican champion, providing he does not run out of money.
There is good news for the underdogs like Ron Paul though. Have you noticed that he and other campaign underdogs rarely receive the blessed anointing of network media or big press coverage? Nevertheless, the possibility exists that Americans will realize that neither the ones who are able to raise the most money nor who are able to buy the most votes are the best candidates. Please do not misunderstand me. Romney would make a great president. Liberals would be overly exuberant if Clinton or Obama won the presidency. However, the candidate most likely to serve the interests of most Americans is the one who does not serve the highest bidder for post-election favors. Buying votes often means being bank rolled by special interests, not the interest of the common good. For example, when union members, associates or members of liberal non-profit issues organizations, and rich special interests are major contributors, the benefiting candidate will most likely serve their interests through policy decisions if elected. The same is true of a candidate whose major contributors are composed of big business concerns, foreign investors, and other rich capitalists. Because corporate media likes making huge profits from its limited advertising spots or space, only those candidates capable to attracting the big bucks can compete. The Internet, however, has leveled the playing field somewhat. Whether through You Tube, blogs, or web pages, the under funded candidates are reaching thousands and even millions of potential voters.
Your favorite underdog still needs help reaching those millions of Americans who rely on media that are more conventional. There is an old saying that the best advertisement maybe you. Your local efforts could make the difference. You could write letters to your local and regional newspaper editors, organize a local information campaign, distribute brochures, fliers, and pamphlets about your favored candidate. By donating money or by help raising campaign funds, you could assist your candidate to buy his or her way into the White House, but first he or she must win the party primary.
Consider this scenario: If 1.5 million people contributed $10 to $100 to Ron Paul’s campaign, his campaign would have available about $65 million, which would be enough to compete with the top fund raisers. That is how a worthy candidate like Ron Paul could win the primary and even the presidency.
That is, if it takes that much money to buy a presidential primary and a presidential election.