February 21, 2012

One MILLION Dollars!

The top story in the New York Times tonight is that uppity rich guys are trying to undermine the media's rightful control over who gets elected President by giving super colossal amounts of money:
In Republican Race, a New Breed of Superdonor 
By NICHOLAS CONFESSORE, MICHAEL LUO and MIKE McINTIRE 22 minutes ago 
An exclusive club in presidential politics includes individuals, couples or corporations that have given $1 million or more to super PACs

29 comments:

Eric said...

Well, yes, a million bucks isn't what it was. On the other hand, politicians in the US can be purchased for relatively little money.

Anonymous said...

Who was the Mexican guy who funneled gazillions into NY Times? Nah, that wasn't a rich guy but some Mexican lettuce picker.

And how did Obama raise over $700 million in 2008? Nah, that was all from poor folks.

Raja Tamraz said...

Out in real working-class America we're deeply troubled by a handful of old straight WASP men manipulating the political process, trying to impose their regressive theological beliefs on the 99%, well they're straight except for Thiel and male except for this skin care magnate, but she's from (snicker) Utah

Anonymous said...

The media has somehow missed the fact that "superdonors" have been donating money to Democrats for decades now. There are far more Dem "superdonors" than there are Republican ones.

beowulf said...

Look at it this way. With a 15% rate on capital income, someone like Mitt Romney (but not actually Mitt Romney for reasons that will become apparent) earning $20 mill a year pays $3 mill in taxes. If Obama's "Buffet Rule" were enacted (creating an, err, alternate Alternate Minimum Tax of 30% for those earning over a million a year), it'd mean an addtional $12 mill in taxes over the next four years. Dropping several million into a pro-Romney SuperPac is a no-brainer.

Its a little harder for the Dems to line up liberal plutocrats willing to spend millions to, in effect, raise their own taxes. This dilemma explains why people like Mitt Romney only pay a 15% tax rate; and as a second order effect (what affluent ethnic group consistently votes against their economic interest?) why the Israel lobby is so remarkably strong.

The Republicans are pretty ruthless about enacting policies that chop up Democratic funding sources-- tort reform is about defunding trial lawyers; "right to work" laws are about crushing labor unions (a third of the private sector was unionized 50 years ago, now its less than 10%); making the GOP an overseas auxiliary of the Likud party is about shifting Jewish contributors from the Democrats to the Republicans (or at least to neutral, which is just as good from the GOP's standpoint).

Like Larry Lessig put it, nothing gets reformed until campaign finance is reformed... which means, alas, nothing will get reformed.

Anonymous said...

A few of the superdonors are friends: Foster S. Friess, the chief donor to the Red White and Blue Fund, a super PAC backing Rick Santorum, occasionally spars with Mr. Adelson over his support for Mr. Gingrich’s super PAC. “Sheldon’s prime motivation is his love for Israel, which I share,” Mr. Friess said, adding that he had spoken to Mr. Adelson recently. “But my motivation is, I owe this country so much.”




"Sheldon's prime motivation is his love for Israel, which I share"

But don't you dare suggest that there exists some conflict of loyalty here.

Luke Lea said...

Naked plutocracy.

Once the devil is in the saddle how do you get him off?

Reg C├Žsar said...

I was thinking that the GOP might just as well admit they're the party of millionaires, as that would actually be to their advantage-- the opposition is now the party of billionaires.

Then this "SuperPAC" nonsense came along. Oh, well, back to the drawing board...

I left my health in San Francisco said...

That Sheriff Babeu is one wicked sexy hunk.

He can SuperPAC my Whitman Sampler any day!

soren said...

"The study also finds that while whites, Hispanics, and blacks with higher levels of education are more likely to reject negative racial stereotypes than are their less educated peers, this pattern does not hold true for Asians. In fact, education has no effect on negative stereotyping among Asians, and many Asians at all levels of education hold negative views about blacks and Hispanics. "

http://www.sciencecodex.com/education_doesnt_increase_support_for_affirmative_action_among_whites_minorities-86537

TGGP said...

"the media's rightful control over who gets elected"
That's pretty much Robin Hanson's line.

Europe to the Max with Rudy Maxa said...

http://www.sciencecodex.com/education_doesnt_increase_support_
for_affirmative_action_among_whites_
minorities-86537

Fix for Soren's link (for the lazy).

miss swan said...

