The Raven Lunatic

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Bernadine Spitzsnogel

Bernadine Spitzsnogel
December 01
All material on "The Raven Lunatic" blog is copyrighted by the author. Author of "The Luxury of Daydreams"--available on amazon and all major book sites.


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FEBRUARY 18, 2011 10:42AM

Billion Dollar Babies

Rate: 32 Flag




 National Public Radio's Morning Edition is running a story today about the possibility that the 2012 Presidential election will be a "multibillion-dollar contest."

The Dems are expected to raise at least a billion for President Obama's re-election, which means the Republicans can't be left out of this high dollar party.

According to the article (link below), President Obama raised $746 million in 2008, double what President Bush raised four years before. That 2004 amount was double what Bush the Younger himself raised in 2000.

This is outrageous.  When I was in competitive high school speech long before the Civil War, one of our topics was campaign financing.  Two simple ideas could completely change this madness.

Limit the amount of spending.  And mean it. (Can you say Citizen's United?  Despite Clarence Thomas not speaking in court for five years, his vote said a lot on that decision.  Can't you see he and Ginny, sitting at home in their Statue of Liberty hats, drinking a toast to all the corporations that support their causes?  Cheers!)

Have more frequent debates, broadcast from Washington DC.  With today's technology, there is no need for 24/7 advertising.  Use C-Span or some other existing channel. Debates could be topical (in a sense they are now, but seem to always derail.)

The debates would be widely covered, and possibility eliminate the need for the multi-state, multi-stop tours candidates make.  Since funds would be limited, more focus could shift to issue-oriented debates.

Of course this is Pie In the Sky, because those who benefit (the candidates) continue to justify all the spending.  The article shares an anecdote about former House Majority Leader Tom Delay. 

"There's not enough money in politics," Delay told a C-Span audience, "You know, Americans spend more on potato chips than they do on elections?"

Each passing election makes me want to turn the television off.  And my spouse and I are huge political junkies.  Debate night at our house is like the Super Bowl and the Olympic Opening in one.  However, living at the junction of three states, we are bombarded with television and radio commercials for candidates from Indiana, Kentucky, and Illinois, and this year looks like will be no different.

Pass the French onion dip.

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Bea, the problem is also that the campaigning never stops. Campaign mode is now a constant. One needs a whole load of onion dip.
I like Lays Potato Chips.

Funny, I had a dream about potato chips last night, and I hardly ever eat them. I'm so with you...hate the endless advertising beginning way too soon, like putting out the Halloween candy in July. I especially hate the he's a criminal finger pointing scary music ads. NPR had a piece about French elections, how by law, every single candidate who runs gets equal media time, even if they are a total crank, and for the week before the election, all advertising must cease. Nada zip.
If only all that money were spent in the right place - health, education and social welfare. . . America runs on popularity, not on values.
It's just getting exciting!!!!
It never stops like a bad conversation.
rated with hugs
Amazing numbers they have here.This should be one helll of a show!
You think with all that money being spent, they could at least interest more of us in politics! If Obama's reelection budget is that high, I expect and hope for him to hire Lady Gaga to follow him around in crazy outfits and sing his praises constantly.
What insanity! I predict, within 20 years, the candidates will have official sponsors, i.e. "Taco Bell Jeb Bush." Congrats on the EP!
I say we all agree to vote for the one who spends the LEAST amount of money.
"Yes!" to the idea of more frequent debates.
We do? (spend more on potato chips than on elections)? Maybe that's because we can get something for our money.

I can say for a fact that I spent more money on my candidates in 2008 and 2010 than I did on chips of any kind and I'm still hungry.
This next election may turn off generations of voters for a long time.
Problem with debates is that most candidates have nothing interesting to say. The art of debate has been largely lost. I usually watch them to see who bows to pressure and says something ridiculous. Cynical, I know.
Delay's sarcasm certainly came home to roost. How about doing away with TV ads altogether, Amy? Can't imagine any politician agreeing to that, but if we have more debates, as you suggest, why are any of the bullsh*t ads necessary to get honest information to the voters?

Congrats on the EP!
And look what they get for the money they spend to spread their message? Lower and lower voter turn out. No smart business owner would continue to spend money to advertise if they continue to get fewer and fewer returns for the money.
I think (actually agree with) because this isn't my idea, they should have a month to campaign - if they can't get their message out in a month then they don't have anything worthwhile to say. And in that month's time they get all of their media appearances for free.
I agree with Reflections - soon they will be officially sponsored by Taco Bell.
I second greenheron. Congrats on the EP!
Best Wishes,
@sweetfeet: I vow to run for President and spend zero dollars. Vote for me!
Yeah, Baby! An EP for Bea-- Yay!

All the campaign ads do for me is make me hate the politician it claims to promote. Unfortunately, I love, love, love potato chips!

And that's the root of all the trouble in America. If all elections were publicly funded or the amount seriously restricted and kept that way - no outside advertising at all - forget the PAC's - then we wouldn't have the situation we're now in - special interests buying the candidates and legislation. We'd actually (hopefully) have a government that responded to the needs of the citizens and the country as a whole - instead of the piecemeal action we get now.
I have abstained from regular potato chip eating since...I became old enough to feel its effects...well this week anyway...The Feds have also propsosed cutting funds to NPR...more likely to happen than the proposed campaign spending cuts.
They should not have money to BURN

Send an email to cancel the transaction

We wont vote till we get satisfaction

Customer satisfaction is not on their list

But we don't get even and we dont get pissed

We send them LOVE Back for what they missed

They will get the message this time
Bea, you are the voice of reason. Too bad you'll likely never be heard. I like carrots w/ranch or bleu cheese, that's how different I am. :))
FusunA said exactly what I was thinking. HOW do we stop this madness?
The campaigning just keeps going, even the day after a win! If every vote is an angle for the next election (however far away) then it's no wonder why politicians don't take a stand. They stand for nothing other than getting re-elected!
Really I don't have anything to add regarding Amr. politics, I thought this post was about Alice Cooper. :;
I would vote for the first candidate who buys only one advertisement which simply says, "I donated all campaign contributions other than this ad to reduce the deficit..." Put up or shut up.
I like what Fusun said . -R-
Well, if they successfully union bust in Wisconsin, there will be a domino effect that will literally decide every election henceforward in favor of the Republican party. Because NO one will be around to stand up to the big corporate money. So save your money for the chips. Pass that dip, will you??
Interesting, and not surprising - in a related matter I just penned a blog that you mind find interesting
I like potato chips inside my tuna sandwich.
(And what Alysa said.) ~r
Cranky Cuss will be my write-in.
...potato chips always deliver on their promises...too bad politicians don't . . .
I long for the old days when William McKinley campaigned from his porch.
I'm glad NPR made a prediction about 2012. The real question is whether there will be a NPR in 2012. Ask not for whom the bells toll...
It is ridiculous how much they spend on getting elected.... and they are getting their money from people who they are going to "owe favors to"... wish we could put the money somewhere useful!
Congrats on the EP! I agree it is getting out of control. Soon it will be time to Tivo my favorite programs to avoid all the commercials!
April 15th is right around the corner. If I donate $2 can I get a nice big fat defense contract? If not, I'd settle for something in the prison industry.