What do fat-cat campaign donors get for their money?

Oh, great – just what America's inane, Big Money politics needed: Yet another campaign consultant.
Jim Hightower's Radio Lowdown
Jim Hightower's Radio Lowdown
What do fat-cat campaign donors get for their money?
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Oh, great – just what America’s inane, Big Money politics needed: Yet another campaign consultant.

Already, candidates are walled off from people, reality, and any honesty about themselves by a battalion of highly-specialized consultants controlling everything from issues to hairstyle. But now comes a whole new category of staff to add to the menagerie: “Donor maintenance manager.”

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We can thank the Supreme Court for this. Its malevolent Citizens United decision has produced an insidious platinum class of mega-donors and corporate superPACs, each pumping $500,000, $5 million, $50 million – or even more – into campaigns. These elites are not silent donors, but boisterous, very special interests who’re playing in the new, court-created political money game for their own gain. Having paid to play, they feel entitled to tell candidates what to say and do, what to support and oppose. A Jeb Bush insider confirms that mega-donors bluntly tell the candidate: “I just invested in you. Now I need to have my say; you need to answer to me.”

Thus, campaigns are assigning donor maintenance managers to be personal concierges to meet every need and whim of these special ones. This subservience institutionalizes the plutocratic corruption of our democratic elections, allowing a handful of uber-rich interests to buy positions of overbearing influence directly inside campaigns.

Donors at the million-dollar-and-up level are expecting much more than a tote bag for their “generous gifts.” Of course, candidates piously proclaim, “I’m not for sale.” But politicians are just the delivery service. The actual products being bought through the Supreme Court’s Money-O-Rama political bazaar are our government’s policies, tax breaks, and other goodies – as well as the integrity of America’s democratic process.

“Big Donors Increasingly Give Campaigns Not Just Checks but Also Their 2 Cents,” The New York Times, September 30, 2015.

“Battling the bastards is about as much fun as you can have with your clothes on.”

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