Monday, September 20, 2010

$119 million and counting (e-Meg, continued)


""""News articles and television and radio reports have expressed shock that Meg Whitman has now broken the record for spending personal money toward getting elected: As of last week, says the Los Angeles Times, the Republican California gubernatorial candidate spent $119 million of her own bucks to get voters to like her enough that they will send her to Sacramento. Of course, for that kind of money, Whitman could buy Sacramento and have some change left over to purchase San Diego as a summer home.

In 2009, as the Times points out, Michael Bloomberg shelled out a mere $109 million of his personal fortune to get re-elected mayor of New York City--then a record.

But all the faux expressions of horror from the media are simply not to be believed.

The fact is, most of the $119 million Whitman has spent thus far (she has said she is willing to spend as much as $150 million to win election) has gone into the coffers of the very newspapers, television and radio stations that are now expressing shock and awe.

As New York's Bloomberg might say: "Give me a break, will ya!"

I don't see any commercial TV or radio station refusing Whitman's money on the grounds that it is corrupting the political process, which it is.

But so-called mainline media are suffering. They need ad revenue. Nothing like a politician with deep pockets to partly remedy the otherwise dire situation.

Spending on political campaigns--and not just in California--is out of control, and,worse, becoming more hidden.

A recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling now even allows corporations the right to secretly contribute large sums of money to political campaigns--usually via so-called 501(c)4 advocacy committees."""

Say grazi to the Black Robe posse for the ascension of  e-Meg--a recent supreme court ruling  (Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission) eliminated any and all  restrictions on private contributions to candidates for office (including, presumably, restrictions on the amount billionaires can spend on their own campaigns).

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