Bought and Paid For: Koch Bros. Will Spend More in This Election Than McCain Spent in 2008
by Yvette Carnell
In a recent NPR interview, Steve Inskeep discussed political fundraising with Republican political strategist Mark McKinnon and Democratic pollster Mark Mellman. What they said will bring into question whether you still living in anything that even still resembles a democracy.
MCKINNON: It’s absolutely possible. And just to give you an example of how distorted things are, Steve: The Koch brothers, by themselves, will spend more money in this election cycle than the entire presidential campaign of John McCain in 2008.
INSKEEP: That’s a lot of money.
MCKINNON: It’s a h**l of a lot of money.
INSKEEP: But then the next question comes: Could that matter? Could that fundraising edge actually change the result of the election, given what you’re saying about how much is wasted and about how well the people already know the candidates involved?
MCKINNON: I think at the end of the day, they’re very formidable candidates. They have strong support in their own parties. They’re going to have huge fundraising. I don’t think that there will be a measurable advantage for either candidate. So, in the end, I don’t think it’s going to make that much difference.
Wrong. It makes a difference in a lot of ways, one of which is psychological. When big fish like Koch get into the game, the little guy or gal is much more apt to ask, “what does my $25 donation matter?” Big profiteers like Koch not only buy elections with their donations, but they also depress small donors.
And even if it didn’t change the election, which it does, but even if it didn’t, you have to ask the question of who the candidate owes when the dust settles. Does he or she owe the voter who showed up to pull the lever and made a $25 donation, or the man who single handedly paid for his ad buys? The answer to that question is obvious. No matter how this all turns out, or who wins, the winning candidate will end up paying even more attention to millionaires and billionaires at the expense of ordinary people.
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