In Politics, Follow the Money to Get at the Truth

I know you know – in fact, I’m sure everybody must know by now – that the November elections in America are all about money. As my friend Bob says, why would anyone spend hundreds of thousands, even millions, to get a job that pays what a member of Congress, or a senator, or even the president is paid?

Why would anyone indeed! Especially when you consider the abuse they take in the process.

So we should not be surprised when we hear that most of the members of Congress are millionaires and that some are multimillionaires, and that most have become rich after entering Congress. Obviously, there’s money to be made beyond their salaries.

And when we consider that the money they spent to get elected comes mainly from campaign contributions and that the Supreme Court has decided to unleash unlimited corporate buying power to back them up, we really shouldn’t purse our lips and raise our eyebrows when we hear of the favors that special interests receive from their pets in the government.

I still cling to the wildly optimistic belief that some politicians are motivated by the desire to serve their country. And I  still trust a few Washington insiders – Independent Bernie Saunders and some of the old-time Democrats as well as President Obama, for instance – to look out for my interests.

But I concede that in most cases, money talks.

So, we can ignore the rhetoric that fills those endless hours on TV, and learn the truth about the candidates by identifying their contributors. To help us out, a web site called The Daily Beast has published a breakdown of the Republican presidential candidates’ biggest donors. You might find it interesting to go there.

Click here to check out the site.

See where Mitt Romey gets his loot – or at least the part of his loot that we get to see?

Goldman Sachs: $367,200
Credit Suisse Group: $203,750
Morgan Stanley: $199,800
HIG Capital: $186,500
Barclays: $157,750

Now think how he would make decisions as president. I won’t insult you by sharing my opinion. You know what street those companies are identified with as well as I do. (Hint: It begins with the letter W.)

As I looked through the list, I wondered why Rick Santorum was so valuable to Achristavest Properties, a company that develops waterfront properties in Santorum’s home state of Pennsylvania, as well as in New Jersey and Maryland. I wonder what ties the developers have to what projects, and what strings Santorum would pull as president to help them out. (I hope we never find out, of course.)

I didn’t have to wonder why the health care industry is so solidly behind the “family values” guy. Repealing President Obama’s health care reform legislation is just one of the many ways in which Santorum would line the pockets of health care providers. (Think of the baby boom that would result from banning birth control, for example.)

Among the other contributions that aroused my suspicions were these for Jon Huntsman:

Fertitta Entertainment: $29,500
Station Casinos: $29,000
Ultimate Fighting Championship: $29,000

Huntsman? Casinos? Pro wrestling?

Say it ain’t so.

I figured him as a straight-arrow kind of guy. Misguided, of course. But casinos?

gwgraeme

I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for Jamaicans.com

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