Big Political Donors Buying Elections... and Public Policies

Jim Hightower Author, Commentator, America’s Number One Populist

Big Political Donors Buying Elections... and Public Policies

Who does David Keating think he's fooling?

He heads an obscure, corporate-funded group pushing to wipe out the few remaining limits on the special interests that put extremely big bucks into political campaigns. It's only fair to turn the fat-cat donors loose, he explains, because an unlimited infusion of cash (from, say, the Koch brothers) would instantly make an unknown candidate competitive. After all, Keating adds, "Most start-up operations need an angel investor: Someone who believes in the project... and puts money in to make it viable."

Ah, yes, a devilish new twist on the old cash-and-carry business model – our cash can carry you into office to help us! But a run for public office should not be thought of as a corporate "start-up" and ought to be made "viable" not by the special-interest money it attracts, but by the ability of its ideas and principles to draw public support. Also, while a corporate campaign donor clearly does see itself as an "investor" hoping to profit from the "project," there's nothing angelic about it.

Acknowledging that presidential, congressional, and many gubernatorial campaigns are now financed and even run by a small band of deep-pocketed elites, Keating says ordinary folks needn't worry, for this top-heavy system really doesn't mean that the officials it elects will put their patron's interests over the public's. Really? Well, he admits, while those who paid for the election will naturally get their phone calls returned by officials they put in office, "I don't think it's going to drive policy.

Really? Golly, Little Nellie Sunshine, then why do you think the moneyed interests would bother calling – just to chat with a corruptible politico... or to collect on their investment? They're not buying a phone call, they're buying public policy. Really.


This has been reposted from Jim Hightower's website.

National radio commentator, writer, public speaker, and author of the book, Swim Against The Current: Even A Dead Fish Can Go With The Flow, Jim Hightower has spent three decades battling the Powers That Be on behalf of the Powers That Ought To Be – consumers, working families, environmentalists, small businesses, and just-plain-folks. Twice elected Texas Agriculture Commissioner, Hightower believes that the true political spectrum is not right to left but top to bottom, and he has become a leading national voice for the 80 percent of the public who no longer find themselves within shouting distance of the Washington and Wall Street powers at the top. He publishes a populist political newsletter, “The Hightower Lowdown.” He is a New York Times best-selling author, and has written seven books including, Thieves In High Places: They’ve Stolen Our Country And It’s Time To Take It Back; If the Gods Had Meant Us To Vote They Would Have Given Us Candidates; and There’s Nothing In the Middle Of the Road But Yellow Stripes and Dead Armadillos. His newspaper column is distributed nationally by Creators Syndicate.