published Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

Disgusting, big-money presidential politics

Money is sadly essential for success in big-time politics these days. Even the best candidate rarely can expect to be elected unless he can raise a substantial -- sometimes obscene -- amount of campaign money.

If a candidate and his policies are appealing, he may find it easier to attract eager donors. Other contributors shell out money expecting to get something in return -- and not necessarily good government.

It would be nice if a candidate's merit, values and principles alone could propel him to office, but that's typically not enough.

In our current presidential election cycle, local numbers bear that out.

The Republican field dominates fundraising in our conservative area, with the GOP candidates getting collective campaign donations through Sept. 30 of about $38,000 from Hamilton Countians. Democrat President Barack Obama had raised about $24,000 as of the same date. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney led the GOP field with about $17,000 in local contributions.

Of course, hardly anyone believes that Obama will carry conservative Tennessee in 2012, but money raised here will not necessarily be spent here. It may go to battleground states where the president has better odds.

The lower amounts that the individual GOP candidates have collected in Hamilton County compared with Obama simply indicate that Republican voters in our area have not settled on which GOP candidate they prefer. Eventually they will coalesce around one of the hopefuls, who will then likely start to get the overwhelming share of GOP donations.

Meanwhile, nationwide, Obama hopes to raise $1 billion for his 2012 campaign. Any GOP candidate would surely like to reach such a total, too.

They may well need it to challenge Obama. But it is nonetheless troubling that money plays such a huge role in our elections.

And on that subject, have you seen a candidate of either party who you believe is worth investing a lot amount of money in to help elect?

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Fire_Obama said...

This is a good letter. Money is the not "the mothers milk of good politics" it is the utter corruption of it. The feeding of "shovel ready jobs" to union and businesses that will feed money back into the coffers of "the one" is of prime example. Not that I believe he is the first do do this kind of thing. It is why we should lamb bast our members of congress who think ANYONE SHOULD GET A BAILOUT. The institutional Repubs and Dems will tell you this cannot be changed. They don't want it changed so of course they will tell you that. There is ONLY ONE WAY TO DO IT. States must assert their 10th Amendment authority and allow ONLY money raised from within each state to be spent there for campaigns. It may take a constitutional amendment, but we can be forced Washington to abide by it if we as citizens stand up to them and demand it. No one outside of Tennessee should have a voice in Tennessee.

November 8, 2011 at 5:46 a.m.
conservative said...

My complaint is not that people can freely give to the candidate of their choice but that candidates like the Obamination in the White House can freely give taxpayer money to his Wall Street buddies!

November 8, 2011 at 8:01 a.m.
Mila78 said...

I completely agree that money plays huge, if not the main role in politics now.Doesn't really matter if you are good or bad, what kind of ideas you have and if you've got something to offer, if you have money for your campaingn- you have a chance, no money- no chance.I am sure that for millions of people who has not enough money for living it's sad to see how much money is spent for political campaigns.And it's hard to believe that people who can afford to spend such big money for their political career really understand how to make lifes of simple people better.

April 24, 2012 at 8:18 a.m.
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