January 9, 2012

Chump change

The newspapers are full of stories about how casino mogul Sheldon Adelson has given $5 million dollars to Newt Gingrich to run attack ads against Mitt Romney, revivifying Newt's campaign. 

Is $5 million really headline news in politics these days? I feel very naive about this because I have no clue what the real deal is, but I've long noticed that when I'm reading stories about the political contributions of heavy hitters like Adelson and Haim Saban, the numbers tossed around about their donations don't seem all that staggering. Now, T. Boone Pickens giving $165 million to get Oklahoma State almost into the BCS title game -- that's significant money. But $5 million sounds like what some used car dealer ponies up to get his college football team's weight room refurbished, not the kind of serious moolah that may determine the course of American history. Reading these articles, I feel like I'm in that scene in Austin Powers where Dr. Evil is defrosted after 30 years and threatens to blow up the world if he's not given "One. Million. Dollars!"

71 comments:

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the Swedes have the best idea.
All donations to politicians or political parties are banned and are strictly illegal and criminal.
Unpalatable as it might seem, taxpayers money funds poltical parties.Horrible I know but better than any alternative.

Wes said...

I heard T. Boone Pickens was going to give that $165 million to establish a fund to help his co-ethnics and defend the traditional culture of America.

Just joking! Of course it's going to a college football team! He's a White Gentile, it can't be spent on anything serious, especially something that helped other White Gentiles.

Anonymous said...

Geez, I'm starting to think your thanks for that ten bucks last time you shook the tin might have been sarcastic.
Gilbert Pinfold.

bjdubbs said...

One reason Arizona's passed all these laws is because there is public financing of campaigns. CoC doesn't have the power to block expensive labor laws.

Ed said...

The obvious conclusion is that larger amounts are in fact thrown around in connection to political campaigns but that the peons are not allowed to know about them.

Just like the results of the bowl games could well be decided beforehand by gambling interest, but that money doesn't count and isn't reported, but if someone buys one of the players a car then that could well be reported in the media.s

Anonymous said...

@ First commenter:

Are you sure donations are illegal? If they are, that's a new law. Historically, the unions have given large amounts to the Social Democrats.

SFG said...

Why would it be a lot of money? They only have to buy TV air time, and usually not in major markets like NYC or LA. Lots of money for you or me, but given how much money football players bring in and hence how much they're paid, it makes sense football teams would be more expensive.

BTW, is this usually what rich men spend their money on? Maybe it's because I'm a nerd from the East Coast, but I can think of thousands of more interesting things to waste a million bucks on than a football team.

Anonymous said...

It's big money this early in the game.

Black Death said...

I recall a comment by a Russian journalist on how cheaply American politicians could be bought. Apparently the going rates are much higher in Russia.

Anonymous said...

5 million goes a long way in New Hampshire and probably South Carolina as well.

Chicago said...

It makes me wonder what Mr Adelson sees in Gingrich that others don't.

Anonymous said...

maybe now that every politician has already sold out, the money for selling out has shrunken? Supply and demand. The supply of sellout pols == 99 percent, so therefore the demand has decreased, so the price has decreased.

peterike said...

It's chump change. Obama has raised $86 million. See here:

http://www.opensecrets.org/pres12/candidate.php?id=N00009638

A big chunk of this is from "individual donors." One massively important story from the 2008 election that got the full memory hole treatment was how Team Obama turned off all credit card checks for their on-line donations. This essentially allowed anyone with a valid credit or even debit card to submit money under any name and address whatever.

The guess is that a great deal of the money raised was from illegal foreign sources, but nobody really knows because the press showed zero interest and naturally the Obamanites said nothing.

There is no reason to believe anything's changed. And sure enough, right as the campaign season for Obama approaches he has a sudden surge in "individual contributions."

Yet another reason we are ruled by the OCS -- the Obama Crime Syndicate.

Marlowe said...

During the 2008 Presidential election I came across an interview with a pair of marketeers who considered political campaign work slumming compared to running Nike's promotions because of the yawning gap in expenditure.

NOTA said...

Open secrets has tons of information on money in politics.

I think the legally-mandated bins into which the money falls matter a lot. At one extreme, investing heavily in the New York Times or buying Univision means you can exert some control of the public debate without being subject to the campaign finance laws. But most people can't do that, and even the ones who can are much less able to help individual candidates out.

