What the heck-- if I was a right wing ten billionaire, a lot less than the Koch brothers, and not even among the top 30 billionaires in the US " here are some thoughts.
by Michael Fleshman
If I wanted to hold on to my money, avoid taxes, and build my power and influence, I'd invest in Congress.
There are 535 legislators in Congress. If I spent $100,000 on each, that'd be about $54 million, a half a percent of my $10 billion net worth-- a tiny pittance in exchange for cheap purchase of loyalty and support on key issues. Of course, I wouldn't give $100,000 to each-- the un-removable, safe Democrats and that Socialist in Vermont, Bernie Sanders would not get any, so it would work out to maybe $25- 30 million-- just $12 to $15 million a year-- pocket change for a billionaire. That said, I'd also invest in the 80% or more of Democrats who are very comfortable selling out the 99% when it comes to health care, big pharma, food safety corporate globalization, ecology, sustainable energy. Those Democrats are as good as Republicans on a lot of the issues billionaires care about.
And I'd give extra money to the biggest whores in Congress-- particularly the ones from the smallest states or the most right wing states.
I'd find ways to give big money to SCOTUS relatives and causes the five Supreme Court Justices valued. Say two million a year-- $400,000 per justice. I wonder what causes John Roberts wife cares about. Add an additional $200,000 a year to pay for an investigative team so we know the answers to that question and similar ones-- how to make the SCOTUS five happy. FIgure 2.5 million.
I'd fund a number of organizations that would work to influence Republican judicial appointees. Take the judges on junkets to exotic islands, feed them at expensive union busting restaurants like Capital Grill. Figure $4 million.
I'd invest in media companies where I could support messaging that helped me and hurt the opposition. It doesn't matter if they lose money. Figure $5 million.
I'd promote Ayn Rand-- fund movies, fund discussions, maybe spend a million on 20 or 40 Ayn Rand promoting sock puppets.
I'd hire, using third party or more distanced agents, to maintain deniability, teams of sock puppets to sow confusion and distraction among Democrats, liberals, progressives, socialists, etc. The goal would be to get them off track. Some sock puppets would bring up conspiracy theories. Others would attack government, with the goal of making people trust government less in all its dimensions. After all, investing in Grover Norquist's effort to shrink government so it was small enough to drown in a bathtub, it would make sense to prime people to not want government. Set the investment at $2 million.
I'd wine and dine the few conservative celebrities in the arts and media, to get them supportive of my overt causes. $3 million.
I'd work on doing all I could to destroy unions, inside and out. That might mean hiring some moles to make trouble, but it will also mean working with state legislatures.
There are just under 7500 state legislators They come cheaper. Giving two thirds of them $10,000 each will cost just $5 million an election-- just $200,000 a month spread over two years. Not even chickenfeed.
Then there are governors-- It's a bargain to throw another $5 million into 35 or 40 races. Loyalty goes a long way.
Then, how about sucking in some of those young people already tenderized by evangelical churches and gun clubs. Build some "non-profit" organizations that support "american values." Hire recruiters, local organizers-- figure $2.5 million.