It Turns Out, You Can’t Buy An Election!

There are many good news stories from Tuesday’s elections, but you have to look hard to find them. There were several more examples of mega wealthy people trying to buy an election who ended up wasting large parts of their fortunes. Here in Michigan, we witnessed this in 2006 when Dick Devos, one of the children of Amway founder Richard Devos, spent $41 million trying to buy the governorship only to be beaten by Jennifer Granholm. This election cycle saw Meg Whitman spending an unprecedented $142 million in her effort to take the California governorship. From ABC News…

“This election cycle saw some very notable examples of candidates spending well into the seven if not eight-figure range and effectively getting nothing for their money,” said Dave Levinthal, spokesman for the D.C.-based Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks campaign spending.

In particular, self-financed candidates for federal offices “got obliterated,” said Levinthal. Besides McMahon’s failed run for the senate in Connecticut, fellow Republican Carly Fiorina spent $5.5 million to lose to incumbent California senator Barbara Boxer, and Florida Democrat Jeff Greene spent $24 million and never made it out of the Senate primary.

According to Levinthal, the results are confirmation that despite a larger-than-usual number of self-financed candidates, and a wave sweeping Republicans into office, one historical pattern has remained fairly constant. “History says that self-financed candidates typically don’t do well at all,” said Levinthal.

I always wonder how much good could have been done with that money, instead of pissing it away on television ads, advertising agencies and payola. It’s quite amazing how egos can drive a person to waste huge sums of money trying to feed those egos.


3 thoughts on “It Turns Out, You Can’t Buy An Election!

  1. I posted a story from Think Progress saying that 63% of Chamber of Commerce funded candidates won, while it good news Cali rejected the Republican ticket but I still fear for future elections with this corporate money. Half wits with no chance of winning any elected office now can be view as viable because it only takes ONE hedge fund douche with an agenda to fund one of these people.

  2. Yea, I was going to qualify it and say that money really can buy elections, especially with the Citizens United case and all the secret money being injected into the process. We’re fucked when it comes to fair elections now.

    I am really happy that Meg Whitman didn’t get to buy the CA governors seat, but I know the above examples are only part of the puzzle.

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