Friday, April 16, 2010
Money talks, money votes
by Larry Geller
David Shapiro posts his flASHback on the Web and then the Advertiser run it on Saturday, so I feel funny about quoting him before he appears in print, but this is just too good:
Sen. Daniel Inouye tried to dissuade the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee from endorsing Case over his favored Hanabusa by donating $100,000 that lobbyists gave his campaign to the DCCC. It's a political form of re-gifting known as re-bribing.
Unfortunately there is no opportunity for candidates for any office who are not swimming in contributions to get any attention in the commercial media. The money they rake in from lobbyists goes to buy ads in the same media that cover the elections, and the news section follows the money, it seems. That $100,000 will buy lots of ads for Hanabusa.
So it’s a setup. We are supposed to consider as serious candidates only those who can attract these huge chunks of money. Inouye is demonstrating his power here. Unfair, perhaps, but the ability to attract the most money usually tracks the ability to win.
The other 11 candidates for the 1st Congressional seat might as well just quit now. Right? Seriously. We are supposed to elect our leaders, but it seems that money elects our leaders.
Why are there complaints that Hawaii has a low voter turnout each election? We’re smart, we see what’s happening. It’s not our little paper ballot that matters at all.
This is American democracy, and Inouye ha$ ca$t hi$ big vote.