Money Buys Politicians

That is what Dems have been telling us. Money buys votes. Money misleads voters. Deploying the big money buys elections. A good measure of fairness is turn around. In a fair game, you should treat positions the same no matter who occupies them. Now that the Dems are the ones raking in the big bucks, will they still say the same things about money in politics?

I do not suppose the Dems will start complaining that their candidates have too much money, but they will no longer be able to complain that the Republicans are buying elections. I wonder if the turn around will be complete, i.e. Dems will adopt the former Republican argument that money commitment shows the people’s commitment, while the Republicans start to call for limits. I don’t doubt the Dems will do it. I think Republicans in general will not. We are more consistent.

BTW-- identified 143 journalists who made political contributions from 2004 through the start of the 2008 campaign, according to the public records of the Federal Election Commission. Nobody is surprised that most journalists leaned left: 125 journalists gave to Democrats and liberal causes. Only 16 gave to Republicans. Two gave to both parties. Of course it would be churlish to infer that their political biases, ones they are willing to back with cash, would ever influence their attitudes about the events and candidates they cover.

Just as we expect Dems to continue to suspect that candidates with too much money are not completely clean.

Posted by Jack at July 4, 2007 8:07 PM
Comment #224814

One of the surprising things reported about Obama’s funds is the number of small contributers. I suspect you will find pretty much the same with most Dems. THAT does matter.Other than that it sounds like whineing because the Dems will not go to a gunfight with a knife.

Yes that would be churlish and what defines a liberl cause? Is the ACLU defined as a liberal cause for example?

Posted by: BillS at July 4, 2007 8:48 PM
Comment #224817

Jack, there is significant difference between the RNC and DNC when it comes to money and politics. The RNC operates from an historical knowledge that they are the minority party, and thus, to achieve the PR, advertising packaging, and public image necessary to win, they must go hat in hand to the wealthy special interests to pay for all that.

The DNC operates from an historical knowledge of being the majority of American’s party, allowing them the comfort zone of knowing that over time, the voting public will side with them on election day, more likely than not, and thus, the pressure on them to remain beholding to the wealthy special interests, is less intense.

Now, when you break this down to local politics for U.S. Congress for example, you will find anecdotal evidence of corruption of candidates and incumbents on both sides by wealthy special interests. But, in the long run, Democrats, championing working people’s causes, mostly, are the more likely politicians to challenge wealthy special interests.

Jimmy Carter threw down the gauntlet at Oil companies in the 1970’s saying America will not again increase its dependency on foreign oil interests. Then came Reagan and the Bush’s. Democrats challenged the credit industries, capping usury interest rates. Then came GW Bush and the Republican Congress. Democrats challenged the pharmaceutical industry in trying to eliminate the provision for non-competitive pricing to the Medicare Rx drug program and the donut hole in coverage, but, they lost to the Republican Congress and President majority representing the transfer of wealth from taxpayer and consumer to investors and CEO’s and Boards of Directors.

Let me be clear. Democrats are prone to corruption by the wealth special interests as well, like Unions and trial lawyers. But, unions and trial lawyers offer a public service to working Americans caught in trap by corporate policy or overreaching government authorities, hence, the voting public does not regard such wealthy special interests favoring Democrats as the threat which the oil, pharmaceutical, insurance, and lending industries pose to the voting public.

I agree with the gist of your article, that Democrat lawmakers are vulnerable to the wealthy special interests to secure a filibuster proof Senate and elect a Democratic president, prizes they would do almost anything to obtain. But, unlike the Republicans of the last 16 years, and the Bush administration, Democrats know that succumbing to wealthy special interests to the detriment of their voting base, is political suicide in the making over time.

It remains to be seen if they can resist temptation and never lose sight of that knowledge of the price to be paid for succumbing to wealthy influences where legislation and administration of policy and law are concerned. Democrats are already paying a price for their stance on illegal immigration in the name of increasing future Democratic voter’s rosters, and they know it.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 4, 2007 9:30 PM
Comment #224821

It is not the candidates with too much money that is a problem. It is where that money came from that creates suspicion of collusion. Any candidate who treats donors with special favors is imo dealing in corruption. In essence that person has been offered a bribe and chooses to accept by giving the donors needs special consideration. It is a practice which can do no good and has no place in the operation of credible government. It is wrong for all parties to participate in this practice. But realistically speaking nobody has ever done it better or bigger than the republican party. It is a stigma which sticks to them like a leech because even though everyone knows it is a real and relevant problem, republicans refuse to admit it is a problem, and they make no real effort to curb the practice. In the eyes of those of us who are concerned it is that lack of acknowledgement and refusal to act which makes them their own worse enemy in regards to campaign donations.

