Follow the Moola
A Republican presidential nomination fight is like an NASCAR race. Cars go around and around on the track until they run out of gas. Otherwise known, as money.
As we all know, money is the major qualification for running for president today. A candidate can only run for office and remain viable as long as he doesn’t run out of money.
The gas for the clown cars in the 2016 race is being pumped by an influential group. Just 130 or so families and their businesses provided more than half the money raised through June by Republicans and their super PACs, according to a recent New York Times analysis of Federal Election Commission (FEC) reports and Internal Revenue Service records.
Where a candidate might stand on an issue post-election could be hinted at by who is paying to keep his tank full during the race.
For example, should a candidate be against government funding of renewable energy, like wind farms, and his super PAC is funded by Charles and David Koch, champions of traditional fossil fuels, well, that may say something to voters.
The leading cheesehead candidate, Scott Walker’s race is not being underwritten by the cheese interests; a large part of his super PAC octane came from a Wisconsin roofing billionairess and ardent union foe Diane Hendricks.
Rafael (Ted) Cruz gas is coming from the Wilks family of Texas, which earned billions in the fracking boom. Sen. Rubio’s campaign is being fueled by billionaire auto dealer Norman Braman, and the tech investor Larry Ellison of Oracle fame. The super PAC backing that cluck Mike Huckabee raised almost all of its money from the poultry magnate, Ronald Cameron
All of these facts might be especially useful to the Undecideds trying to make up their minds, as they watch the debates, which resume Wednesday night (Sept. 16) and can be totally confusing because of a clumsy format that is not kind to comparative decision making.
In the interests of transparency, it would help if candidates were required by the FEC or any other government body to let the public know who their sponsors are by wearing corporate logos on their jackets or shirt sleeves, like NASCAR drivers and their cars.
Not knowing a candidate’s sponsors and how much of a bet they are making on their car-- before it goes to the Big Pit Stop in the Sky, where the majority of the 17 candidates will wind up--is a disservice to presidential primary geeks, like myself.
I was excited in the 2012 race by Ambassador Huntsman Jr. He really seemed to know foreign policy, and was the best alternative to Mitt the Candidate who turned out to be less popular than Mitt the Glove. Who knew the Old China Hand was running on empty, and was about to fall into the sixth dimension and disappear.
The first car to make the final pit stop this time around is the Perrymobile, the all-new, unimproved, Rick Perry Formula -1 gas-guzzler. On Friday, Perry pulled out of the race, due to a shortage of dinero. His billionaire Texan super PAC had decided to stop financing the governor’s exercise in futility. It was a damn shame, after all the trouble he went to studying the names of all the three departments he would shut down and looking like a nerd, wearing those glasses.
It just won’t be the same with only 16 candidates in the race.
A second way to show the free world we are proud of the way elections are run in the best democracy in the world is the Halpern Plan.
Post-Citizens United, the Presidency might be a naming opportunity similar to university buildings or sports stadia. The Halpern Plan proposes the next election cycle 2017-2024 be dealt with similarly. Should Christie, say, be elected in 2024, he could go down in history as the Koch Brothers President. Rubio could be The Braman President. Even the White House could be named in relative perpetuity for the next eight years the Clinton Foundation White House.
This era of improved transparency could be expanded worldwide. Upon restoration of full ties with Iran, the Halpern Plan argues Khomeini could be the Exxon Mobil Ayatollah and the Saudian empire would be the Royal House of Shell.
Now back to the race in progress as we Undecideds use toothpicks to keep eyes open for Debate #002 on CNN trying to figure out which twit in the remaining clown cars we are rooting for.
September 13, 2015