Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Big Money

I normally don't read Frank Rich because he usually irritates me no end, and life is too short to be irritated. However, his column in last Sunday's New York Times got my attention. I did have to get past his arrogant first paragraph, but once I got past it, I found something that frankly I don't like.

Evidence that more BIG MONEY is all up in our political process.

Rich links to an article in The New Yorker about the Koch brothers of Kansas. These guys are rich beyond our wildest dreams, and have been huge contributors to the "Tea Party Movement," the supposedly grass roots movement from the right of the political spectrum. They are quiet in their contributions, but the contributions are substantial. The left has its own big contributor in George Soros, bankrolling all kinds of liberal causes.

So is there anything real out there? In other words, is there a candidate, movement, organization or website that is not floating around in a bunch of money donated by someone with ulterior motives? Is there some grass out there or is it all Astroturf?

Interest in politics and current events is probably as high as its been in a long time. President Obama has moved people. Some to work for him, as evidenced by what we saw in the 2008 election, and some to work against him as seen by the "Tea Party Movement" and other conservative/libertarian organizations working to get more conservative candidates elected. How does anyone, left or right, maintain integrity and purpose in the face of all the special interest money floating around? And the higher you get in the political chain, i.e. from local to state to federal, the more money is floating around and the more temptation there must be to sell out to a special interest or lobby.

Just one more reason why it is hard to find GOOD PEOPLE to fill political offices.

9 comments:

Capt. Schmoe said...

Sometimes I think we are too big for our own good. We are so large, that one cannot get elected without spending millions on mass media to get the name out there. That costs a ton of money, little people like me sending in 10 or 20 bucks isn't going to cut it.

So, the big cash comes from special interest groups (like mine - I belong to several) pool the cash and hopefully our voice will be heard.

To me, the real issue is disclosure. If people knew how many projects are funded by the likes of Soros and the Koch brothers they might think twice.

Good post Observer.

Ann T. said...

Dear The Observer,
It IS a good post. And yes, it's all Astroturf. I'm afraid the Captain has this figured out properly, except, again,

So many of the groups out there are talking beside the point! It makes me nuts.

Just my elite party of one plus 2 cats sleeping,

So that's three votes.
Ann T.

The Middle Ear said...

I'm afraid this is only going to get worse because of the recent Citizens United Supreme Court decision. In it, the Court said that corporations had the same First Amendment rights as persons.

Consequently, they can spend essentially unlimited money on whatever causes or messages they want.

The details of the case are here: http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/08-205.ZS.html

Bob G. said...

..And they should ALL be held to the same level of accountability...
Just a thought.

Good post and comments by all.

the observer said...

Everyone:
Yes, wonderful comments, everyone. It's interesting this topic could unite the thoughtful left and right as the Middle Ear and I could not be farther apart in outlooks!

I also think, that this money and influence drives the extremes even further to the left and the right. Te is most visible in the Republican party right now, as visible in some of the primaries, but also shows at times in the left and Democratic party issues. Te polarization is not good for our country and problem solving.

Thanks everyone for dropping in.

The Observer

the observer said...

Thanks also to the anony reader/commenter on TKC who left this on TKC.

Anonymous said...
That is an excellent post, as is the New Yorker article by Jane Mayer a real revelation as to where alot of the tea party money is coming from.
Meanwhile TKC expends thousands of words on the Royster/Rizzo farce and his constant whing that somehow and somewhere Latinos are being treated unfairly by someone.
Maybe we should all be focusing a bit more on the bigger picture.

9/1/10 11:29 AM

the observer said...

Pardon te missing H's. I am having keyboard issues off and on with my H's and G's and backspace keys. Its off and on.

Anonymous said...

Didn't hear much complaining when George Soros and moveon.org and ACORN spent around a BILLION dollars electing our current president.

the observer said...

Anon:

No we as an electorate have been very naive about the money influence in our elections. We need to be more aware, and demand more accountability from the candidates.

That goes for both left and right.

Thanks for looking in.

the Observer