Posted by: ILdem at July 4, 2007 10:00 PM
Comment #224824

Yeah, the base! The haves and the have mores!

The rest of us are just “tools”!

Posted by: KansasDem at July 4, 2007 10:17 PM
Comment #224828

Tools and fools with nothing to loose
Find me a politician
And I will show you nothing good to choose

Babes money and booze
Find me a politician
And I will show you how poison can ooze

Free meals and maybe a cruise
Find me a politician
And I will show you how wealth behooves

Posted by: pissedoffinamerica at July 4, 2007 11:03 PM
Comment #224845

The difference between the far left and I when it comes to poverty lies not in our great want for all to live a decent, comfortable life. It comes in how we each believe the task needs to be accomplished. You as a leftist, would give the government the job of taking from the rich to GIVE to the poor. The problem with this way is that holding a job and self sufficiency are vital for good self esteem. When you GIVE a man something, most of the time it is not as well taken care of as if the man worked for it.

I would accomplish the task by free market democracy. Let the people vote for our leadership, and let them vote with their money as to which companies and products make it. The nice thing about this way is that it has proven itself.

Some problems?

Yes. Always!
Your computer has problems, your marriage has problems, a Boing passenger jet last week had engine problems. But free market works.

We live a standard of living here that is unmatched any where in the world and any where in history.
Have we made mistakes? Yes! Many, Slavery, Indians, in our relationships, as teachers in our classrooms, with our employers, our employees, with our children! Our Poverty ridden still live a standard of living unmatched in 90% of the world. People from all over the world are begging to come here to live in poverty.

12 million of them are breaking the law and risking their freedom to live HERE in poverty!

Now you lefties! Don’t pick details out of my writing like my %90 It might be %95) and debate my sentences. Stand up and debate the philosophies.

Tell me why a socialist system with strong governmental control of business and peoples freedom (like you find in Cuba) is better than our free market democracy. Tell me why the free market system is bad. Tell me why working hard in this country and having it pay the big bonuses is so wrong. Debate me on how your way is the best way to solve the problem the world has always had of some people having lots of money and some having none.

Posted by: scottie1321 at July 5, 2007 1:07 AM
Comment #224846

jack - dems will no doubt continue to call for restricting the speech of their opponents this is entirely consistent.

Posted by: eric at July 5, 2007 1:08 AM
Comment #224847

BTW that was for you Kansas.

You may be a tool but you, even if you live below the poverty line, live better than 90% of the world currently and it gets real extreme if We compare within the history of the world.

We are blessed! The far left always wants to decry money until they need to raise more to win an election. @ that point even bellies up to big corporate profits and the donations that come with them.

Posted by: scottie1321 at July 5, 2007 1:12 AM
Comment #224848

jack - dems will no doubt continue to call for restricting the speech of their opponents this is entirely consistent.

Posted by: eric

And here lies the difference. Forget the politicians and insted look to the actual people in the party. Most democratic voters favor publicly funded elections and separating money from politics. Most republicans are comfortable calling corporations people and money a form of free speech. They give no do to the fact that such an Orwellian belief makes some people far more equal then others.

I debated this now enough to know that Republicans not only fear democracy but even a proper representational republic and for some reason think we are better off if ruled by a wealthy elite class. And just maybe they are right. I don’t think so but I only wished they’d admit to what they believe come election time.

Posted by: muirgeo at July 5, 2007 1:42 AM
Comment #224874

I wasn’t aware that both McCain and Feingold were Democrats.

Posted by: Gerrold at July 5, 2007 11:18 AM
Comment #224890

“We live a standard of living here unmatched any where in the world…”

No we do not. According to the UN Human Developement Index,a measure of literacy,poverty,life expectancy,child welfare etc. we rank it. Point is that repeating falsehoods keeps us from the improvements that need to be made. We can do better. Maybe that is the difference between right and left.