Think tanks, lobbyists, and PACs all give different ways to influence the issues and benefit some candidates, but at a couple removes. Ron Paul probably benefits at some level from money given to Cato and loses from money given to AIPAC, but there's still quite a bit of distance there--meaning it wil be harder for the people who spent money in that way to get their candidate to talk to them or pay attention to their interests.

Money that goes into a campaign fund is a lot more directly useful to the candidate--he can pay his campaign workers and pollsters, he can buy ads of his own rather than hoping someone will make a useful ad for him. Many candidates end up in debt at the end of their campaigns; donations that let them decrease that debt are, I think, almost like just giving the candidate money directly.

The interesting question is, how do donors make sure they still get access after their candidate is in office? I figure John Edwards had the best answer there--the folks donating money to support his mistress and bastard son could be pretty confident that he wouldn't forget them once he got into office, at least as long as the scandal stayed hidden.

Anonymous said...

A conspiracy minded person would think that Sheldon made his donation to support Obama ... if the GoP candidates keep tearing each other down, Obama will be a shoe in.

Anonymous said...

How does this compare to the Oligarch donations in Russia? :-/

Luke Lea said...

Compared to a bundle of 250 $2000 donations, $5 million sounds a lot more convenient from Newt's point of view. Is this Citizen's United money?

W Baker said...

5 big ones will get you one nice, NEW weight room, Steve - minus the building, of course.

Apparently it also buys verbal genocide. If 5 is the going rate to deny a people's existence from Newt, AIPAC could cut it's budget by 90%, donate to all of the candidates' PACs (save Paul's, of course), and be done with their messy little problem for 15 - 20 big ones and few showers at the checkpoints.

Half Sigma said...

Well this is why I was confused over people making a big deal that Alvin Greene may have received a $10,000 donation from someone. I mean, that's nothing.

Noah172 said...

Jews are smart and good with money. Everybody already knew that, right? Maybe their donations are a little, maybe a lot, but the RoI is enormous: POWER.

Meanwhile, dim-bulb, embarassing goyim like Pickens squander their fortunes on idiotic, irrelevant games -- and, in Pickens' case, fail to achieve the goals behind the money.

If only Rabbi Marx had seen a college football game, he would have written that football is the opium of the people. (Or soccer, I guess, in the rest of the world.)

Eric said...

The big scandal of our political class isn't that they're corrupt. It's that they can be bought so cheaply. These people are making decisions that swing trillions of dollars and yet for a lousy six figures you can get extra consideration.

Gene Berman said...

A good bit of what you observe is merely a result of inflation over the course of years. Annenberg (Philadelphia Inquirer) donated $150 million to an assortment of educational institutions back in the days of $35 gold--makes ol' T-Boone look like a piker. Ike's administration was scandalized because one of his guys took a fur coat (I think there was a refrigerator also--but maybe that was just to store the coat.) Now, the only attention would be from PETA--and they'd be OK as long as it was fake fur.

Bribery's a tricky business. Is the briber suborning the bribee?
Or is a bribe an act of extortion in disguise? The guy who takes the bribe is the one with the power--the power to benefit or hurt the interests of the donor (or to "put him away," if he's of a mind.

But a campaign donation is not so obviously anything other than an attempt to express an opinion--the exercise of free speech--on a candidate, his views and platform.

G.W. was the all-time champion of small donations. he raised the largest-ever (at the time) "war chest" on an average donation of $72 while Algore raised almost as much but with an average donation of about $22,000! I don't recall complaints about donation size from the Democrats.

Stuff Black People Don't Like said...

To think, T. Boone Pickens $165 million investment of OSU finally paid off with a Fiesta Bowl victory over a one-loss Stanford team that doesn't have huge angel donors to its team: just white boys that no other school dared recruit.

Anonymous said...

"One reason Arizona's passed all these laws is because there is public financing of campaigns. CoC doesn't have the power to block expensive labor laws."

Good point. Arizona representatives are highly dependent on actually pleasing their voters, because they can't just rely on corporate cash to get elected year after year.

svigor said...

The obvious conclusion is that larger amounts are in fact thrown around in connection to political campaigns but that the peons are not allowed to know about them.

No, the obvious conclusion is that American gov't is for sale, cheap. Not that your hypothesis is wrong, mind you. It just isn't the obvious conclusion.

Anonymous said...

"Reading these articles, I feel like I'm in that scene in Austin Powers where Dr. Evil is defrosted after 30 years and threatens to blow up the world if he's not given "One. Million. Dollars!""

