Money talks…other candidates walk

By: Scribbler1
February 17th, 2012
8:35 pm

Money talks…other candidates walk

That’s what it seems to be like for Newt Gingrich, the up-and-coming, then down-and-leaving former Speaker of the House from Georgia. Coming off his surprise victory in South Carolina, Gingrich appeared to have Florida, the next Republican Primary, in the bag. But then, money talked. Specifically Mitt Romney’s money, and Newt Gingrich walked. Despite his impressive win in South Carolina, where he received 244,113 votes to Romney’s 168,152 votes, the Republican voters of Florida were not so kind. Romney won by almost fifteen percentage points.

But it wasn’t just Gingrich who was felled by superior financial numbers When they weren’t imploding on their own, current and former candidates were outspent in their quest for the most face-time on Television. And in this case, it looks like moneyman Mitt Romney has the financial stamina to go the distance. Politifact.com reports that, in the 2010 congressional races 85 percent of House races and 83 percent of Senate races were won by the candidates with the biggest campaign bankroll. And if you go back a little further in time, in 2004, the House and Senate winners with the most campaign outlays were 98 percent and 88 percent, respectively.


According to MSNBC’s Dylan Ratigan of the eponymous “Dylan Ratigan Show”, and although his numbers are slightly different from those of Politifact, “everybody knows the problem; the problem is our government is bought.” Going by the above numbers, this would be a fair assessment. And with the arrival of the “Super PAC”, the Political Action Committee with their power to amass unlimited amounts of money for a selected candidate, the word “bought” takes on an extra meaning. That being a Super PAC can raise so much money that, along with Americans’ inclination to believe most everything they see on Television, the one with the most money can be the last man standing.


The ability of the supposedly disconnected from the candidate Super PAC to collect unlimited amounts of money from contributors, and how these benefactors are generally unknown is, literally, a danger to our system of government.

Doug Schoen, writing in Forbes Magazine said “
Super PACs are responsible for a new flood of secret and unlimited cash infiltrating our political system. They have become far more important and influential than the candidates themselves or the voters, and have fundamentally changed American politics.
To date, there are 328 super PACs that have raised about $99 million and spent about $48 million in the 2012 election cycle, $42.5 million of which has been spent on the presidential race. This amount of money is almost double the amount of money that came from outside spending at this point in 2008, when $23.1 million had been spent, $12.9 million of which came from super PACs."


This may suggest the
United States could be heading for an era in which a financial elite takes the place of government by the people and many people in this country are fighting this trend. It may be too late in the game to have any effect on the 2012 races, but hopefully it will have an impact on the next one.

Join the Discussion!

13 comments on "Money talks…other candidates walk"

  • dgun
    February 18, 2012 at 12:17 am

    Originally Posted by
    that have raised about $99 million and spent about $48 million in the 2012 election cycle, $42.5 million of which has been spent on the presidential race.
    Already. That's insane.

  • Osborn F. Enready
    February 19, 2012 at 6:30 am

    political money laundering is all it is.

  • sokpupet
    February 19, 2012 at 6:36 am

    On steroids thanks to Citizens United ruling.

  • Scribbler1
    February 19, 2012 at 7:20 am

    Exactly right! But that's only because it works, and as long as it works they will never stop doing it, until there is no need to do it any more because the oligarchy officially and legally OWN this government.

    The saddest part is that these people STILL don't vote themselves into office so it's the PEOPLE who willingly install these criminals that we profess to distrust and dislike.

    The appalling fact is that most Americans are fools and continue to knowingly do the same thing over and over. While there are a LOT of us who do want to return the power to run our own country to the people, there are MORE of us who are idiot sheep.

    A lot of us say we need to "take our country back", but too many don't WANT it back.

  • sksmith
    February 19, 2012 at 7:46 am

    From Scrib's Forbes link in the OP:

    Originally Posted by
    Super PACs are responsible for a new flood of secret and unlimited cash infiltrating our political system. They have become far more important and influential than the candidates themselves or the voters, and have fundamentally changed American politics.
    That sentence makes absolutely no sense at all. The voters are the only ones capable of making those ads effective and valuable; without the votes, whoever is supported by the super-PAC doesn't win the election.

    For applicable debate on money influence in campaigns: what really happened to Newt between Iowa, South Carolina, and Florida? From 4th, to 1st, to 2nd. Was it money and air time? With Iowa, there's no chance Santorum outspent Newt or Romney. Was it that the anti-Romney sentiment found a voice in Newt leading up to South Carolina, followed by a Newt with a mouth that wouldn't stop leading into Florida and voters taking note of his seemingly over-the-top persona and message? Romney has spent the most money to date, I think, and he only won one of the first 3 states; why? In South Carolina, where he was handed that rather sound beating by Gingrich, Romney outspent everybody by nearly a 2-to-1 average.

  • Osborn F. Enready
    February 19, 2012 at 7:46 am

    Originally Posted by
    scribbler said:
    The appalling fact is that most Americans are fools and continue to knowingly do the same thing over and over.
    Indeed..... ignorance by choice in most cases....

