US Catholic Faith in Real Life

All the politicians money can buy

Kevin Clarke | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare

Congratulations Mitt Romney! You’ve won the the Florida primary, the most negative campaign ever! You're going to DisneyWorld! No, really. You are, I mean, you can, it’s practially around the corner.

According to the Campaign Media Analysis Group, which tracked political ads during the primary, the 2012 Republican contest in Florida has been the most negative campaign on record. The analysis from CMAG shows a whopping 92 percent of ads airing in Florida over the past week were negative, a record rate for political campaigns.

Does it matter? Beats me. People still voted and though presumably the Romney campaign and its superpac were responsible for their share of the negativity, Mitt obliterated what passes for the GOP competition in Florida tonight. And it’s not as if campaigns in America were Emily Post-ian exercises in the first place. Just ask Helen Gahagan Douglas.

If you want to be troubled by any of the hijinks in the Sunshine State, look no further than a small family portrait of Sheldon and Miriam Adelson. The couple diverted a small percentage of Sheldon’s casino fortune in two checks to the Gingrich campaign for a total of $10 million. They single-handedly kept Gingrich going when he looked on his way out the door last month with the first $5 million installment. The Gingrich superpac spent $3.4 million of the Adelson’s dough on negative ads in South Carolina, turning the primary around into a win for Gingrich. Another $5 million check kept Gingrich going in Florida, albeit unsuccessfully. Why did Sheldon and Miriam blow so much dough on the dubious presidential campaign of the one-time Speaker of the House? His tough talk on Israel-Palestine (“What Palestinians? I don’t see no Palestinians”) sounded just right to Sheldon who makes Zionist dead-enders seem like lightweights.

With perhaps the largest campaign donation in history from a single source, the Adelsons were able to buy their own candidate, and presumably a good chunk of his foreign policy were he to find his way into the Oval Office, because of the Supreme Courts increasingly notorious Citizens United decision. And it certainly doesn't hurt to own a fella who could be in a position to issue a timely pardon or two if your FBI investigation for a possible violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act doesn't go as well as you hoped.

Whoever wins this November, trying to legislate away some of the worst outcomes of the Supreme Court’s decision should be a top priority in Washington; you know, as soon as we elect legislators who aren’t salivating over all that unregulated campaign dough.