Posted by: BillS at July 5, 2007 1:52 PM
Comment #224895

scottie1321, I would refer to you the archives of this column, specifically to Jack’s writings (a Republican) for the best replies to your rantings about free markets, and free will for all to act in accordance to their own greeds.

It is amazing and fascinating to me to watch Republicans, once so lockstep and uniform just a few years ago, fall so rapidly into chaos, and internal dissent, and at cross purposes with each other. If it continues, the Republican Party will have as many factions as the Democratic Party. I hope and pray it does continue. For our nation was meant to be diverse and factionalized, and forced to forge consensus that works for the majority and preserve the nation and system of government through checks and balances against extremists and zealots of any philosophy, conservative or liberal, capitalist or socialist, anarchist, democratic, or republican.

The 2006 election was an abject lesson in the veracity of this strength of our American system and diversity. Long live the independent voters who will switch parties in a heartbeat when one or the other is dominated by zealots or extremists of a particular bent.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 5, 2007 2:07 PM
Comment #224940

David Remer

You can argue the pro’s and cons of the free market system all day. I included some of the cons in my own argument. But you see my friend, That is not my point.

My point is that it works. Our poor live at a standard in this country unmatched anywhere in the world or history.

12 million illegal immigrants risked their lives to get and stay here while breaking the law for the “DREAM” OF living in American poverty

Socialism and high regulation does not. There are examples all over the world of “REAL POVERTY AND REPRESSION”

But to your comments David.

When you call my side of the debate “RANTINGS” you fall into the trap of those only able to throw stones because they have not an argument that can put holes in my position. You are way above that David. I respect you better than that.

You say “and free will for all to act in accordance to their own greeds”

This is the part you on the left always leave out. Their has always been and always will be Greed, Poverty, Wealthy, Happy, Sad, What ever.

No matter how perfect the system there will always be greed.

But Greed and courption in foreingn countrys such as cuba makes what goes on in the united states minor.

Are there problems, some of which need to be regulated, in a free market system? Yes. But it has proven to provide its people the highest standard of living ever. It has also provided those same people the level of wealth to aid those in foreign countries also unmatched at any time in history. We give more, help more and do more than any people ever.

You Say: For our nation was meant to be diverse and factionalized.

` I know you belive that, but you are wrong. The preamble of the constituion states:

“we the people of the UNITED States Of America, in order to form a more perfict UNION”

“A house divided within it self can not stand.”

Two parents who are not on the same page cannot effectively control their children.


Are there problems with our system? Yes. Should we daily count our blessings? Definitely. But don’t comapare the Poor to the Rich. It’s apples to oranges. Compare our poor to the poor of the world, then start comparing throughout history

Posted by: scottie1321 at July 5, 2007 6:34 PM
Comment #224942

We need to be a diverse but UNIFIED people.

Posted by: scottie1321 at July 5, 2007 6:39 PM
Comment #224944

And I Should have said, “But Greed and couruption in foreign countriess such as Cuba makes what goes on in the united states minor in its effect on the people. Of course there is more here we have 300,000,000 people, Cuba has 12,000,000 in that ity bitty space. Thats why they risk their lives getting to US dry land in Florida.

Posted by: scottie1321 at July 5, 2007 6:45 PM
Comment #224951

scottie1321, you utterly fail to appreciate the fact that poverty is a relative and perceptual state contextual with the society in which it is found.

One Amazonian Rain Forest tribe protected by the Brazilian government have no money, no condos, no formal schools, no cars, bicycles, or Wal-Marts or Tiffany stores. Yet, they regard themselves as having great bounty.

Poverty is entirely contextual, and the greater the disparity between the haves and have nots in a given society, the greater the psychological and sociological impact and suffering by the poor in that society.

Comparing the poor in the Rain Forest with the poor in the Mississippi Delta is itself an apples and oranges comparison removing the context that defines poverty for that society.

Your argument is patently flawed on this basis.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 5, 2007 8:07 PM
Comment #224952

scottie1321 said: “But Greed and courption in foreingn countrys such as cuba makes what goes on in the united states minor.”

Not when the results are premature death or suffering. Death and suffering in Cuba feels the same as death and suffering in America whether or not greed, power, or arrogance are the cause.