"In fact, education has no effect on negative stereotyping among Asians, and many Asians at all levels of education hold negative views about blacks and Hispanics. '

So, for amusement, I enjoy trotting out the long-suppressed yet true negative views of Asians. The conclusive evidence: They can dish it out but they can't take it.

Anonymous said...

They've just got Obama's back here. His SuperPAC took in all of $59K in January!

Munch said...

Eric said:

Well, yes, a million bucks isn't what it was. On the other hand, politicians in the US can be purchased for relatively little money.

My old criminal procedure professor Phillip Johnson wrote a book on bribery. One interesting idea is the great leverage, the small amount of bribes in relation to the value achieved. I mean avoiding a few years in America's horrific jails is probably worth everything you have. The other is that it is not easy to discover who the culpable party is. I suppose the easy answer is both; but anyone in business in America has to feel like a tourist in an intersection fender bender in Mexico.

Mr. Anon said...

"Eric said...

Well, yes, a million bucks isn't what it was. On the other hand, politicians in the US can be purchased for relatively little money."

They don't even need to be bought. They can be rented, by the hour or the night, like whores.

Anonymous said...

Nuke issue between Israel and Iran. Enuff said.

Btw. Great pics of bygone Iran.

Anonymous said...

"The study also finds that while whites, Hispanics, and blacks with higher levels of education are more likely to reject negative racial stereotypes than are their less educated peers, this pattern does not hold true for Asians. In fact, education has no effect on negative stereotyping among Asians, and many Asians at all levels of education hold negative views about blacks and Hispanics. "

Does coming from a 4000 year old culture maybe have something to do with it?

Anonyia said...

"The study also finds that while whites, Hispanics, and blacks with higher levels of education are more likely to reject negative racial stereotypes than are their less educated peers, this pattern does not hold true for Asians. In fact, education has no effect on negative stereotyping among Asians, and many Asians at all levels of education hold negative views about blacks and Hispanics. "

Sounds like Asians aren't as gullible then. Perhaps it has something to do with familial influences and expectations.

Anonymous said...

American politicians are cheap! The amount of money that buys senators in America cannot get the favours of mid-ranking policemen even in a third world country like India. One recent corruption scandal in that country involved the telecommunications minister taking $1 BILLION (that's not a typo) in bribes and had the effect of defrauding the government of some $39 Billion in revenues from sale of 2G frequencies used by mobile phones:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2G_spectrum_scam

Compared to this, American politicians sell themselves off for peanuts.

Anonymous said...

If politicians can be bought so easily, what is to stop a fast growing rival like China from funnelling money into the pockets of influential politicians, journalists and influential individuals to influence foreign policy? Wait............

morleysafer said...

Well it's good Lawrence Lessig stepped in to clear that up. All candidates ought to be screened by a panel of tenured law school philosophes. Then let's extend this careful oversight by our social betters down to the municipal parks commissioners and board of selectmen. I'm sure that reform agenda has "Likud" quaking in their boots.

Anonymous said...

But don't you dare suggest that there exists some conflict of loyalty here.

It's obviously time that evangelical Christians like Foster Friess were investigated for their excessive devotion to Israel.

Anonymous said...

In fact, education has no effect on negative stereotyping among Asians, and many Asians at all levels of education hold negative views about blacks and Hispanics.

Probably because Asians are the ones most likely to be screwed by affirmative action programs. There's also the possibility that Asians are targeted for racist or purely remunerative physical attacks by black and Hispanic felons because of their smaller physiques.

swimming swan said...

"There's also the possibility that Asians are targeted for racist or purely remunerative physical attacks by black and Hispanic felons because of their smaller physiques."

Asians smaller than Hispanics? Really?

World's smallest violin playing a song for you.

beowulf said...

"All candidates ought to be screened by a panel of tenured law school philosophes."

They kind of already are, Obama, Romney and Santorum all well to law school. Lessig's solution is publicly funded campaigns for candidates who voluntarily opt-in (like what Arizona has now for state races). Lessig is also a fan of making independent exependiture funding sources transparent, I'd say Adelson is OK in that department.
http://rootstrikers.org/

Anonymous said...

"On the other hand, politicians in the US can be purchased for relatively little money."

It would be funny if the Chinese and Russians figured this out.

morleysafer said...

The reason Sen. John Thune was unopposed in 2010 is not the price of advertising in the Sioux Falls media market.

world on fire said...

anon 9:44-- I take it you weren't around for the '96 election? "Charlie Trie" is not a cartoon seafood mascot