Money Down the Drain

14sign_roadAs I was driving through town last week observing the many political signs placed in front of homes, businesses and schools, I started thinking, as I had two years ago, about the expense of running an election. One of the high profile spenders was from my state, Linda McMahon, who spent $50MM on her bid to become Senator.  Meg Whitman of eBay fame vying for the California governership, spent almost 120 million, $47 for each vote that she received.  Both women lost.  And oh, how that money could have been spent more wisely.

Almost four billion dollars were spent on political campaigns for the mid term elections.  That money could have gone such a long way in supporting education programs, community programs, feeding the homeless.   I would be thrilled if our political candidates could get their message out via media sources, public rallies and debates only.  After all, a poster in a yard or a postcard in the mail with a couple of sound bytes doesn’t tell me much about the candidate anyways.  When it comes down to it, I receive my most informative and actionable details for what shapes my thinking through the media, my friends, and public appearances by the candidates – not their many off colored commercials and direct mail.

Has anyone had these same thoughts?


  • Sharon Says:
    11-5-2010 07:42:58

    I have had the exact same thoughts, Anne, and couldn’t agree more. It’s not only a waste of money, but sometimes the negative campaigning backfires, which I think might be a good thing. The only way to change this is campaign finance reform, but what politician, once he/she has won, is going to vote for that?

  • Mary Says:
    11-5-2010 13:34:26

    Thanks for putting this out there, Anne. Every election cycle, I say to my son, “Do you know how many hungry people we could feed with the money that’s being spent on these campaigns?” He agrees, and then we go on with our lives. I would venture to say that most Wise Women have had thoughts along these lines. Maybe it is time that we move it beyond thought.

  • Cindy's Coffeehouse Says:
    11-6-2010 12:50:06

    Anne, I feel the same way. I’d love to see a better way of bringing information to voters than expensive but misleading media campaigns that involve TV commercials, glossy mailers (we were FLOODED with them this year) and robo-calls.

    Every two years, during election season, I think the REAL winners are the media corporations that benefit from millions spent on political ads!

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