28 October 2007

The Money Vote and the Repubs

Most of us don't pay much attention to it, but there is a type of vote that takes place long before the actual elections and often determines the course of the election: the decision by people, businesses and organizations as to which candidate or party to support with money.

This time around it looks as if the money vote seems to be lopsidedly going towards the Democrats. Paul Krugman has a column on this that I think makes some interesting points. Here's one:
predictions that Mr. Rove and his disciples would succeed in creating a permanent Republican majority -- I have a whole bookshelf of volumes with titles like ''One Party Nation'' and ''Building Red America'' -- depended crucially on the assumption that the G.O.P. would have vastly more money than its opponents.

But something seems to have gone wrong:
According to data collected by the Center for Responsive Politics, in the current election cycle every one of the top 10 industries making political donations is giving more money to Democrats. Even industries that have in the past been overwhelmingly Republican, like insurance and pharmaceuticals, are now splitting their donations more or less evenly. Oil and gas is the only major industry that the G.O.P. can still call its own.

That last sentence is telling, btw.

Krugman points out that much of this is simply driven by the polls (bad for the Republicans) and the weak field (worse for the Republicans). Who wants to spend money suuporting pols who aren't going to have the opportunity to return the favor? But there is also this:"disgust, even in the corporate world, with the corruption and incompetence of the Bush years." What upsets corporate America is that the scandals usually are about no-name companies that came out of nowhere to earn juicy contracts for very suspicious reasons. It's one thing to tilt the playing field, it is another when the tilt is away from powerful established businesses.

And then there is this:

In a classic 2003 article in The Washington Monthly, Nicholas Confessore (now at The New York Times) described the efforts of people like former Senator Rick Santorum to turn K Street into an appendage of the Republican Party -- not the other way around. ''The corporate lobbyists who once ran the show, loyal only to the parochial interests of their employer,'' wrote Mr. Confessore, ''are being replaced by party activists who are loyal first and foremost to the G.O.P.''

But corporations weren't happy. According to The Politico, ''many C.E.O.'s'' used the term ''extortion'' to describe ''the annual shakedowns by committee chairmen with jurisdiction over their industries.''

I have never had much of a taste for Krugman: I don't understand economics well and his TV persona is a little odd, but this has the ring of truth. In some ways the K Street project has been a "catastrophic success" for the Republican.s

Labels: , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home