"It's All a Farce"
By Paul Street at Feb 20, 2008
I live in
During the pivotal Iowa Democratic Party presidential Caucus race, Loebsack held back for a long tine on making an endorsement. The centrist
The “liberal” Dave Loebsack held back even as Edwards made a strong effort to get his support. When Dave finally (before the big pivotal Caucus) endorsed Obama, I am told by a reliable source, he quickly received $10,000 dollars (in two separate checks I am notified) from or through Obama’s famous Political Action Committee, the Hope Fund. Whether the deal was made explicit in advance of the official endorsement I do not pretend to know but it probably didn’t have to be. The operatives know the game.
It’s part of the hidden primary of wealth and power behind the constant childish absurdity of the show campaign – the corporate media- and PR-run extravaganza where the bewildered herd is expected to become excited about Hillary’s occasional tears and Obama’s manly body language involved in holding a chair for Mrs. Clinton and Michelle Obama’s toughness and Edwards’ hair or to cluck distastefully at Hillary’s attire or at the BaRockstar’s rudeness (“you’re like-able enough, Hillary”) or to melt before Obama’s athletic profile and brown eyes and baritone voice or to see it as somehow racist when the Iraq war militarist Bill Clinton observes that Obama has been something of an Iraq war militarist too.
As a 50-something white guy said to me after a talk I gave a month ago on the living history of racial segregation and oppression, “it’s all a farce.” He was talking about our political system – the great democracy that George W. Bush upheld from
Here (pasted in shortlybelow) is a lovely story from the intrepid campaign finance watchdogs at the Center for Responsive Politics. It reflects quite well on the abject depravity of
Please note that Obama has given a remarkable 77 percent of the super-delegate contribution money.
Please note also that the money works. It generally wins the superdelegates’ commitment.
Masses of Obamanists are getting worked up about how evil Hillary is going to steal the election from their virtuous progressive and people’s nominee Obama but it would appear possible that the in-fact significantly plutocratic and pro-nuclear Barack – he of the more than $100 million dollars contributed for the 2008 cycle, including $422,000 from Goldman Sachs and $222,000 from Exelon (the largest private operator of nuclear power in the world) – will be utilizing his remarkable big money resources to sway the unelected delegates as well. This could be checkmate for Hillary. A great victory for progressive values.
Please note the last short paragraph discussing why superdelegates even exist in the first place.
The article (from here on it's another author speaking):
The article (from here on it's another author speaking):
February 14, 2008
At this summer's Democratic National Convention, nearly 800 members of Congress, state governors and Democratic Party leaders could be the tiebreakers in the intense contest between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. If neither candidate can earn the support of at least 2,025 delegates in the primary voting process, the decision of who will represent the Democrats in November's presidential election will fall not to the will of the people but to these "superdelegates"—the candidates' friends, colleagues and even financial beneficiaries. Both contenders will be calling in favors.
And while it would be unseemly for the candidates to hand out thousands of dollars to primary voters, or to the delegates pledged to represent the will of those voters, elected officials who are superdelegates have received at least $904,200 from Obama and Clinton in the form of campaign contributions over the last three years, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.
Obama, who narrowly leads in the count of pledged, "non-super" delegates, has doled out more than $698,200 to superdelegates from his political action committee, Hope Fund, or campaign committee since 2005. Of the 82 elected officials who had announced as of Feb. 12 that their superdelegate votes would go to the
Because superdelegates will make up around 20 percent of 4,000 delegates to the Democratic convention in August--Republicans don't have superdelegates—Clinton and Obama are aggressively wooing the more than 400 superdelegates who haven't yet made up their minds. Since 2005 Obama has given 52 of the undecided superdelegates a total of at least $363,900, while
"Only the limits of human creativity could restrict the ways in which Obama and
Superdelegates will make their decisions based on a number of factors, said Richard Herrera, a political scientist at
"I think Democrats, both regular delegates and superdelegates, see this year as an opportunity to really take back the White House," he said, "and I don't think there's that short-term political concern that money will play that kind of role. It's a much bigger picture at this point."
The superdelegates themselves say the same thing—that any money flowing from the presidential candidates to the delegates' own campaigns hasn't had any sort of influence on their decisions. Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell received $5,000 from
Yet the Center for Responsive Politics has found that campaign contributions have been a generally reliable predictor of whose side a superdelegate will take. In cases where superdelegates had received contributions from both Clinton and Obama, seven out of eight elected officials who received more money from
In addition to Gov. Rendell of
The money that Clinton and Obama have contributed to the superdelegates who may now determine their fate has come from three sources: the candidates' campaign accounts for president and, before that, Senate, and from their leadership PACs. These PACs exist precisely to support other politicians in their elections—and, thus, to make friends and collect chits. Leadership PACs are supposed to go dormant after a presidential candidate officially enters the race.
Contributions to candidates for federal office are relatively easy to track, but money given to state and local officials is harder to spot. Campaign finance reports from Senate candidate committees are still filed on paper, making it difficult to know who is receiving money from them. For that reason it's possible that Obama and Clinton have given superdelegates even more than the $904,200 the Center for Responsive Politics has identified. While Obama has received the support of numerous state governors, state legislators and local officials, it does not appear that his leadership PAC or presidential candidate committee has contributed to any of them. His PAC did make one interesting contribution in 2006: for her Senate re-election, Hillary Clinton received a $4,200 contribution from Obama.
Another senator running for office in 2006, Sheldon Whitehouse of
Though it might seem undemocratic to allow elected officials who have received money from the candidates to have such power in picking their party's nominee, the process was not meant to be democratic,
CRP Researchers Douglas Weber and Luke Rosiak contributed to this report.