Buying the president

Campaign spending gone wild

This is an election year.

If you’ve been trapped in a cave, odds are you’d still know because someone would be knocking on your cave door asking if you’d like to support their candidate. It’s also more noticeable because it is a presidential election year, and both candidates have raised figures in the ninth digits to support their efforts.

Totals as of August 14, 2012, show that the candidates combined have raised nearly a billion dollars to support their campaigns and have spent nearly just as much.

According to The New York Times, the Obama campaign has raised $409.6 million dollars from January 2011 to June 2012, and the Romney campaign likewise raised $437.7 million in the same time frame.

I’m not going to bat for one candidate or another; this isn’t the article for that. This article is directed at the totals above put together: $847.3 million dollars. Let’s write it out so we can see what it looks like: $847,300,000, and that total only goes through this past June.

Out of that money, most of it gets spent on advertising, marketing and running the political machine that will get one of the candidates the office of president.

On the Republican side, donations have come from high-rollers at $1 million or more going in the political coffers. The Democrats, on the other hand, have taken a different approach and received most of their money from donations of less than $200 (only 18 percent of their campaign money is coming from high-rollers versus 54 percent of Romney’s campaign). They called upon college students and other low-income or middle-class families to donate “whatever you can spare.”

Don’t think the fringe parties such as the Libertarians are out of the game either. Ron Paul alone raised $40 million, all of which went nowhere fast.

What does this all mean? It means the money that goes into this machine is essentially there to grease some palms and buy the office. The more money they raise, the better chance they have at winning the throne in the oval office. It makes me sick to think that nearly $1 billion has been raised by the two major political parties, and none of it is going to help the poor, heal the sick or change the world for the better.

Where are the candidates that can raise money for a good cause? I found one. His name is Hank, and he’s a cat. He’s running for senate in his home state of Virginia, under a platform of campaign finance reform, and helping many as he goes along. He’s raised several thousands of dollars through eBay auctions, general donations and having the free publicity of being a furry and cute cat. Where does his money go? Into local animal shelters, charities and other causes that Hank supports.

If I thought for one second that any of the candidates who tried running for office this past year would have actually made a charitable donation out of their monies, I may have ponied up a couple of bucks. They also would have gained my unwavering support and probably a free campaign worker.

As it stands now, that’s not going to happen. I can’t see giving money into a machine that is only going to make heinous commercials, hand out pamphlets that say nothing and tele-stalk America during dinner time.

In the future, the candidates need to take a look in the mirror and think about exactly what they’re doing. Maybe if they’re lucky, they’ll get the same inspiration that Hank found and do something for the good of America, instead of something good
for themselves.



Totally agree. Also, though not in Virginia, I am one of Hank the cat’s enthusiastic supporters.

Again with the “Republicans rich & bad, Democrats poor & good.” Enough already! We know that the Dems have Hollywood and all their super-money in their pockets! The richest people in the US are Democrats. You hear about more $50,000 a plate fundraisers from the Democrats. The Democrats are running out of money because they are spending more than they are taking in – what does that tell us? We need people who understand how to cut government spending, not raise taxes. We want a conservative – and that can come from either party, but there is one that is party that is more conservative than the other, the other is more socialist. Which one do you think will drive us off the fiscal cliff sooner? Don’t let the media tell you lies, always question what you hear and make up your own mind. I like Hank, but I think his owner needs to stop pushing his own agenda.

I think you very much missed the point of this article. This isn’t about which party is the best, it’s about a political campaign using their vast coffers for a worthy and legitimate cause, which would garner genuine respect from the voting public and free exposure from the media.

I would invite the author of this comment to reread this article for content instead of keywords. After all, division is exactly what the two parties in this country want. Polarized and angry people make better voters than those who want to improve the system.

And lastly I want to point out that Hank is an independent, and that this article wasn’t written by him or anyone on his staff – but that the message of this piece is one that we all can and should get behind.

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