Michigan voters have been exposed to a barrage of advertising about the gubernatorial candidates sponsored by the Republican Governors Association and the Democratic Governors Association. Through the end of September the RGA had sponsored $6.3 million-worth of ads, and the DGA sponsored $7.6 million-worth. Both will continue saturation advertising until Election Day.
The latest reports filed with the Internal Revenue Service by the two 527 groups show that they are extremely large political committees. In the period from January 1, 2013 through September 30, 2014, the RGA has received $117,689,677 in contributions. The DGA has received $71,515,868.
That's about half of what the WHAS Crusade for Children has raised in total during its entire 61-year history.
It would build about 1,000 Habitat for Humanity homes in Louisville.
It would pay to operate the Cabbage Patch Settlement House for the next 44 years, if invested properly to merely keep up with inflation.
The real story is that our system no longer really works, except for billionaires. Well, in a few more liberal places, millionaires can play, too. But for the rest of us, forget it. Normal people can't even dream of running for most offices.
Nor do most politicians depend on normal people for anything other than a confused vote. Nor do they have much power themselves. They're owned by the special interests that fund their campaigns and causes. Running for anything, even a little piddly state legislative seat, is out of reach for most people otherwise. Take Ellen Cogen Lipton, my state representative.
This year, she had to give up her job because of our state's asinine term limits, and ran in the Democratic primary for the state Senate. She spent more than $210,000 on the effort ... and finished third, way out of the money.
This, for a job that pays $71,685 a year, and won't have much power, since Republicans will once again solidly control that gerrymandered chamber. But she had to spend all that money to have a chance.
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