Senate races were won by dump-trucks full of "dark money"


#1

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#2

Maybe I could make a few dollars sell pitchforks to the USA…


#3

Not just the Senate - California’s state-wide election for head school-board bureaucrat had radio ads for both sides paid for by “independent committees not controlled by the candidate”, with one candidate’s ads mostly supported by the Teacher’s Union (excuse me, their ads, not his ads, of course, because he had no control over them.)


#4

There was certainly a lot of money spent in this election. But there was in 2012 as well and it came out the other way. Hundreds of millions were spent in Ohio and didn’t budge the needle at all.

Don’t get me wrong, I think floods of cash coursing through politics is bad if only because politicians think it matters and act accordingly. But there comes a point where the media are saturated and the phones are off the hook. I’m coming to suspect the money is almost all wasted. Which is fine. The more the Kochs want to piss away the better.

No, the Dems weren’t the victims of “dark money.” They were the victims of themselves. Corporations are swimming in cash, but the rest of us are still suffering. Bankers were made whole on their losses AND rescued from criminal charges, all at public expense. Dems talk every two years about minimum wage but in between they behave very differently. THAT’S the problem with money in politics, not that it buys elections but that it buys policy. Voters are out of it but they aren’t that out of it.

The story of this election is: there are almost no persuadable voters so though Republicans won a lot of elections, they didn’t win by much. A handful of people were angry enough to vote their id, and everyone else just stayed home. If both parties are the party of Wall Street, how does it really matter if you show them you are angry?


#5

Ooo that bad bad Teachers’ Union! How dare they try to control what happens in our schools! As opposed to the other side, which was, no doubt, money raised by mommies having bake sales and totally not the testing industry trying to privatize more schools.

There absolutely are. There are just no swing voters.

But many voters can be persuaded their votes don’t count, that if they try to vote they will be charged with a felony or simply be shot while running away. Hundreds of thousands of those sorts of voters, whose votes are probably fraudulent anyway.

Many of them can also be persuaded that the President is coming to take away their guns and Medicare and give them away to those sorts of people. Also, many voters can be persuaded that both parties are the same. Cf: every news media ever, anywhere.


#6

Sorry, but no. There is political science research on exactly this point.

While 42% of Americans call themselves independent voters, the truth is that most of them are reliable Republicans or Democrats. Independence is largely an illusion. According to Alan Abramowitz, of Emory University, only about 10% of voters are truly independent and that is about the amount of shift you need to explain all the recent gyrations from Democrat to Republican and back again. All the rest have committed to a side, they just won’t admit it, and the only thing that might shift a few of them is a failed war or an economic catastrophe.

Many of them can also be persuaded that the President is coming to take away their guns and Medicare and give them away to those sorts of people.

Don’t think so. Those voters already are persuaded and always have been. You’ll never be able to sway them. Unless you have evidence that a large number of people have only recently been persuaded to be gun-toting bigots. I seem to recall quite a few of those from my childhood back in the 1960’s.


#7

I’m pretty sure that political donations offer some of the best returns-on-investment in America. Doesn’t New Jersey maintain an official slush fund to pay businesses for staying in the state paying for the governor’s political campaigns?


#8

Not sorry at all to point out that you didn’t actually read @Boundegar’s post. The point made was that people can be persuaded to not vote. Which they were.


#9

lawl*


#10

Sorry but you need to read. Not voting is not the same thing as putatively independent voters largely not being independent at all.

You don’t persuade someone to not vote. Not voting is the default since you have to exert no effort to accomplish it. You persuade someone to get off their ass and vote and you do that by addressing their actual concerns, not something in the vague neighborhood of their concerns.


#11

I’m sure they do, in the sense that political donations swing policy decisions. However, I am not sure at all in the sense that massive campaign spending sways votes. The political science data appears to say no, most of the time. But try convincing a politician of that.


#12

The money grubbing is certainly a problem, but it hints at another, closer problem.

How are most people making the election decisions in such a way that spending millions of dollars makes any difference? Does receipt of gifts make people trust them more? Or do they actually base their decisions upon adverts? It is difficult for me to understand why this should even be the factor that many apparently consider it to obviously be.


#13

Wait… I said there are no swing voters, and you rebutted me by proving there are no swing voters.


#14

Seems to me a dump truck really isn’t the best vehicle for delivering money whether it is dark or not.


#15

How about a wood chipper?


#16

Silly rabbit, wood chippers are for justice.


#17

I think both you and @andy_hilmer are merely quibbling over fineries, here. True, most “independent” voters are surprisingly partisan, should they actually vote. The thing is, most of the time they elect not to vote. So the function of dark money tends to be getting sympathetic “independents” mad enough to vote, and unsympathetic “independents” so disgusted that they don’t bother. I think on that we all can agree.


#18

Senate races were won by dump-trucks full of “dark money”

Yep, unidentified, un-prosecutable, filthy, rich, hidden, and especially unreachable dark overlords. That’s what did it. Then I suppose that there’s nothing the average citizen can do, eh?

Either accept it or understand that the U.S. political system is, by design, anti-democratic and because of this, is essentially, deeply corruptible. No amount of microscopic tweaking will fix it.


#19

Quick question… with the 2 official state sponsored parties spending over half a billion on the campaigns for a mid-term election, I have to ask, where does that money go? Where does it end up?


#20

Going out on a limb, perhaps, but - how about voting for people based upon their problem solving abilities rather than the amount of money they collect?