Karl Rove, a jack of all shades when political cash is on the line, is back in the shadows of the giant money tree gathering up millions of campaign dollars that are falling like the autumn leaves. His latest venture through his Super PAC, American Crossroads, will spend $10 million to enrich the campaigns of four Republican Senate candidates. He has few equals in following the money that doesn’t rattle in his collection plate.
Have you noticed how experts, fully conditioned by their fail-safe rules of today’s politics, lay out the odds in any campaign by tilting to the candidates with the most cash on hand?
No surprise there. Money is the political version of “hear no evil, see no evil” as the actual merits of a candidate are reduced to asterisks in the great schemes to elect TV commercials. Many of the trumped-up ads are as dishonest as Bonnie and Clyde.
And nothing has made it more fruitful for the deepest pockets than the game-changing U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in 2010 that we all know as Citizens United. As a recent New Yorker piece so effectively pointed out , “The decision led to a surge of money greater than anyone predicted. Between 2008 snf 2012, campaign spending shot up by nearly two billion dollars. Much of that growth came from super PACs, the committees that are allowed to spend whatever they want as long as they don’t work directly with candidates” .
Don’t work directly? Well, folks, tee-hee. In the slick hands of the high rollers, it’s safe to say that “indirectly” can be made to work just as well.
Another point in the article: “In 2012, super PACs spent a billion dollars; seventy-three percent of the money came from a hundred people.”
Should there be any doubt that the average voter has become a bystander in the voting booth to a billionaire’s personal preferences to manage the donor’s piece of your government? Remember that House speaker John Boehner was once seen passing out tobacco company boodle to his Republican colleagues on the House floor just before a vote on a tobacco bill.
The rich man’s game was defined by the conservative Supremes who ruled that campaign contributions should not be restricted because they fell under the protection of freedom of speech. Funny how these justices gave away the keys to the bank vault that now allow contributors like the Koch brothers to pursue their own interests from high up on the money tree.
On a local note, you might still wonder how Gov. Kasich has raised $15 million for a risk-free reelection campaign. What more could the donors possibly want from him that he hasn’t already generously given to them?
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