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Re: [wccusdtalk] Actually, don't follow the money, it doesn't do much - David Brooks

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  • Eduardo Martinez
    The article doesn t address the point of following the money , but instead addresses the effectiveness of monies raised. The point of following the money
    Message 1 of 2 , Oct 20, 2010
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      The article doesn't address the point of "following the money", but instead
      addresses the effectiveness of monies raised. The point of "following the
      money" is to see which outside interests are hoping for inside influence.
      Knowing this should influence voting more than the insipid sound bites that the
      money buys. We should be concerned with whom is being supported by various
      interests and aware of everyones agendas.

      As the parent of armies, war encourages debts and taxes, the known instruments
      for bringing the many under the domination of the few. - James Madison

      From: c slamon <cslamon@...>
      To: wccusdtalk <wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Wed, October 20, 2010 8:58:01 AM
      Subject: [wccusdtalk] Actually, don't follow the money, it doesn't do much -
      David Brooks

      Interesting column today in the West County Times. David Brooks:
      Actually, don't follow the money, it doesn't do much
      By David Brooks
      Syndicated columnist
      Posted: 10/20/2010 12:01:00 AM PDT

      OVER THE past few months, there's been a torrent of commentary about
      political donations and campaign spending. This lavish coverage is based on
      the premise that campaign spending has an important influence on elections.

      I can see why media consultants would believe money is vitally important:
      The more money there is, the more they make. I can see why partisans would
      want to believe money is important: They tend to blame their party's defeats
      on the nefarious spending of the other side. However, I can't see why the
      rest of us should believe this. The evidence to support it is so slight.

      Let's start with the current data. A vast majority of campaign spending is
      done by candidates and political parties. Over the past year, the Democrats,
      most of whom are incumbents, have been raising and spending far more than
      the Republicans.

      According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Democrats in the most
      competitive House races have raised an average of 47 percent more than
      Republicans. They have spent 66 percent more, and have about 53 percent more
      in their war chests. According to the Wesleyan Media Project, between Sept.
      1 and Oct. 7, Democrats running for the House and Senate spent $1.50 on
      advertising for every $1 spent by Republicans.

      Despite this financial advantage, Democrats have been sinking in the polls.
      I suppose they could argue that the conditions could be even worse if they
      didn't have the money
      edge, but this is a weak case. It's more plausible to argue that the ad buys
      just didn't make that much difference.

      After all, money wasn't that important when Phil Gramm and John Connally ran
      for president. In those and many other cases, huge fundraising prowess
      yielded nothing. Money wasn't that important in 2006 when Republican
      incumbents outraised Democrats by $100 million and still lost. Money wasn't
      that important in the 2010 Alaska primary when Joe Miller beat Lisa
      Murkowski despite being outspent 10 to 1. It wasn't that important in the
      2010 Delaware primary when Mike Castle, who raised $1.5 million, was beaten
      by Christine O'Donnell, who had raised $230,000.

      The most alarmed coverage concerns the skyrocketing spending of independent
      groups. It is true that Republicans have an edge when it comes to outside
      expenditures. This year, for example, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is
      spending $22 million for Republicans, while the Service Employees
      International Union is spending about $14 million for Democrats.
      Here is the link to the entire article.


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