Friday, October 24, 2014

Seasonal expenditures

Every election season we are buried in glossy mailers and bombarded by TV ads. I don't even live in a state where there are any significant contests for higher offices and yet I am surrounded by pitches for and against this and that.

Think what this must feel like in areas where close contests are being fought out: Wisconsin or Iowa, for example.

All this costs candidates and the "committees," whether independent or party-affiliated, a pretty penny. (Yes, raising the $$ is certainly corrosive and corrupting of democracy.)

David S. Joachim reports that interested parties are on track to spend some $4 billion on this year's election.

That's a lot of money! But it is important to keep the sum in perspective:

... Americans will spend nearly twice that amount this year on Halloween costumes, decorations and candy.

Is this disparity representative of what matters to most of us? Actually, I don't think so. But I do think most people have more idea how to celebrate Halloween than are able to imagine ways of participating more actively in their democracy.


Rain Trueax said...

We donated a lot more than we expected to do this year because so much is at stake. It's not as though I consider Democrats perfect but the alternative is unthinkable for someone with my life philosophy. We spread it out across the country and other than in our own state, we stuck to Senate races where we felt there was a chance. When the election is over, I am going to let it go whatever the result. I listen to a lot less cable news these days just to keep a sane head-- mostly. But we have done what we can with donations and hope that the candidates we donated to can stand up against the big money. If the big money didn't win with these tactics, they would quit doing it. Unfortunately smarmy ads do seem to work :(

Hattie said...

I have donated to Wendy Davis but that's about it.
I don't like any of the people running for governor.
I already voted by mail, for the one decent ( though not outstanding ) candidate, the Democrat.
And I voted against two giveaway initiatives for farmers and preschools. These looked good at a glance, but the money would have gone in the first case to big ag and in the second to religious organizations.

janinsanfran said...

Like Rain, I have donated more than I expected in this electoral season. We have one local candidate, David Campos, who would be a true representative of the best of San Francisco if we can get him into the legislature ahead of yet another corporate suck-up. We sometimes do win these here.

I also have a good friend, Shanti Gonzales, running for Oakland School Board, a thankless job.

And then, I too have given in a small way to Senate campaigns in some close races. I am attached to one, Shenna Bellows in Maine, who doesn't count as close -- but hey, that lady is on the right track.

And I gave a few bucks to Mary Burke of Trek bicycles who is chasing Scott Walker in Wisconsin. That one might be an upset.

But of course my tiny contributions hardly matter.

Rain Trueax said...

They add up though, and it's the knowing it's grassroots that helps. We've donated to Al Franken, Tammy Grimes (race is tight and wouldn't it be great to kick McConnell out), Michelle Nunn, both Udalls, and of course, Merkley here in Oregon as well as our governor's race and Kitzhaber (weird goings on there but the alternative is tea party), and we donate to deFazio who is in the House, not our district but we like him and his voice. We try not to donate to dino's. and didn't donate to the independent hoping to unseat Roberts in Kansas as who knows what we'd get if he won but I'd like to see him win anyway.

We already voted absentee but ended up here longer than we expected and probably didn't need to. We have some interesting issues on the ballot here as well as the candidates.

Hattie said...

I sent a fairly large sum to pro-choice Wendy Davis because Texas is leading the fight against legal abortion. I don't think she can win, but the stronger her showing the better.

Related Posts with Thumbnails