And what gives you cause to categorize me as on the left? My economic views align closely in many ways with Jack’s in this column, and he is one of the most prominent Republican writers here. Or, perhaps, anyone, Republican or not, who fails to agree with your views is a leftist. Many take such a stance on the right, which is part of what gives many on the right the appearance of being one dimensional, black or white, my way or the highway, good or evil. You know, reality is far more subtle and complex than such simple categories and verbage can handle. And that is saying a lot about those who hold such images as currency in their minds, lives, and decisions.

I think I have shot enough holes in your arguments here, so, I will move on. No point beating a dead horse as they say.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 5, 2007 8:11 PM
Comment #224965

“Come February 2001, the last of the 100 burial grounds, holy places and other archaeological sites of the Kitanemuks will be obliterated by the oil drilling of Occidental Petroleum Company.
Gore recommended that the Elk Hills be sold as part of his 1995 “Reinventing Government” National Performance Review program. Gore-confidant (and former campaign manager) Tony Cohelo served on the board of directors of the company hired to assess the sale’s environmental consequences. The sale was a windfall for Oxy. Within weeks of the announced purchase Occidental stock rose ten percent.
Americans don’t know that we already have a vice president with oil company stocks. Gore controlled between $250,000-$500,000 of Occidental stock” (before the sale). (After the sale), “Gore began disclosing between $500,000 and $1 million of his significantly more valuable stock.”
(From CorpWatch: CorpWatch investigates and exposes corporate violations of human rights, environmental crimes, fraud and corruption around the world. We work to foster global justice, independent media activism and democratic control over corporations.)

“The Gore family’s links with Occidental date back to the vice president’s father’s close relationship with Armand Hammer, the oil baron who created Occidental and who often found himself in the limelight of controversy because of his extensive investments in the old Soviet Union. When J. Edgar Hoover had accused Hammer of being a communist agent in 1962, Senator Gore defended him on the Senate floor, and after performing other favors for the company over the years, Gore Senior, after losing his Senate seat in 1970, took a job with an Occidental subsidiary for an annual salary of $500,000.
The vice president inherited his father’s relationship with Hammer — as well as taking over a piece of land the oil magnate had sold his father in a lucrative sweetheart deal — and dined regularly with the oilman in Washington during the ’80s. Indeed, according to the New York Times, the traditionally Republican firm gave heavily to the Democrats in the ’90s, starting with a $100,000 contribution to the Presidential Inauguration Committee in 1992. Occidental is further reported to have forked over $50,000 in soft money after a phone solicitation from Gore in 1996 and a further $100,000 after Irani spent two nights in the Lincoln Bedroom that same year.”

Looks like Big Al made a lot of “GREEN” on that one. I guess money does rule.

Posted by: JD at July 5, 2007 10:32 PM
Comment #224969

“Now that the Dems are the ones raking in the big bucks, will they still say the same things about money in politics?”
From Jack’s initial Post

Sure they’ll keep saying the same things, Jack, because their money ties and corruption will be swept under the rug after a brief disclosure and a half-hearted apology. The Republicans, however, will have to hear the ranting of the Press (that you speak of in your Post) like a million quarters being simultaneously spun on the top of a slickly polished media desk top. Round and round and round she goes… where she stops… (well, you know the rest of it!)


Posted by: JD at July 5, 2007 10:43 PM
Comment #224981


You use the Amazon Ilustration. That just proves my point. They know how to count their blessings. Their happiness is not based on what they have. They also do not spend time demonizing those that have alot. That is the point.

You say:
“You utterly fail to appreciate the fact that poverty is a relative and perceptual state contextual with the society in which it is found.”

I think that was my point. Poverty in this country is relative to the wealth of this entire country. Which is so wealthy that our poorest have an incredible standard of living. So when John Edward talks about two Americas and the far left wants all our taxes to go to welfare programs, it ceases to be the best solution for fighting for all tho have as much of the American Dream as possible.

You use the term leftist where I am using the term far left. The original post was for Kansasdem who is far left. I know that economically you are closer to me than Kansas, Thats still not the point. The far left would tax the living daylights out of the rich and give it to the poor. I will repeat again:

“The leftist, would give the government the job of taking from the rich to GIVE to the poor. The problem with this way is that holding a job and self sufficiency are vital for good self esteem. When you GIVE a man something, most of the time it is not as well taken care of as if the man worked for it.”

