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POLITICS: Why should we care how much money candidates raise?

Letter by Rodger A. Hartley, Tacoma on July 25, 2012 at 11:25 am with 13 Comments »
July 25, 2012 11:25 am

I am not certain I fully understand all the hubbub regarding political fund-raising. Are “We the (dumb) people” supposed to be impressed with one or the other’s ability to squeeze millions of dollars out of other dumb people? How is this significantly different from buying a political position?

Aren’t we supposed to vote for someone with perceived upstanding morals and the ability to make good logical choices in office? Aren’t these the indicators of potential leadership qualities with less emphasis on party affiliations or the size of their bankroll?

Leave a comment Comments → 13
  1. Money drives elections. Candidates drop out if they run out of cash or simply don’t run if the opponent has a bundle stashed away. More so in local races.

    Look at the 25th District Senate race (Puyallup/South Hill area). Dammeier has amassed over $300K. Much of it from drug and medical companies. It scared off most opponents from running against him. In this case a student from PLU is his opposition, for a Senate seat !.

    What is really disturbing is that Dammeier will be a pawn to the Drug companies after his election particularly if Obamacare stays around the State Medicare will have to pick up most of the slack and the costs. Guess who will benefit in those State decisions ? Dammeier’s sponsors, that is who.

    So money is the tool and the weapon that runs races whether we like it or not.

    PS- Dammeier is a close ally of disgraced Puyallup Mayor Hansen. So there’s a metric on his morals also.

  2. The demokrats are the only ones worried about money in the political arena now that they no longer control the game. Before “Citizens United”, the unions controlled the game. Unions are considered “individuals” by demokrats while “corporations are not. figure that one out. All I have to say is chuckle, chuckle. chuckle.

  3. PuyallupAdjunct says:

    Following the money trail is not definitive, but it is suggestive. You can often make some guesses as to the nature of a candidate by the nature of those backing her/him.

    The overall comparative amount of money raised can also be telling. Any political campaign is more or less a marketing campaign. The voters guide is the only free advertising any candidate gets, and that attention is shared by all their competition.

    Unfortunately, in the end it comes down more to mind-share than issues. Most people tend to vote for the name they know, or have seen the most rather than making a full time hobby of investigating the histories of every candidate.

    So money equals advertising equals public profile equals mind share equals votes. It’s only one component, but it’s the financial one.

  4. ErnestTBass says:

    Yeah why should we care.


    You be the judge.

  5. LeePHill says:

    “frosty says:
    July 25, 2012 at 12:37 pm The demokrats are the only ones worried about money in the political arena now that they no longer control the game. Before “Citizens United”, the unions controlled the game.”

    Verified proof that Republicans remain willfully ignorant.

    George W. Bush (R) $367,227,801 / 62,040,610 = $5.92
    John Kerry (D) $326,236,288 / 59,028,111 = $5.52

    And that’s not counting “soft money”, such as “Swiftboat Veterans”

  6. menopaws says:

    Imagine what good use all that money could be put towards if attack ads were not popular……Literally millions of $$$ that could be spent of road projects or getting the deficit down or helping military families……But, it’s all about the “ugly”: not actually helping this country, but continuing to drag it into the sewer for more and more power………Good letter and I think the writer has an excellent point.

  7. Hill, 3 million more donations to Bush, and he won. What were you trying to prove? Their is an argument to be made that the winning side made more money because people were more motivated about them (hence likely to win anyway).

    One of the economic novels (freakanomics or the like) discussed it.

  8. Harry_Anslinger says:

    “upstanding morals and the ability to make good logical choices”…vs “emphasis on party affiliations or the size of their bankroll”. You could easily argue the lack of the former, and the latter statement is 21st century politics 101.

  9. To Frosty and the rest of gophers,

    What is important about money in politics is where is it coming from and what do the donors want in return?

    IMO – only individual US Citizens who are registered voters should be allowed to participate in our elections and donate to candidates or political parties.

    Neither unions nor corporations are people!

  10. When one person is willing to give 100 million dollars to a candidate’s election you are a fool if you think that person does not want something in return.

  11. Candles16 says:

    If you don’t have a problem with money buying our elections than you must hate this country. Especially foreign money, like the casino money from Communist China that purchased Newt’s whole primary campaign and now Romoney’s biggest contributor. Yes casino money laundered by Sheldon Adelson thru his Macau casinos that were granted a monopoly in gambling by Communist China. Now we have a presidential candidate openly raising money overseas. Aren’t you disgusted but letting foreign money influence our elections – you’re not an patriotic American if you aren’t

    Money in politics = corruption.

    The Citizens United decision = legalized corruption

    Apparently some are happy to have corruption. Not me.

  12. olympicmtn says:

    Here is some red meat for the TNT. Why don’t they find out really how candidates (local) raise money? Start by asking a former politician who is powerful in the inner Democratic circles why he had a filing cabinet full of cash to hand out to teenagers and college students so he could get his south end boy re-elected under the allusion “the cash” came from them….

    So when you see all this cash money being deposited with the PDC, why don’t you ask what account or where it came from? Laundering money for campaigns is easy…. go to Titlow and ask your dear former council member how it is done.

  13. writnstuff says:

    CT7–read the thread. Frosty said that unions controlled the game prior to Citizens United. Hill simply points out that that’s not true, as evidenced by the Bush/Kerry campaign.

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