Money The Mother’s Milk Of American Politics

By Sinclere Lee

“Money is the mother’s milk of politics” is a widely heard phrase in Washington.  If money is the mother’s milk of politics, how you spend that money to get the Black vote should not only be important to Blacks, but equally as important to whom is spending the money.  Since the Supreme Court ruled in 'Citizens United' given corporations and special interests a “free speech” right to pump millions of dollars into our elections — often in complete secrecy.  Money has been the name of the game — either private money or your own money.

In this election cycle for president, you have two billionaires Mike Bloomberg and Tom Steyer spending their own money and the rest who are seeking the presidency are begging for money.  While money is money, I would rather have a person spending his or her own money than begging for money from billionaires.

Mike Bloomberg’s Net worth is $65.2 billion and Tom Steyer is a meager $1.6 billion, and while Mike Bloomberg chooses to spend his money, a half a billion on TV ads, Tom Steyer is putting money in the hands of the Black voters.  Which is the better for the Black vote? This should be easy for Black voters to determine and undrestand, since baby needs milk!

Hidden amid millions of dollars spent on TV ads and mailers in Steyer’s latest campaign finance report are donations totaling more than $60,000 to Black organizations and institutions across the country.  That include $10,000 to the Columbia, S.C. chapter of the Urban League; $7,500 to an African American cultural festival in Iowa; and another $10,000 to the Charlotte, N.C. black political caucus.

In South Carolina, two Black Greek-letter organizations received a combined $3,700 towards for community service events.  Allen University, a historically Black college got a $5,000 contribution.

Ahead of Saturday’s Nevada caucuses, Steyer shelled out $1,600 to the Northern Nevada Black Cultural Awareness Society and another $2,500 to the Las Vegas chapter of The Links, Inc., a Black women’s organization.  Steyer’s donation to the Columbia Urban League included a $5,000 sponsorship for the organization’s Martin Luther King Day breakfast.  This is a mere pittance to what Bloomberg has spent on TV ads alone.

 Just how much does it cost to buy the US presidency? $800million? A billion? A trillion?

It looks as if Michael Bloomberg is trying to find out.  Since entering the race in November, he has spent an unprecedented amount of money trying to win the Democratic nomination. In less than three months, Bloomberg a spent too much money.  However, Bloomberg has increasingly faced scrutiny over his record on race, including earlier this week after the re-emergence of remarks he made in 2015 about stop-and-frisk policing, a tactic that his administration used disproportionately against Black people and Latinos and that he defended for years.  With that as a handicap in running for president to get the Black vote, and that being said, he should be pouring money into the Black community to make-up this dirty deed.

The multibillionaire, who is self-funding his campaign, has already spent more than $401 million on television and radio ads alone.  That surpasses the $338.3 million that President Barack Obama's campaign spent on those ads during his entire 2012 campaign, according to Advertising Analytics.  He has spent most of the money with the white Jewish media since the Black media hardly exist in America.

There is a cautionary tale when billionaires like Michael Bloomberg try to buy elections. Remenber Ross Perot's presidential campaign? It was not only a failure but it cost President George H.W. Bush his 1992 re-election to the White House. Bush lost, and Perot received about 19 percent of the popular vote nationally. Immediately, the spin was that Perot had cost Bush his re-election and that has persisted to this day. But, here’s the truth. Exit polls showed Perot drew votes almost evenly from Clinton and Bush. In the states where Perot did the best (Texas and Florida) Bush still won and took all the Electoral College votes. The truth has hardly mattered to what has become known in political circles as The Perot Myth. Whoever get the Democratic nomination, the specter of a third party run looms as a possibility, and that could give Trump a second term in the White House.

Out of the eight Democrats who have announced their fourth-quarter fundraising totals, Sen. Bernie Sanders leads the pack with $34.5 million followed by former Mayor Pete Buttigieg with $24.7 million.  This shows that the Democratic candidates who are begging for money are getting paid too.

Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, Amy Klobuchar, Pete Buttigieg, Deval Patrick and Tulsi Gabbard are the politicians begging for money.  In the first half of 2019, six candidates — Biden, Sanders, Buttigieg, Warren, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) have spent a combined $64.6 million on their presidential campaigns. In the first month of 2020, they spent nearly $20 million more than that, dropping a combined $83.3 million in a month. 

Since it is not known exactly how they spend their money, it is reasonable to assume that a lot is hidden under the table for their personal wealth.  If you don’t think these crooked politicians in America are stealing campaign money from billionaires, I got a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn New Your.  Ergo, it pays big time to run for president if you win or lose.

Not satisfied with having all the money in the country, Mike Bloomberg and Tom Steyer are not the only billionairs interested in American politics. Want to know where many billionaires spend their dough? With great wealth comes great potential to help your favorite politicians get elected. Of the world’s 100 richest billionaires, 36 are U.S. citizens and thus eligible to donate to candidates and other political committees in America. OpenSecrets Blog found that 30 of those actually did so, contributing a total of $184.4 million — with 58 percent going to Republican efforts. Eight of these billionaire households including spouses also fall on the top 100 megadonor list, meaning they and their families were in the uppermost layer of donors to candidates, parties and outside groups in the 2016 cycle. They gave $175.7 million, with $74 million going to Dems and liberal groups, while $102 million went to Republican and GOP causes. Perhaps, this is how they got super-rich and stay super-rich.

Because of 'Citizen United', the dependence of political candidates on wealthy special interests is a serious flaw in our political system, and makes elected officials responsive to their large donors rather than to the public.  The tremendous power of special interest money in politics often drowns out the voice of everyday Americans, threatens our First Amendment freedoms, and erodes the foundations of our entire democracy.  To restore fairness to our political system the Campaign Legal Center, (CLC) advocates for passing and enforcing strong campaign finance reforms that help guarantee a democracy responsive to the people.  With all this money from all these billionaires, this again proves that our government is the best government that money can buy.


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