Wednesday, February 10, 2016
What Is Wrong with This Picture?
New Hamphsire Combined campaign/SuperPAC spending
from Stephen Hayes
New York Times
From “…Competitive in Fund-Raising”
By Nicholas Confessore and Eric Lichtblau
"Outside groups have stockpiled tens of millions of dollars on behalf of establishment candidates such as Mr. Bush and Mr. Rubio, most of it destined to be spent on television advertising. But those groups cannot cover the candidates’ core expenses, such as staff salaries, plane tickets, polling and office rent."
"Mr. Cruz and Mr. Carson lead...with about $12 million for Mr. Cruz and $11 million for Mr. Carson...Mr. Bush and Mr. Rubio each appeared to have about $10 million."
"The billionaire real estate mogul Donald J. Trump...raised about $4 million...Mr. Trump is no longer a self-funding candidate...with money from his supporters."
"On the Democratic side, Hillary Rodham Clinton, who secured commitments from many of the party’s biggest donors...barely outraised Senator Bernie Sanders...bringing in half as much money...Mrs. Clinton began October with more than $31 million...compared with about $27 million for Mr. Sanders [who] raised more than 3/4 from donors giving less than $200 each..."
"Mr. Carson has relied heavily on expensive direct mail and telemarketing consultants to raise money...Of the $14 million he spent during the third quarter alone, fund-raising costs totaled $11 million...But Mr. Rubio and Mr. Bush spent at an even higher rate..."
WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE?
Political advertising, fund-raising, staffing, meetings, rallies, travel, etc.--they all take money.
That's been true for many years, dating back at least to the early 1800's.
Election campaigns have spent and misspent billions over the years.
So what's the problem?
THAT is the problem. How commercial politics is, especially those of a presidential election! How so much wealth is squandered! In contrast, those billions could be used for real problems, for specific future goals.
I admit there is no easy answer to solving the bloated nature of election campaigns in the U.S.
But, maybe, several first steps would be to:
#1 Limit the time of the election campaign to 2 months.
#2 Require each candidate to offer a concrete 20-page proposal of his/her key plans for the U.S. future,
10 pages outlining domestic issues, 5 pages on foreign policy, and 5 to wrap up his/her overall outlook.
#3 Outlaw ALL ad hominem attacks, the constant emphasis on personalities, political "reality-show" interviews, one-liner debates, propagandistic ads, etc.
Of course in this real world, some of the current bloated political sludge would still seep into the clean pool.
But hopefully, multi-millions of that smog money would, instead, be spent on actual specific problems--acceptance of desperate refugees, ending cycles of poverty, education, police and fire-fighters, the environment and so much else.
NO MORE ANIMAL FARM!
No more war is peace.
In the Light of Goodness and the True,