Was reminded of this bit of history at Hullabaloo today. (It’s from here.) Remember Alan Grayson, the one-term gajillionaire firebrand rabble-rouser Democratic FL Congressman? The one who regularly took to the floor of the House to chew up and spit out the special interests? The one who caused thousands of lobbyists to develop gastro intestinal disease? Yeah, that one. (video below)
He was one of the first victims of an unrestricted opening of the spigots of corporate money in a congressional race. According to a Politico article late in the campaign in 2010, almost 20% of all of the independent expenditures in House races in the entire country were deployed against Alan. His district was flooded with an unrelenting radio and television smear campaign by the corporations who didn’t appreciate his hard work on behalf of consumers and workers. The average person in Orlando saw 70 negative ads against Grayson– $2 million of which was paid for by the Koch Brothers, $2 million by the health insurance industry and another million from the NRCC. The cash that flowed into the district from the Chamber of Commerce and Rove’s band of cutthroats was a direct response to Alan’s reform efforts on the House Financial Services Committee and because he was the most effective national Democratic spokesperson in Congress. The DCCC, of course, offered him no help whatsoever in defending his seat. [Dems didn’t want to fool with the banksters either – who would have financed their campaigns?)
Dems are backed in a financial corner when it come to campaigning. Progressives get frustrated when they hear the double speak from their own party but there is not an ocean of financing from the progressive side to combat the inflow from the 1%
But there is enough money, lib. There is! Grayson himself is a billionaire. (and man, I miss him!)
Obama’s campaign is expected to spend a billion bucks this year. A billion. He’s my guy and I want him re-elected, almost as much as I want to keep the Repubicans out.
As these campaigns play out, I expect to see astonishing sums spent by both sides.
You and I may agree yes there is enough money and common sense among the common folk to see the best way to cast their vote. Convincing a professional dem who is caught up in the world of fundraising _everyday_ is not so easy.
I’ve heard that Congress critters – both parties – spend as much as 75% of thier time fundraising. Leaves no time for governing – the permanent campaign has captured them, leaving the lobbyists to sit down with congressional staff to write the legislation. This system is so broken that I don’t see how we recover. Perhaps all we can do these days is mitigrate the damage.
Money flows. Money talks.
Yup, it always has, Don. Always will. I think that today, the difference is that they all do it. Not just the ethically challenged.