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RedCloud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 11:34 PM
Original message
Money can sure buy elections.
After reading how a Chilean billionaire can finance his way to the presidency look at what tea bag manipulators can do...

In unofficial results, McWaters received 8,051 votes. Fleming received 2,184.

McWaters, 53, ran mainly on job creation issues, touting his background as a businessman. He'll be sworn in today in Richmond - the first day of the 2010 General Assembly session - and has been tapped to respond to outgoing Gov. Timothy M. Kaine's final State of the Commonwealth speech tonight on behalf of Senate Republicans, he said.

McWaters lent himself $450,000 for the campaign, which cost at least $741,000, according to expense reports. Much of that was spent on the hard-fought Republican canvass last month against City Councilwoman Rosemary Wilson, a race that made Tuesday's finale anti-climactic.

Fleming, 61, a last-minute candidate, ran a low-key campaign without signs or major advertising. He spent about $14,000, most of which was his own money, reports show.

http://hamptonroads.com/2010/01/republican-easily-wins-...

So he outspent his democratic challenger $741,000 to $14,000, about 53 times as much as he simply left his republican challenge signs all over the place and the votes were about 4 to 1 in his favor.

But who is this guy? The former CEO of Amerigroup who made about $5,000,000 in CEO compensation per annum.

http://card.wordpress.com/2006/10/31/amerigroup-fined-4... /

Some of the highlights that were not made known to Virginia voters:

Amerigroup Corp. held liable for $144 million in damages for discriminating against pregnant women...Amerigroup avoided pregnant women and others likely to run up high doctor bills. That cheated the government, which was subsidizing the company to market its services evenly among all low-income patients regardless of whether they were pregnant or had costly illnesses, the attorneys said.

Attorneys for the company denied there was any fraud involved, saying Amerigroup had publicly stated it was trying to reduce the number of third-trimester women signed up to ensure continuity of care.

Jurors saw a videotape in which one executive said he always sought out the healthies when signing up patients for the HMO. Jurors also saw a number of e-mails in which company officials spoke positively about limiting the number of pregnant women enrolled..

... between April 2000 and July 2003 Amerigroup made 18,130 false claims against Medicaid a state administered program for low-income patients that is subsidized by the federal government.

Source: Forbes

So my point is this: Evil sneaks in the back door because we have too many family fights about why our candidates are not perfect. And look at what the tea baggers now have in office.

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NYC_SKP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 11:37 PM
Response to Original message
1. "too many family fights about why our candidates are not perfect"
We have GOT to reform campaign financing.

K and R.

:kick:
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clear eye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 12:47 AM
Response to Reply #1
6. The part about campaign financing is right.
Blaming the loss of a hugely bought election on people who don't like blue dogs misses the boat so far it's in a different ocean. The local Dems couldn't raise enough to challenge this jerk b/c 1) the HCCC didn't think a Dem had enough of a shot for them to properly finance him, and 2) Dems don't get automatically funded by the wealthy elite who are the only ones in this economy who still have significant money to donate.

If the OPer thinks we should have run someone whose votes were more for sale, then I don't get the complaint about not stopping evil. How would someone like that w/ a D after their name be less evil or less likely to misdirect taxpayer money than the Republican creep?

Some elections involving real progressive Dems that were written off by the party were rescued by donations from the netroots--just the people blamed in the OP. These givers don't have $1000s to give to all Dem candidates even if they wanted to, so they choose one or two they feel will represent them best in gov't and who have a chance of winning, and donate to those.

People including the OPer, should really learn about FENA (the Fair Elections Now Act) and the coalition trying to get it enacted and do what they can to help it. http://www.fairelectionsnow.org/coalition

While they're at it, they may want to help out w/ the struggle to get votes fairly counted and to eliminate electronically stolen elections like the Max Cleland Senate race in 2002. Here's a page of links to local election integrity groups: http://www.votersunite.org/info/groups.asp

Once we've got these things right and know that the person declared the winner will not always be the one who could buy the most exposure or the one who the head of the election machine monopoly wants, maybe then a person could reasonably blame a loss on infighting.
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gateley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 11:38 PM
Response to Original message
2. Bloomberg. nt
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DJ13 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 12:02 AM
Response to Original message
3. We need to limit candidate personal spending to no more than the amount
they will earn in salary during the term they would serve in office.

If these wealthy people spend 10x what the salary pays you have to wonder what they're really in office for.
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clear eye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 12:57 AM
Response to Reply #3
8. SCOTUS has declared campaign contributions "protected political speech".
So their can be no such prohibitions. All public campaign financing that comes w/ strings has to be voluntary, to prevent inhibiting some wealthy CEO or PAC looking for advantageous laws from having their "free speech" inhibited. At least that's what the ACLU says.
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TexasObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 12:04 AM
Response to Original message
4. Recommend
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classysassy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 12:06 AM
Response to Original message
5. Public financing
is the only way to return democracy to politics.
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New Dawn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 12:52 AM
Response to Original message
7. Its only "democracy" for the rich.
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