Come on, a world full of chimps for a million dollars, why not? Dr. Evil was certainly bluffing because he wanted some money to buy stuff that would be destroyed if he actually blew up the world. Unfortunately, in real life people will kill you for a lot less than a million or maybe its for a lot more than a million, depending on how you look at it.

Currahee said...

STIHIE:
T. Boone contributes $165M to enable whites to scream hysterically as low IQ black thugss chase each other around a lawn.

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

Yes, $5 mil from a single brib...er, donor is a hell of a lot in the context of a political campaign, especially when it can tilt the primary. If Gingrich stays alive through Florida, it will be thanks almost entirely to the Adelson donation.

Please, pay no attention to the men behind the curtain, or the fact that their main philanthropic and political concerns seem to center entirely on the Scots-Irish and the Scots-Irish homeland.

Anonymous said...

This explains why Gingrich has been such a shill for Israel.

Anonymous said...

Who says poor people are not creative?

Anonymous said...

Collective action problem.

-osvaldo Mandias

Anonymous said...

Blankley RIP

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

The Adelson donations are a real concern. To me the bogus controversy is over the claim that a presidential candidate should have, at some recent point, lived in "fear" of getting a pink slip.

Sorry, but any man who has genuinely feared losing his job past the age of about 30 probably isn't qualified to be president. Once a would-be president is that age he generally has the education, judgment, and innate talent to land on his feet after a job disruption. Even CEOs may fear the ax, but if they have any sense whatsoever they're living well within their means and have a tidy nest egg stored up. For the talented and ambitious, a job loss might be a personal defeat, but it doesn't mean the loss of livelihood.

Obama, Santorum, Gingrich, Huntsman, Romney, Paul - all have professional degrees or rich daddies. Obama has affirmative action to go with his degrees. Perry is the only one who lacks the above, but he's been in politics so long it hardly matters.

Mitt Romney should be the one to say this, but if he did people would loathe him even more.

DYork said...

If you look closely you may notice the Scots Irish background of those heavy hitter campaign contributors.

And yet no doubt their contributions are based on which candidate is best for Israel.

Weird.

morleysafer said...

They love any story that advances campaign-finance regulation. He who has the gold makes the rules

Whiskey said...

Those are NOT the heavy hitters. REAL money goes to PACs, which must disclose donations, but don't have hard limits and do so after campaigns.

You can give $20, $30 million to a PAC. That's real money. Obama plans to raise $1 billion. So Adelson is Chump Change. [In 2008, Obama raised 100's of millions from Hamas, Hezbollah, other overseas donors. No FEC action was taken. We are a nation of men not laws.]

Aaron Baugher said...

I don't want to be all "eat the rich" here, but I've had the same thought whenever I see a press release about some multi-[mb]illionaire giving a five-digit donation for a school or something: "That's all? And it's a big story?" Yes, it's a lot of money, and rich people deserve credit for their donations too; but if I gave an equivalent percentage of my wealth, no one would send a picture of the event to the press.

Or like Steve Forbes or Ross Perot running for president, so they couldn't be stopped from spending their own money. Forbes spent $37M and Perot spent $60M -- again, lots of money, but about 8% of Forbes's net worth at the time and under 2% of Perot's. If you truly believe in your own candidacy, wouldn't you think you'd open the checkbook more than that? A common saying among business investors is that you don't invest in a guy who's not willing to throw every single dime he's got into his business, plus his house and car as collateral; that way you know he's truly committed. They'd laugh at a founder who said, "Yeah, I'm putting almost 10% of my net worth into this business; now how much can I get from you?"

If I had billions of dollars and I really wanted to get someone elected, I wouldn't mess around. For $100 million you could send a $10 bribe to every likely open voter in all the swing states. Considering how many Obama voters seemed to believe goodies were coming their way on his inauguration, I think that $10 could buy quite a few votes. Or pick a single issue: if you're anti-abortion, start calling abortion clinics and offering to buy them out, requiring non-compete agreements that prevent them from going into the same business elsewhere. If you're anti-gun, do the same with gun shops.

But before I bothered with politics, I'd take care of the important stuff. For $100 million each, I could bring back the casts and crews of a few of my favorite TV shows that got cancelled too early and have them finished right. Another $100M could make a few miniseries from books that deserve it (a lot more than that lame Harry Potter stuff). The Magnum movie would be done with Tom Selleck, as God intended.

My town's public school system hosts about 6000 inmates. Their parents spend hundreds of dollars on books, but of course they get reamed, because they're stuck buying what the schools tell them to. Books aren't that expensive to produce, so for $60M I could easily have a full set of right-leaning textbooks made up and donate them to the schools, with enough left over to give away to homeschoolers. The locals, sick of constant property tax increases, wouldn't let them refuse free textbooks even if the science book had a picture of Adam & Eve on the cover.

