Wednesday, October 31, 2007


A little campaign contribution goes a long way

by Larry Geller

Did the $2,000 the Advertiser says House Speaker Calvin Say received have any influence on his decisions with regard to the special session and the Superferry bill? I'm not saying that it did, mind you, just asking the unanswerable question.

A little money seems to go a long way in politics. Here's an example, from a Washington Times article:

JIM MCELHATTON, WASH TIMES - Lawmakers, including Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, have taken thousands in campaign cash from an embattled Nobel-prize winning scientist while earmarking federal money for his New York lab. Mrs. Clinton and Sen. Charles E. Schumer, also a New York Democrat, requested a $900,000 earmark in June for the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, where James D. Watson served as chancellor before resigning last week after apologizing for comments that suggested that people descending from Africa aren't as intelligent as those from Europe.

Federal campaign filings show that Mr. Watson has donated more than $70,000 to candidates and their political causes, including a total of $3,000 to Mrs. Clinton's presidential campaign on May 17 and June 25. Two days later, a Senate committee report showed that Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Schumer earmarked $900,000 for the lab.

That's an awesome return on investment. For only $3,000 to Hillary Clinton, or a total of $70,000 overall, Watson got $900,000 for his lab.

Has anyone calculated the ROI for the Superferry"s investment in Hawaii's politicians?

You would think that $2-3,000 wouldn't be such a big deal, but it seems to be enough to do the trick. Even in the presidential campaign,  small sums seem to be highly effective. If all it took was $3,000 to buy Hillary, what could the Superferry expect for its $2,000 contribution?

Coincidence? Maybe.


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