Letters to the Editor

Money in politics

October 29, 2010


To the editor:

If money is indeed the root of all evil, then one of its taproots must surely be traced to the American electoral process. In California, a candidate for governor has spent $120 million personally and the number may reach $200 million by Nov. 2. In Kansas one candidate for governor has spent over $2 million.

The New York Times, on Oct. 22, ran a front page article on spending this election cycle. The two major parties have spent $48 and $42 million respectively, the majority party spending the most. The total number reported to date is $164 million. Of the next six top spenders, only the SEIU, a favorite target of derision by the far right, has ties to the party in power.

Down on Main Street, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce ranks fourth at $21 million. Interestingly, though, the chamber represents three million companies with over 300,000 members, nearly half of its $149 million in contributions in 2008 came from just 45 members. Chamber tax returns indicate 21 individuals donated over $1 million and one contributed $15 million.

There is something fundamentally wrong, if not illegal, with the obscene expenditures that continue to dominate our politics and keep us dominated by the two parties. An oligarchy threatens our democracy as the income gap continues to grow, more wealth in the hands of a few and the American citizenry finds itself poorer, hungrier, and still fighting for adequate health care now. Peace.

Ace Hickey,



Richard Heckler 7 years, 5 months ago

The $1.4 million a day was spent by the Chamber to keep single payer medical insurance off the table.

According to news reports the Chamber became the money laundering arm for Medical Insurance industry.

The Chamber of Commerce is not on the side of consumers or taxpayers. It has become a PAC for ultra conservative Tea Party republican politics whether at the national,state or local level. This organization should be shut down for it is no longer a Chamber for Commerce.

Flap Doodle 7 years, 5 months ago

That's still the talking point? I'd have figured Gibbs would have sent out new instructions by now.

cato_the_elder 7 years, 5 months ago

The letter writer apparently thinks that the right of free speech and the concomitant ability to exercise it are the root of all evil.

To the letter writer: If you will take the time to review any theological text, you will find that it says that money itself is not the root of all evil. The LOVE of money is the root of all evil, and the love that free-spending career politicians have for our money is one of the major issues to which voters will speak this coming Tuesday.

JustNoticed 7 years, 5 months ago

The more important point, Old One, is that now, ONLY money is listened to. The Oligarchs are in charge, have secured their interests, and we sit around sniping at each other and arguing over perennial points of discord that will never be addressed.

cato_the_elder 7 years, 5 months ago

JustNoticed, I strongly disagree with your conclusion, but aside from that I would observe that the only way for you to accomplish what you apparently want is the passage a constitutional amendment modifying the First Amendment to exclude making contributions to political candidates from our right of free speech.

notajayhawk 7 years, 5 months ago

"The more important point, Old One, is that now, ONLY money is listened to."

Guess that would explain Obama's election.

jafs 7 years, 5 months ago

It explains almost every election.

That's the problem.

notajayhawk 7 years, 5 months ago

"Noone seemed to mind the $700 million The Anointed One gathered up to buy the 2008 election"

More than both candidates in the previous election, incidentally.

slowplay 7 years, 5 months ago

Don't forget that election spending gives the economy a boost (at least in the short term). Because of the Supreme Court ruling earlier this year that allows unlimited and anonymous corporate election spending, the boost could be substantial. I could care less how much a candidate spends, what troubles me are the malicious and most often, untrue accusations. I will never vote for any candidate that attacks their opponent rather than stand on their own merits. That said, I may not be voting for anyone this year.

think_about_it 7 years, 5 months ago

How much money have the Unions spent this election cycle Ace?

Jimo 7 years, 5 months ago

At last check, 100% accountable, 0% secret.

cato_the_elder 7 years, 5 months ago

And all of them directly at odds with the views of a significant number of those whom they're supposed to represent.

Jimo 7 years, 5 months ago

Only in your imagination would elected leaders be "directly at odds with the views" of the electorate.

Question: who gave the CEO permission to steal my money to spend on his pet projects? Heck, under American corporation law, I can't even get a different candidate on the ballot!

BebbleBretz 7 years, 5 months ago

Money has been the life blood of every political race in the history of this country. The only difference with this election cycle is that all pretenses to the contrary have been dropped. Obama haters are right to bring into the conversation the record amount of money he took in during the 08 election. It’s just they’re too ignorant to realize that money’s true relevance to this current debate.

The Republican Party is crippled with myopia. Following hairs width political victories in 00, 02, and 04 they considered themselves invincible. Yet after their policies drove this country into the ground, the American people voted them out of office in 06 and 08. Since these losses, the GOP has decided against jettisoning failed policies and instead has chosen to oversimplify the reasons for their defeat at the polls.

The GOP believed, following a hard fought Democratic primary between Clinton and Obama, that they could steal disenchanted Clinton supporters by picking a woman candidate for VP. A naïve concept to begin with, that became laughable once Sarah Palin was chosen to be that woman. “Wait a minute, you’re telling me not just any woman will work?” Same story, different cartoon character, after the 08 elections when the RNC elected their first black director, Michael Steele, who then went around embarrassing himself saying things like, “I’m in the hizzy” and “We got’s to bring the Republican Party back to the streets ya’ll.” “Wait a minute, you’re telling me not just any black man will work?”

Flash forward to this year and the GOP leaning Supreme Court, which opened the flood gates for corporate money. “You know because Obama only won because of the immense amount of money his campaign had. “ This GOP endeavor will fail like the others, because they still don’t get it. Any gains by the GOP on Nov. 2nd will be minimal at best and the Dems will still control all three branches of Government. And all the tea partiers, and Republicans will cry “Wait a minute, but we spent so much money!”

Romans832 7 years, 5 months ago

The point of this letter was lost on me, because I quit reading after the first line, being so distracted by the Biblical misquote! "For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows." (I Timothy 6:10)

Money can be used for good, but it's when one loves it to an extreme, when one is unwilling to share it with others who have less, it does become a trap (see v.9). For more insights on the love of money, go to www.biblegateway.com and type in keywords "love" and "money."

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