Or pay for a reunion game between the 1984 Lakers and Celtics, or for Stephen King to go back and rewrite that one chapter you never liked, or to get PETA to endorse Hardee's. (For the right price, I bet they'd find a way to justify it.) Or give a million dollars to every Catholic nun who wears a full habit or priest who wears a cassock.

Rich people just don't seem to have much imagination about throwing money around. I'm sure yachts and fancy restaurants and college buildings with your name on them are nice, but they can't be that much fun. Where are the Al Czerviks? (Besides Donald Trump, I guess.) I'd have fun with it --which might explain why they're still rich and I'm still not at all -- but what's the point of being rich otherwise?

beowulf said...

"Those are NOT the heavy hitters. REAL money goes to PACs, which must disclose donations, but don't have hard limits and do so after campaigns.
You can give $20, $30 million to a PAC. That's real money."

Individual may give
$117,000[Note 1] overall biennial limit;
$46,200[Note 1] to all candidates
$70,800[Note 1] to all PACs and parties

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Campaign_finance_in_the_United_States#Table_of_federal_donation_limits

Lugash said...

I am Lugash.

If you look closely you may notice the Scots Irish background of those heavy hitter campaign contributors.

And yet no doubt their contributions are based on which candidate is best for Israel.

Weird.


Romney is as big, if not bigger, supporter of Israel as Newt is. I could see spending money to go after Ron Paul, but not Romney.

I am Lugash.

Anonymous said...

If you don't pay, you have no say.

Scrutineer said...

Luke Lea - Is this Citizen's United money?

Citizens United dealt with independent expenditures by corporations, not donations made by individuals to PACs.

Anonymous said...

Luke Lea - Is this Citizen's United money?

Citizens United dealt with independent expenditures by corporations, not donations made by individuals to PACs.


The contribution was made to a new form of post-CU entity called a Super PAC.
http://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/superpacs.php?cycle=2012
Super PACs are a new kind of political action committee created in July 2010 following the outcome of a federal court case known as SpeechNow.org v. Federal Election Commission.

http://www.campaignfreedom.org/blog/detail/march-of-freedom-continues-in-speechnoworg-v-fec
In SpeechNow.org, the Court extended the rationale of the Supreme Court's ruling in Citizens United v. FEC and the D.C. Circuit's Sept. 2009 decision in EMILY's List v. FEC. In Citizens United, the Court held that incorporated entities—business corporations, labor unions and nonprofits—pose no risk of corruption when they spend money independently to advocate for or against candidates. SpeechNow.org extends this rationale to unincorporated groups as well.

anony-mouse said...

'... especially something that helps other White Gentiles...'

How else would you describe the cheering fans of Oklahoma State, or the vast majority of the population of Stillwater OK (home of Red Dirt music!)?

Anonymous said...

That is chump change, but that's just one candidate. To really bend politics your way you've got to establish a seemingly-non-political foundation.

You think Billy Clinton is going around talking about painting roofs white because Sherwin-Williams dropped him a few gs? No way.

bbartlog said...

Adelson is apparently a good friend of Newt's. As is generally the case with lobbyists and bribes, it's often the case that the recipient of the money doesn't really change his mind - he's just getting support for positions he's held all along. And anyone else who wants to get paid should be holding those positions all along, too. No sense in making it look like anything was actually bought.
Supposedly the $5 million is just the first installment of a total of up to $20 million. First big chunk is earmarked for attack ads against Romney in South Carolina.

Noah172 said...

Lugash wrote:

Romney is as big, if not bigger, supporter of Israel as Newt is. I could see spending money to go after Ron Paul, but not Romney.

Intriguing point. What does a Likudnik macher like Adelson have against Romney? Other Jewish neoconservatives, and their goyisch lapdogs, seem to view Romney as treif.

My guess is that some Jews and Rapture-ready Pharisee Christians worry about Romney's well-known opportunism. He sings the neocon, globalist tune, for sure, but he is not a true believer like Bush, Gingrich, Perry, and the like. If opinion polls turned sour, businessman Romney might cut his losses and re-structure, so to speak. Shabbos goyim like Gingrich can be trusted to do the bidding of the Adelsons of the world to the bitter end.

Mr. Anon said...

"Lugash said...

Weird.

