george

I spent my early morning watching MORNING JOE expound on the story that Mr. George Stephanopoulos donated 75 thousand dollars to the Clinton Foundation.    The concern was that Mr. S was going to pursue Republicans harder in interviews and soft pedal the Democrats.  The concern was that Mr. S. would somehow get some particular favors for his donation.  And on and on they went.

 

Then I was watching CBS MORNING, and there was more of the same.  George and his money were scrutinized for their purpose, for his motives, for the effects of the whole affair.

 

This issue will run for a few more days.  Mr. S. has apologized for his ill-considered decision, and that will be that.

 

And that’s what I’m afraid of.

 

Here’s a guy who gave a five-figure donation to a private organization that is allegedly a charitable organization – that organization may or may not have ties to a presidential candidate, who herself (Yes, I’m talking about Hillary Rodham Clinton) claims that there is no overlap in the two areas – no, none at all.

 

And George gets the business from his fellow journalists.  Maybe he should.  But that’s not my point here.

 

We have people who are giving heaps of money to the Political Action Committees – PACs, they call them – that make George S. look like a candy store shoplifter.  George gave 75K – five figures – and these others give six, seven, eight, and even more figures worth of money to those PACs.

 

And where are the stories on those guys?  Where are the questions about the ethics of their intent?  I don’t care if you’re talking about the Koch brothers or George Soros – conservative and liberal respectively – these folks are filling the coffers of these organizations at rates that would fund a small town for a decade.

 

Let’s look at those numbers.

 

George S – his 75 K is pretty much more than what a whole lot of people make in a year.  Let’s say someone out there gives ¾ of a million dollars – that’s ten times more than George.  Or maybe 7.5 million, that’s a 100 times more than George’s donation.  Or hey, 75 million – and we’ve heard of that amount – a good thousand times more than George.  I hesitate to think that there are numbers much larger than that.

 

So my question again:  do we honestly think that all this money that goes into the till of these PACs are all altruistically motivated?  Do we honestly think that there are no expectation of ‘what goes around comes around’ from all this economic windfall?

 

Oh yes, I know – the candidates have no control over what the PACs do or what they fund – that’s what we are told.  I hope there’s more truth to that than I’m willing to give it credit for.  But, I fear that there’s more interplay between the PACs and the candidates than I would care to see.

 

We get the argument that it is ‘freedom of speech’.  I get that, but you know, the problem is that we’re talking here about the quantity of speech rather than the quality of it.

 

I may give a speech and talk at the top of my voice for 3 hours – that’s my right.  But I shouldn’t expect to have a great deal of folks listening for the whole time.  Just because I can blabber louder and longer that the other guy doesn’t mean I should….

 

And the same with money donations to PACs – maybe it’s the same as the guy who talks too much.  It’s abusive.  It’s wrong.  Its bad manners.

 

So let us take a good look at the whole election funding thing.  I would prefer quality over quantity.

 

 

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