D-Rock knows campaign finances… and he shows some of that in yesterday’s comments. In response to my bought and sold numbers which I admittedly threw together coursely, he had the following to say, which I thought is worthy of highlighting in its own post (extra attention to the last part where he talks about what happens to all that money Giuliani got) :
Well, that’s not quite the whole story
The numbers you reference are from total individual contributors in each sector. When you see “Goldman Sachs” $407,000 that’s what individual employees of the company choose to give to a candidate, and there are limits to what each individual can give. I believe that number is $5,000 per candidate.
A cooperation or union can not give money to a candidate from their funds so you’re bought and sold for line is a little misleading. Corporations and unions can give money directly to candidates through a Political Action Committee – though Obama hasn’t taken any money from PACs. 99% of Obama’s money came from individual contributors 25% of which are under $200.
So when there’s a title that says “insurance and real estate x millions of dollars” that means the millions of people that gave money to candidates marked “insurance and real estate” as their profession on the FEC form. That does not mean that the “insurance and real estate” CEO in his “insurance and real estate” company headquarters just wrote a check for x millions of dollars to a candidate.
Later on he added:
The US fed budget is 3 trillion a year, so a few hundred million ever four years to have some access to that seems like a reasonable investment.
Is there too much money in politics? Sure…I guess, maybe not enough of our money.
Case in point – If Nader had his way and had everyone that made minimum wage give his campaign $10 he would be the most powerful political figure in the US. Would we say there is too much money in politics if that was the case?
The two best things to curtail some of the spending is to lower maximum contributions and increased transparency. I’m not sure where EU parties get their income (prob public funding) but the FEC transparency of political contributions is outstanding. You can search by name, zip code, industry etc. Your link to opensecrets.org says it best.
Questions like can the government prohibit you from spending your own money on a political race? See Corzine
Or, what if you raise millions and out spend your opponent 100:1 but your contributions can from small donors?
The biggest problem right now is the double dipping by contributors to increasing amount of PACs and Leadership PACs – that’s a long story.
Oh man I loved watching Rudy 9u11iani fail like a fat kid doing pull ups in gym class. He actually set the record of the WORST campaign ever recorded he spent something like 50 million and got 1 delegate. His left over money can be given away to other campaigns or the national party. But I think he spent everything he had