Romney is as big, if not bigger, supporter of Israel as Newt is. I could see spending money to go after Ron Paul, but not Romney."

And perhaps that is the exact intent of it. Perhaps Gingrich will primarily use that money to attack Paul - to shout him down and drive him from the field.

ATBOTL said...

Seriously, Aaron Baugher? Anyone who spent their entire fortune to run for president would be judged a fool.

Anonymous said...

Assad to fall next?

Whiskey said...

To donate unlimited amounts of money, set up your own PAC. For example, the "Foundation for a Better Life" is really the work of Philip Anschutz, Form 990 (available at any google-fied 990 finder) reveals that pretty much all of the money came from the Anschutz foundation. [Foundation for a Better Life is behind those annoying "Christian-Lite" commercials instead of the real thing.]

A PAC can give Basically no limits to other PACs, and spend as much as it likes. Adelson really loves Newt? He can give to a PAC, not affiliated with Newt, and run a billion dollars of campaign ads for Newt or against whoever. It just can't be coordinated. For Dems, since rule of law is a joke, not even THAT applies.

[Yes, Jews are so smart with money they fell for the Madoff affinity scam. That's like investing with a guy named "Scahm" or something.]

Jack Aubrey said...

It' interesting the notion that Adelson is just supporting Newt because Newt has the right views. What would those original views be, and when did Newt come to believe them?

I reckon that Gingrich has been bought for so long that he can't really distinguish his real views from the ones he's been paid to believe. In that way owning Gingrich is like owning a home - it remains yours and you can't lose it, so long as you stay up on the property taxes. Gingrich isn't going to sell out his beliefs until Adelson & Friends stop paying.

Kaz said...

'Obama raised 100's of millions from Hamas, Hezbollah, other overseas donors.'

Woah woah woah wait what?

Come on now Whiskey..

Lumberjack Zhivago said...

Do rich people support certain politicians because they agree with the politicians' views... or they support support certain politicians because the politicians agree with their views?

It sounds the same but there's a big difference. In the former, rich people are supporting certain candidates. In the latter, rich people are creating and owning certain candidates.

Anonymous said...

"Perhaps the Swedes have the best idea."

"Historically, the unions have given large amounts to the Social Democrats."

The Swedish Social Democratic party is in a sense unique in the West. As they have held the power during 65 of the past 74 years, the party has more or less integrated itself in the state. The labor unions have close ties with the party and supply funding and manpower during the elections years. During the 2002 elections LO, the largest labor union in Sweden, contributed with direct and indirect aid to the Social Democratic party that have been estimated to a value above 500 million Swedish kronas. This is about five times the total election budgets for all of the other six major parties in Sweden put together.


Last year there was some trouble in the paradise.

Members of several Swedish political parties are calling for a restructuring of the Riksdag [the Swedish parliament] to minimize the influence of the far-right Sweden Democrats. The parties are investigating whether it is possible to shift the make-up of parliamentary committees to reduce the sway of the far-right, anti-immigrant party which was voted into parliament for the first time at the weekend’s general elections, several Swedish dailies reported.

Lugash said...

I am Lugash.

Maybe Adelson is afraid Romney will go after gambling?

Unlikely, but it's all I can come up with.

I am Lugash.

Anonymous said...

Romney is an opportunist and not nearly reliable enough. Gingrich is ready to send Iran back to antiquity, consequences be damned. From a neoconservative perspective, Newt is a better candidate.

Not that Romney is that bad. He's had a lot of Team Israel onboard from the beggining.

The only bad candidate in this race, if you're Scotch-Irish, is Ron Paul.

Luke Lea said...

I believe this is very much part of the fall-out of the Citizens United ruling. According to NYT anyway.

Still this could backfire on the moneyed elites. It only takes one multi-billionaire to finance a talented populist politician who in times past would never gain traction.

gcochran said...

I figure that Sheldon thinks that Newt has a purty mouth.

Luke Lea said...

"on Friday, the cavalry arrived: a $5 million check from Mr. Adelson to Winning Our Future, a "super PAC" that supports Mr. Gingrich. By Monday morning, the group had reserved more than $3.4 million in advertising time in South Carolina, a huge sum in a state where the airwaves come cheap and the primary is 11 days away. The group is planning to air portions of a movie critical of Mr. Romney's time at Bain Capital, the private equity firm he helped found.

The last-minute injection underscores how last year's landmark Supreme Court ruling on campaign finance has made it possible for a wealthy individual to influence an election. Mr. Adelson's contribution to the super PAC is 1,000 times the $5,000 he could legally give directly to Mr. Gingrich's campaign this year."