Posted by: scottie1321 at July 5, 2007 11:49 PM
Comment #225058

Just to make myself clear:

The leftist, would give the government the job of taking from the rich to GIVE to the poor.

The far left would tax the living daylights out of the rich and give it to the poor

Posted by: scottie1321 at July 6, 2007 2:09 PM
Comment #225096

Scottie, guess that would make nearly all Republicans leftists. They support taking money from taxpayers who can afford to pay them and giving it to young unemployed men and women joining the military. They support taxing those who can pay to subsidize big Pharma, Oil Industry exploration, and No Child Left Behind. Then there is taxing those who can pay to provide Rx Medicare drugs to the poor.

Yep, guess that makes just about everyone a lefty by your definition, Scottie, except perhaps Libertarians who want to collect taxes on use fees only. Does one pay a military use fee tax before or after we are invaded? Just curious, since before invasion, there is no useage of the military by the average citizen. After invasion is a bit too late, don’t you think? Odd lot, them Libertarians like Ron Paul. Oops, he calls himself a Republican candidate though!

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 6, 2007 7:34 PM
Comment #225098

Scottie, no. Your point was to compare OUR poor with the POOR of other nations. My point was that poverty is contextual to nation in which it is found. Thank you for coming around and agreeing, however to my point.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 6, 2007 7:36 PM
Comment #225143


Now you know better. I have read too much of your work to not know that.

Men and women in the military are not given anything. They work, work hard, and sometimes give the ultimate for that “PAY”.

Subsides have a purpose and just like everything else sometimes are abused and given out unfairly. I’m sorry that just as in all other aspects of life, the need for them outweighs the fact that sometimes when dealing with life that a percentage of abuses happen. Same with molestations in our schools. Some bad teachers. That is still different than just giving people who can work money that others work hard for.

Whatever that 2nd paragraph has to do with anything I said, I don’t know. Especially as I refute the two points you make that you base that: “just about everyone a lefty by your definition”

And no my point wasn’t to compare anyone. My point is don’t look at the spread between wealth and poverty in our nation because just as you said:
“that poverty is a relative and perceptual state contextual with the society in which it is found.”

By that, we cannot just look at the lowest incomes on the chart in this country and act and say that life, in the scheme of the “entire” world, and of the “entire” time line of people living on this earth, our “poverty” stricken live a very, very, very good life. John Edwards would would tell of two Americas. I would too. His is based on our poor “having it soooo bad.

Mine would be the difference between,

Children in homes where the children are put first, and those where mom and dad haven’t been taught to care.

Homes where mom and dad make sure there is good healthy food on the table and parents who spend the first half the check on boos, drugs, and cigarettes.

Homes where parents let their children do whatever they want and those who give them boundaries and teach them to be respectful.

You see David, there are poor and not so poor in all those categories, money doesnt bring happiness or unhappiness to children. Love, good character, responsibility, and many other things do.

And the fact remains. that the poor in this country may be at the the bottom of a list of the wealth in this country, but they are surely not in poverty. And I have been in the Mississippi Delta, the Appalachians and the “hollers” of Kentucky.

I’ve also been to Trinidad Where there are miles of families living in cardboard and plywood houses near a stench that smells like a cross between chicken poop and a bad diaper.

We could start next on all the opportunities available but I shall refrain.

Posted by: scottie1321 at July 7, 2007 2:28 AM
Comment #225144

And yes….

Those Trinididians were some of the happiest people I have ever met.

Posted by: scottie1321 at July 7, 2007 2:31 AM
Comment #225151

Then there is the bi-partisan 1996 welfare reform law. The far left fought it veraciously.


4.7 million Americans moved from welfare dependency to self-sufficiency within three years of enactment, and the number of welfare cases declined by 54%.

Look it UP! and stay away from the political sites and site that collect facts and make conclusions. You can come to your own conclusions. The facts are out there. Find them!

Posted by: scottie1321 at July 7, 2007 4:07 AM
Comment #225329

I see a lot of comments saying the Republicans are good, and talk about how great everything is. However, you cannot dispute the fact the federal government has grown more powerful than ever. Wake up! There is no difference between the Republicans and Democrats!

Posted by: Eric Arthur at July 8, 2007 5:35 PM
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