    Reminds me of this quote:
    Originally Posted by
    “Bill Clinton is not the problem. The dismally stupid American people are the problem. It's they I fear.
    Let us take comfort in the fact that majority opinion in this country has seldom pioneered greatness. It has nearly always been the minority who cherish freedom. What we are witnessing is a predictable cycle--a law of political science as every bit as unalterable as the law of gravity--as so eloquently explained by Prof. Tyler two centuries ago: that democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government, not due to any one corrupt leader, but to the rule of the masses who become dependent on government. Is it any wonder that the Founding Fathers tried to prevent democracy? Yes. We are nose diving into socialism, not because of Bill Clinton, but because of many of the people surrouding you in rush hour traffic.
    It's the masses we must march against, and I can think of no better way than to vote Libertarian and abandon the Republicrats. In addition challenge every Clinton defender you know to name the three branches of the federal government and explain the function of each. When they can't (which in my experience is nearly all of them), simply dismiss them as unqualified to form a serious opinion.”
    -poster “JJ”, 1999-Feb-11, from the georgiapolitics Message Board

  • Scribbler1
    February 19, 2012 at 9:09 am

    Originally Posted by sksmith
    From Scrib's Forbes link in the OP:



    That sentence makes absolutely no sense at all. The voters are the only ones capable of making those ads effective and valuable; without the votes, whoever is supported by the super-PAC doesn't win the election.
    It's more a case of money is the cause and control of the government is the effect.
    Although I agree that the voters are the ones who swallow all this high-priced TV advertising, in this context they are not the subject.
    Originally Posted by
    For applicable debate on money influence in campaigns: what really happened to Newt between Iowa, South Carolina, and Florida? From 4th, to 1st, to 2nd. Was it money and air time? With Iowa, there's no chance Santorum outspent Newt or Romney. Was it that the anti-Romney sentiment found a voice in Newt leading up to South Carolina, followed by a Newt with a mouth that wouldn't stop leading into Florida and voters taking note of his seemingly over-the-top persona and message? Romney has spent the most money to date, I think, and he only won one of the first 3 states; why? In South Carolina, where he was handed that rather sound beating by Gingrich, Romney outspent everybody by nearly a 2-to-1 average.
    That's one way to see it, but I'm looking at the fact that Romney outspent Gingrich by 5 to 1 and SC may have been an abberation. Overall, I'm also looking at those historical percentages of how many of the people with the most money actually won their respective elections.

  • sksmith
    February 19, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    Originally Posted by Scribbler1
    It's more a case of money is the cause and control of the government is the effect.
    Although I agree that the voters are the ones who swallow all this high-priced TV advertising, in this context they are not the subject.That's one way to see it, but I'm looking at the fact that Romney outspent Gingrich by 5 to 1 and SC may have been an abberation. Overall, I'm also looking at those historical percentages of how many of the people with the most money actually won their respective elections.
    What about Iowa, he (Romney) outspent everyone there too, didn't he? What about Minnesota, Missouri, Colorado (and Maine, to a lesser extent)*? I don't know the spending numbers for the last 3 states, I'm simply assuming that he outspent Paul and Santorum. Historical approach may be one thing, but we're in the first full election campaign cycle since the dreaded Citizens United decision, shouldn't the issue of super-PAC's and their gobs of money be handing Romney primary after primary victories?

  • Scribbler1
    February 19, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    Originally Posted by sksmith
    What about Iowa, he (Romney) outspent everyone there too, didn't he? What about Minnesota, Missouri, Colorado (and Maine, to a lesser extent)*? I don't know the spending numbers for the last 3 states, I'm simply assuming that he outspent Paul and Santorum. Historical approach may be one thing, but we're in the first full election campaign cycle since the dreaded Citizens United decision, shouldn't the issue of super-PAC's and their gobs of money be handing Romney primary after primary victories?
    We'll have to wait for more results to validate this I think. But if it's true that the one with the most money usually wins, I don't see CU making a specific difference except for it means that ALL the candidates have to spend more.
    The talking heads have been speculating that since the Obama/McCain campaigns flew through almost a billion bucks, this year it will be more.
    It looks like the situation will be the same, but the individual numbers will just be higher. If the winner spent, say, 600 million last time, this year could be 7-800 million, and the next one could be 900 million. A never ending cycle.

  • sksmith
    February 19, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    Originally Posted by Scribbler1
    We'll have to wait for more results to validate this I think. But if it's true that the one with the most money usually wins, I don't see CU making a specific difference except for it means that ALL the candidates have to spend more.
    The talking heads have been speculating that since the Obama/McCain campaigns flew through almost a billion bucks, this year it will be more.
    It looks like the situation will be the same, but the individual numbers will just be higher. If the winner spent, say, 600 million last time, this year could be 7-800 million, and the next one could be 900 million. A never ending cycle.

    Prior to the information/technology age that we find ourselves in, I might have been more inclined to agree that more money meant better results. But there's just too much available information out there for me to believe that money is the main pathway to victory. I cannot remove or even pass some blame away from the voters themselves. I'm afraid to say we're in the current political/governmental situation because this is what the voters have asked and continue to ask for. A lack of understanding of general political and policy procedures allows for the idiotic message of promise from those who tend to succeed at campaigning is probably our biggest problem, coupled with what I must logically label as either laziness or refusal (or both) to apprise oneself with that knowledge.



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