You may be hearing story after story about the flood of corporate money showing up in elections this year. I recently posted a preliminary look at where the corporate money is going supporting or opposing to our upcoming ballot initiatives. That was preliminary, before the real flood of last-minute corporate cash showed up. I’ll be updating those numbers.
The most active big-money fundraisers were the campaigns surrounding Proposition 24, which would repeal corporate tax benefits approved by the Legislature, and Proposition 23, which would suspend the state’s greenhouse gas reduction law until the unemployment rate drops.
That is a lot of money. It buys a lot of ads that say a lot of things. Those things they say are very, very well-crafted by the highest-paid professionals that money can buy, designed to sway people to vote the way the big-money wants them to vote. The question voters need to ask themselves is, “What do they expect for their money?”
Seriously, does anyone believe that these giant corporations are putting millions and millions (and millions and millions and millions) of dollars into these campaigns because they are in any way interested in helping voters come to conclusions that benefit the public? But the well-funded campaigns are very good at keeping people from wondering about these questions. Instead they try to distract us, divert us, throw smoke in our eyes, make us afraid, mane us angry, make us hate someone, make us think the world is about to end … And the result is that the public is distracted, diverted, blinded, afraid, hateful and thinks the world is about to end.
Follow the money, don’t be distracted, and ask yourself, “What do they expect for their money?”