When I hear political ads or political pundits say things like Joni Ernst is a merely a front for the Kochs or that she is being bankrolled by the Kochs I know what is meant. But I just got to wondering if that whole concept has become so trite that most folks hear stories like that and they just ignore them. Heaven knows that the corporate media has done all they can to blunt the sting of such comments.
So let me take different approach to the situation of the filthy rich giving large sums of money to campaigns like Ernst’s or to supporting so called educational groups like Karl Rove’s Crossroads. People like the Kochs, Sheldon Adelson, the De Vos family in Michigan, Art Pope in North Carolina and many, many others do not so much contribute to a campaign so much as they invest in a candidate. Like any anyone who invests whether it be in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, equipment or personnel they expect some return.
Now when folks like you and I invest we hope for maybe a steady 10% return and we would be tickled pink. But when the Kochs and their rich ilk invest in a candidate they expect much larger returns much more quickly. And their returns do not come simply in say money back from the government in the form of contracts although that can often be a method. Their returns also come in the form of lower taxes for instance. Or perhaps they will be exempted from some regulation that could cost money, or perhaps a highway might be routed such that land they own is right near an exit.
Maybe the candidate they invest in will forestall a raise in minimum wages or a mandated health care coverage. If taxes aren’t lowered maybe they can get a special loophole built just for them. Maybe a defense bill can be drawn in such a manner that the only vendor for a product the Pentagon needs is one of your firms – let’s say in the Kochs case a contract is drawn such that only their brand of toilet paper can be bought by the Pentagon. Once more let us mention regulations either being rolled back or simply not enforced at the request of a senator.
Now you can bet that there is no place on record that such an agreement is written down. That would be illegal, don’t you know? But with the money and the support from the outside groups comes an unwritten set of expectations. If those expectations are not fulfilled, a non-compliant senator could be looking at the prospect of a tea party challenge from a more compliant candidate being run by the incumbent’s former funders. So technically there is not exactly a quid pro quo.
Thus the right wing candidate is simply an investment for folks like the Kochs and their various super-PACS and committees and other front groups. They can expect returns of billions on the millions they invest. All their investments were legalized by two of the worst Supreme Court decisions ever, Citizen’s United and McCutcheon. Their millions make our few dollars totally insignificant. No doubt if Joni Ernst gets elected you can bet she will be working for the people that put her there – The Kochs and their compadres.
And all those folks that voted for her expecting – what? – will have been fooled into voting for a candidate whose true agenda is more government goodies for the rich and possibly, just possibly a wee bit of trickle down for them. Remember, government by the likes of Joni Ernst has resulted in exponential growth in income for the Kochs and a net loss for you and me since Ronald Reagan.
Ernst – A commodity just like gold or corn. It is what the wealthy are investing in this year.