Meg Whitman’s spending to win election as Governor of California is now up to $162 million, which the Associated Press reports is more than Al Gore spent on his 2000 election campaign for president of the entire country, not just its biggest state.
When you do the math, it works out to an incredible $4.78 per voter. Included in this enormous sum is $142 million of Whitman’s own money, much of which she has because tax rates are so low on the wealthy and ultra-wealthy in this country. Whitman’s great extravagance in attempting to buy an election is exhibit #1 in the argument not to continue the temporary tax cuts Bush II and his Craven Congress gave rich folk in 2003.
Exhibit #2 and #3, respectively, would be Carly Fiorina who spent untold millions of her personal fortune to become a U.S. Senator from California, and Linda McMahon, who is spending $50 million of her wrestling stash for her Senatorial run in Connecticut.
Let’s turn now to the Republican’s chief ally in the mainstream media, The New York Times: Yesterday, the Times outdid itself in its year-long effort to help the Republican Party. On page A17 of the national edition, it published three feature articles in third-of-the-page strips across the page. The topics: the gubernatorial elections in Florida, Texas and Maine. In all cases, the writer wrote the article from the Republican candidate’s point of view. In all cases, the article had a large photo of the Republican candidate campaigning and a small insert formal head shot of the Democratic candidate. In other words, you didn’t even need to read the stories to see, and understand, a pro-Republican slant.
At least the Times also has to cover the news, and so was forced to run a story that detailed the unethical and perhaps illegal machinations of Carl Paladino, Republican candidate for governor of New York, as the financial guardian of his aunt’s property. As the article reports, the mother of Paladino’s illegitimate child ended up owning the home.
This election reminds me of the presidential elections of 1968 and 2000. In 1968, the young, minorities and progressives were very angry at Vice President and Democratic candidate for president, Hubert Humphrey, who refused to come out against the Viet Nam war. These groups sat on their hands and didn’t vote in large numbers and the result was that Nixon won the election, the war dragged on for another 7 years and Nixon began his campaign of illegal activities. In 2000, lots of progressives were turned off to Al Gore, perhaps from reading too many articles in which Maureen O’Dowd said Gore was a nerd and Georgie Porgie a cool guy. Lots of progressives voted for Ralph Nader and Georgie Porgie won. Georgie, AKA Bush II, proceeded to get the country into two senseless wars, establish a global torture gulag, assault civil and privacy rights in the United States, give tax cuts to the rich, gut environmental and financial regulations and pretty much run the United States into the ground while enriching his cronies.
I’m therefore asking readers not to stay home on election day, but instead go to your place of voting, take a deep breath, hold your nose and vote for the Democratic candidate.
It’s not that I like the Democrats, whom I find to be a craven, compromising bunch who always have to balance their good intentions with the demands of the corporate special interests that fund their campaigns.
But the Democrats are certainly the lesser of two evils in the current election, especially those Dems going up against Tea Party candidates. The Republicans have narrowed their base to include only the most right-wing of elements, and if given a chance, will continue its 30-year agenda to take money from the middle class and poor and give it to the wealthy, while ending government regulations, pursuing needless wars and ignoring the pressing need nationwide to repair our infrastructure of roads, bridges, mass transit and public schools.
The only voters to whom I am not giving the advice, “Hold your nose and vote for the Democrat” is in the state of Connecticut, in which the choice for U.S. Senator is between Tea Party Linda McMahon and the known liar Richard Blumenthal, who has pretended to be an ex-Viet Nam vet on multiple occasions. In Connecticut, maybe the best thing to do is write in a candidate.