Monday, September 29, 2014

The 1 percent’s twisted new scheme: The Kochs and other billionaires are determined to buy the White House in 2016

The answer to the question of whether rich people can buy elections is “Sometimes, but not always.” President Obama won reelection despite the massive amounts spent to defeat him by conservative business leaders. He beat back their spending by having a weak opponent who was seen by voters as pro-rich and out of touch. Mitt Romney lacked the personal skills to connect with voters and persuade them that he cared about the middle class.

Clearly, then, money is not the only thing that decides election campaigns. Public opinion, media coverage, campaign strategies, and policy positions matter as well. During a time of rising campaign costs and limited public engagement in the political process, money sets the agenda, affects how the campaign develops, and shapes how particular people and policy problems get defined. It takes skilled candidates, considerable media coverage, and strong organizational efforts to offset the power of great wealth

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