Radical filmmaker Michael Moore says the wealthy 1 percent elite may rule America’s economy, “but they have only 1 percent of the vote.” Thus they can’t win elections through their numbers. So they must do it with their money — virtually all donated to Republican candidates.
However, the 2012 national confrontation showed that billionaire cash isn’t enough to carry an election. Billions spent to sell the GOP ticket produced mostly losses.
For example, Karl Rove induced the rich to give $400 million to his two “Crossroads” committees backing Republicans — to no avail. After returns were counted, Donald Trump sneered by Twitter:
“Congrats to Karl Rove on blowing $400 million this cycle. Every race Crossroads ran ads in, the Republicans lost. What a waste of money.”
Casino mogul Sheldon Adelson and his wife gave an estimated $150 million in a failed attempt to elect a GOP president — and he told The Wall Street Journal he’s prepared to spend twice as much next election.
Billionaires Harold Simmons and Bob Perry each invested more than $20 million in the 2012 lost cause. A mysterious firm created just two months before the election, Specialty Group Inc. of Knoxville, Tenn., gave $10.6 million to a tea party Republican committee that backed losers.
Part of this astronomical spending sprang from the controversial “Citizens United” Supreme Court case of 2010, in which conservative justices ruled that corporations are “persons” with unlimited “free speech,” meaning the right to buy political ads.
After the Democratic victory, former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich wrote that billionaires will continue spending heavily to put Republicans into the White House and Congress, for their own financial gain. Reich said:
“You see, if and when they eventually win, these billionaires will clean up. Their taxes will plummet. Many laws constraining their profits (such as environmental laws preventing the Koch brothers from more depredations, and the anti-bribery Foreign Corrupt Practices Act that Adelson is being investigated for violating) will disappear. And what’s left of labor unions will no longer intrude on their bottom lines.”
We can’t guess how future balloting will turn out. But, for now, it’s gratifying to see that fat-cat money wasn’t able to purchase the 2012 election.
— Distributed by The Associated Press