Big Money Politics
Posted by aogWednesday, 02 March 2011 at 17:41 TrackBack Ping URL

This is from The Corner and shows how the conservatives buy election results —

Here are the ten largest donors in U.S. politics as of February 7, according to OpenSecrets.Org:
  • ActBlue: $51 million
  • AT&T: $46 million
  • AFSCME: $43 million
  • National Association of Realtors: $38 million
  • Goldman Sachs: $33 million
  • American Association for Justice: $33 million
  • International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers: $33 million
  • National Education Association: $32 million
  • Laborers Union: $30 million
  • Teamsters Union: $30 million

That’s five unions to two businesses and three other groups. Five out of ten is half, by my always-suspect English-major math. And who are those other groups? ActBlue is a Democratic clearinghouse, the trial lawyers are super-lopsidedly Democratic, and four out of five of the Realtors’ top campaign-cash recipients are Democrats.

Put another way, the list reads:

  • Democratic/Union Goon proxy: $51 million
  • Death Star, Inc.: $46 million
  • Union Goons (public sector): $43 million
  • The Committee to Re-Inflate the Bubble by Electing Democrats: $38 million
  • The Bankers Who Elected Barack Obama: $33 million
  • Democratic trial lawyers: $33 million
  • Union Goons: $33 million
  • Union Goons (public sector): $32 million
  • Union Goons: $30 million
  • Union Goons: $30 million
An important difference not reflected by the gross numbers: The union goons, especially in the public sector, are near-monolithic in their political interests. (See if you can spot the red on AFSCME’s party-split chart. Or play Spot the Republican on its list.) The business lobby is not: FedEx and UPS both do a lot of lobbying, but it is in the course of each trying to hose the other. The public-sector unions are a uniquely problematic special-interest group.

Woops! Turns out it’s the MAL who has to spend money like water to get votes. Not a surprise to me.

Comments — Formatting by Textile
AVeryRoughRoadAhead Thursday, 03 March 2011 at 00:39

Which suggests that either:

  1. Conservatives are stupid to not spend equal amounts buying votes, or are too stupid to recognize what’s going on; or
  2. MAList organizations tend to aggregate contributions in a relatively few vehicles, whereas conservatives tend to have organizations with smaller donations, but more of them, leading to relative parity in overall donations but heavily Left-leaning Top 10 lists.
Annoying Old Guy Thursday, 03 March 2011 at 09:39

It might also suggest that conservatives have real lives and so are not sufficient obsessive about politics and controlling other people to contribute as much.

As far as I can tell, #2 is a significant contributor. For all the “party of the people” rhetoric, over the last few decades it has been the GOP that has dominated small contributions, both in absolute terms and in percentage of total funding. The Democratic Party has shifted strongly toward depending on a much smaller number of large donors. The Tea Parties have accelerated this trend, as members have shifted from donating to political parties or PACs to direct candidate contributions, made easy by the Internet.

It is important to note, however, that the Democratic Party spent much more on the 2010 elections than the GOP, so there is only weak parity at best in terms of overall donations.

AVeryRoughRoadAhead Saturday, 05 March 2011 at 03:21

…conservatives have real lives and so are not sufficient obsessive about politics and controlling other people to…

Which is another way of saying “lazy and indifferent to being enslaved.”

I agree that it’s irritating and a hassle to constantly have to deal with power-seekers and parasites, but such is the condition of life. Any organized society is going to have a government and politics, and, like doing the dishes or laundry, keeping abreast of civic events and chastising political over-reachers is a necessary chore for all responsible adults.

And in the absence of gov’t, there are robbers, thieves, pirates and warlords with to deal. Actually, I guess that one always has those to contend with, it’s just that with an organized society those are sometimes within the walls, masquerading as upstanding citizens.

Which goes back to my point that politics is part of a “real life”. Whether one likes it or not, politics affects everyone in the sphere of influence, which is why foreigners often pay close attention to American national politics.

David Cohen Tuesday, 08 March 2011 at 07:14

If conservatives had jobs that depended directly on controlling politicians, then conservatives would act the way the unions do. But we don’t.

AVeryRoughRoadAhead Friday, 11 March 2011 at 09:33

Well, if conservatives don’t mind using some of their earnings from non-politician-dependent jobs to pay higher-than-otherwise taxes in support of those whose jobs do benefit from using political capture, then that behavior makes perfect sense.

Annoying Old Guy Sunday, 13 March 2011 at 18:15

At least conservatives support political policies that reduce the cognitive burden of watching government. That is, a bright line rule of “government should not do this” is far easier to monitor and enforce than a “well, it depends” kind of rule. The more conservative the government the less one needs to pay attention.

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