I can foresee anti-trust lawsuits for access to tv and radio due to limited bandwidth. Meanwhile the local broadcaster's bottom lines should swell.

RKU said...

Lugash: Maybe Adelson is afraid Romney will go after gambling?

Is any of this really so mysterious?

Adelson's supposedly worth around $20B, meaning that his net-worth probably fluctuates about $5M every few hours or so, so his donation to Gingrich is roughly the equivalent of a family trip to the movies for the average family. Therefore why not?

He's long been Gingrich's biggest political backer, so if Gingrich somehow wins, Adelson will have really impressed all his friends. Plus he trusts Gingrich on the core issues more than Romney, who's anyway himself rich enough that he might get "ideas." Also, giving Gingrich a big boost probably pushes Ron Paul down into third or fourth place, rather than becoming Romney's only surviving competitor.

Being an Oligarch means you can afford your own presidential candidate and try to beat the ones owned by your fellow Oligarchs...

Anonymous said...

The group is planning to air portions of a movie critical of Mr. Romney's time at Bain Capital, the private equity firm he helped found.



It's hilarious to watch multi-billionaire Adelson and his toy-boy Gingrich attacking wicked capitalists. This primary season promises to be even more surreal then usual.

Kalim Kassam said...

Enough with the question posts already--I read Sailer for answers!

Anonymous said...

An alternate possibility is that Adelson is actually backing Obama. Gingrich had little chance of winning anyway, and after this ad - attacking Romney for investing in businesses??? - he has none. He's Republican poison. But the ad and the doubts are out there, and that will help Obama come November.

Mr. Anon said...

"Whiskey said...

[Yes, Jews are so smart with money they fell for the Madoff affinity scam. That's like investing with a guy named "Scahm" or something.]

Yeah, right. I once knew a woman who was quite tall. Therefore there can be no truth to the generalization that men are taller than women on average.

beowulf said...

Plus he trusts Gingrich on the core issues more than Romney, who's anyway himself rich enough that he might get "ideas."

Yeah the last President with a Romney-scale family fortune was Jack Kennedy, and he became a little too independent a thinker.

According to his biography, Flashbacks (1983) Timothy Leary claims that Mary [Meyer] phoned him the day after Kennedy was assassinated: "They couldn't control him any more. He was changing too fast. He was learning too much.
http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKmeyerM.htm

Dan said...

"Perhaps the Swedes have the best idea.
All donations to politicians or political parties are banned and are strictly illegal and criminal.
Unpalatable as it might seem, taxpayers money funds poltical parties.Horrible I know but better than any alternative."

That seems like a disaster of political correctness. If you support anything outside of the mainstream, won't the powers just deny you funds?

DCThrowback said...

MondoWeiss (linked by Lew Rockwell) has an idea of what's behind Shelden's generous donation.

HINT: The longer the poseurs stay in (Gingrich, Santorum, Perry, Huntsman), the less likely Paul gets his one-on-one chance with Romney - which might possibly un-rig the race between elite candidate #1 v. elite candidate #2.

Chump Change We Can Believe In said...

That seems like a disaster of political correctness. If you support anything outside of the mainstream, won't the powers just deny you funds?

Aren't we there already? The PC censorship in our current MSM/election campaign system uniformly ignores, throttles and/or villifies anyone or any idea not 110% behind political correctness.

At least with public campaign financing there is a better chance that popular candidates and positions can find funding based upon the will of the voters rather than the oligarchs.

Sword said...

First anon wrote:
------
Perhaps the Swedes have the best idea.
All donations to politicians or political parties are banned and are strictly illegal and criminal.
Unpalatable as it might seem, taxpayers money funds poltical parties. Horrible I know but better than any alternative.
-------
Donations are legal, and furthermore neither tracked nor limited.

However, they play little to no role, since the election funds that all parties get are sufficient. Those tax-funded monies are payed in proportion to how many parliamentary (national and local) seats a party has won in the two most recent elections, there is no human input in how much money a given party gets.

In Sweden, parties quickly run into a diminishing-returns problem WRT election funds - TV channels do not air political ads. Also, the multiseat proportional system used in almost all non-English speaking democracies puts a great premium on boots on the ground, not money.

Several parties are do have an internal rule that each of their candidate must turn over any donations to the party itself, further limiting the effect of money on elections.

Charles Frith said...

Perhaps the political system is dead and we're too frightened to mention it.