Virtually every controversy, from haircuts to millions of dollars, facing the candidates and campaigns concern campaign finance and those involved in it. "The money" questions follow them everywhere, through the campaign and beyond.
In fact how much money the candidates raise is more the barometer of their success, far more covered and scrutinized by the media, than what they say on the issues and how they stand with the public.
Corporations can't vote, and aren't even mentioned in the US Constitution, while elite classes of people are prohibited therein. What are they doing involved in the political process at all for heaven's sake, much less dictating and controlling it!?
You would think that drastic reform of campaign financing, which causes nothing but endless time-consuming troubles, distractions and headaches for the politician/candidates, would be high on their list of priorities. But it's not. Why not?
Only an idiot would contend that "Giving the power back to the people" is a bad idea? It would seem an honorable enough issue for some candidate to take a chance on; especially one who lags in fund-raising. But nobody does..ever. Why not?
Why isn't the state of campaign financing in America, and over-hauling it, the major campaign issue of 2008?
To solve that mystery, as one wise and famous anonymous-source put it, "follow the money". So let's.
Like the United Nations Food-For-Oil bribery case, the sources of the campaign bribery money, the true corruptors of America's democracy, remain mostly anonymous, insulated by layers of double-dealing shenanigans in the shady, secretive back-room business of organized criminal political power-brokering.
For example, though Abramhoff, Washington's #1 criminal briber, and many of his GOP criminal bribe-clients were found out, we will probably never know where he got the money and who he was really working for. It would be virtually impossible to snag them anyway in the gray maze of legality so convoluted that even campaign lawyers and Election Commissions can't understand it.
With national PACS, state laws, state PACS, federal laws, national party committees, state committees, teams of lawyers, expenditures blah blah....it is purposely made too complicated to finger anyone but the most egregious and obvious violators, who become, like Abramhoff and GOP Congressman Ney, sacrificial lambs on the alter of political corruption.
Rest assured that in the final analysis not much of the hundred$ of million$ of dollars that somehow finds it's way into campaign "war chests" is coming from average Dick & Jane working voter/citizens. That much we know for certain.
Of course next in this money "food chain" are the candidates themselves and their campaigns. But boy are the hounds ever on them! In fact they and their campaigns can hardly buy a "hotdog and a Coke" without somebody wagging a finger, and a tongue, at them. And they are reduced to being little more than temporary custodians of other people's money.
America's leaders are just hapless middlemen.
Only the survivor, the one who gets elected, is of value to anyone. And although we are never sure what that "value" is we get little hints like Junior George Bush unabashedly praising the "have-mores" as his true base and giving them a trillion dollar tax gift within days of his inauguration.
Following the money to the end-game recipients, where the campaign bribery dollars are ultimately spent, however explains a lot, and it's easy as hell to do. Because we know all about them and see them every day. They are literally right in front of us....on TV.
The final recipients are the profiteering mainstream corporate media.
All of the campaigns, regardless of their 'war chest", spend 90% of their campaign bribe-money on broadcast media advertising, and most, win or lose, wind up in debt to the monster media, which of course includes the major and minor networks, newspapers, and nowadays, internet entities. All of the entities of this for-profit media juggernaut...the talking heads, spin-doctors, experts, pundits, liberals, conservatives, neutrals, lying and honest... feed from this aggregate elite-wealthy campaign-finance-bribery trough.
And don't think for a minute that Tim Russert and Rupert Murdoch don't know who's buttering their bread, which may explain why the GOP, the "have-more" party, has long enjoyed favoritism and deference from the for-hire mainstream media....They're part of the family. It explains why Bill O-Reilly, a lying GOP shill and poor excuse for a human being, has a major network TV and radio show, while MediaMatters for America, an honest people's media-watchdog, remains delegated to the internet.
That's why the media never want to touch the issue of campaign finance. They're the guilty party, not the politicians.
For example even when they're questioning the candidates, no matter their political party, about their finances they never ask questions like:
What do you think the elite wealthy corporate fund-raisers and donors of yours expect in return for their generosity and financial support if you are elected?
When, in the political debates and candidate forums, turds like Tim Russert raise the issue of questionable campaign funds, $1000 haircuts...etc... I'd like to hear at least one candidate say:
"You know Tim the question you just asked brings to light why campaign financing itself should be the major issue in the up-coming election, that should engage all the candidates, media and Americans.
My $1000 haircut.... like the one you have.... is so I look good on TV... like you do. The rest of my campaign money, good bad and ugly, goes to pay yours and other networks and advertising media for allowing me to appear.....and that includes your salary, benefits and status as a celebrity journalist Tim.
So I would like to pledge here and now..... and I invite all the candidates of both parties, every media journalist and pundit including you Tim, to join me...... that if I am elected I will propose complete public financing of all political election campaigns.... and to outlaw lobbying and all other forms of "influence", quote unquote on candidates and campaigns and the democratic political process.
I will introduce legislation requiring that all media and news networks provide free air-time and advertising to all political campaigns,
as their patriotic duty and as tribute to this great country of America,
the land of freedom and opportunity,
the country for which so many American have fought and died to make possible their prosperity and success,
for their paying customers, subscribers and viewers,
otherwise known as the American people,
to provide them with a free Democracy
unfettered by dirty money, corruption, deceit and influence-peddling.
Will you join me Tim?
....and I pledge "that government of the people, by the people and for the people shall not perish from this Earth".