Since it’s the week of Thanksgiving, I think it’s an appropriate time to reflect upon a few of the collective activities that have recently happened in our lives. And… since most people can relate to food and traveling this time of year, let’s name the positive activity list “homemade pumpkin pie” and the negative list can be called “sitting on the Pike.”
So let’s start with the number one activity at the top of my “homemade pumpkin pie” list.
Thank God the election is over!
I was beginning to fear that my television was being possessed by the Elizabeth Warren, Scott Brown, Obama and Romney campaigns. I got so tired of watching the truth get twisted to meet both side’s objectives. Did you ever think you could actually miss watching a Bob’s Discount Furniture Store television commercial? Seriously, I missed the annoying woman in the background that makes all those ridiculous movements. Such a sense of relief filled my heart on November 7th when I heard Bob say “NO WAY, NO HOW” and the woman shook her head back and forth while waving her arms across her chest.
Did you find yourself watching the Weather Channel before and after the “Local on the Eights” segments just to get a break from the never ending battle between the two opposing parties? We burned up our DVR minutes in just one week recording shows so we could skip the commercials.
But those groups are crafty. They knew we’d turn off television and go to the Internet and sure enough, they were waiting for us right there on every search engine. I Googled “easy Halloween decorations” and got an ad for Mitt Romney. Every time I checked the news on AOL, Michelle Obama wanted me to wish her husband a Happy Birthday. How many does he have? Maybe Donald Trump is on to something. Don’t even get me started on the emails I got from candidates that weren’t running in our state.
How about your snail-mailbox? I needed a tote bag just to bring in the ads from Warren, Brown, Fattman and Bourque. I can’t imagine the amount of money this election has cost the postal service in gas and human resources to process and deliver all that extra mail.
Did you think the radio was a safe place to hide? Yeah, we did too until we started counting the ads against the number of songs. Talk radio? I’ve never heard so many different opinions all trying to say the same thing.
Newspaper? We’d better not go down that road because it could be considered a career limiting gesture.
Okay, being a firm believer in the democratic process, let’s allow for equal time and see what’s at the top of my “sitting on the Pike” list.
Ahhh, wouldn’t you know - it’s the same thing. Why? Because, I am shocked and disgusted at the amount of money that was spent on two of the most important campaigns in our country.
Again, since it’s Thanksgiving, let’s start right here in Massachusetts where it all began. (Hold on to your drumsticks as this maybe a real shocker.) Remember all of those Scott Brown and Elizabeth Warren ads that we’re now trying to forget? Well let’s do the math.
Per the NY Times and Fox News, Warren spent $35,694,573 on her campaign and garnered 1,678,408 votes. That’s $21.27 a vote. Brown spent $29,726,635 on his campaign and received 1,449,180 votes for a cost of $20.50 a vote.
President Obama spent $852.9 million (they round it off when the numbers get that big because anything under a million is just small potatoes) and 61,173,730 votes said Yes! to our Commander in Chief. This computes to $13.94 a vote. His opponent, Mitt Romney spent $752.3 million for 58,167,260 votes at a bargain price of $12.93 per vote.
Since we’re known as “Thrifty New Englanders” let’s take this hour or two we’re stuck in heavy traffic sitting on the turnpike and think not only about those figures but also about the tidy little sum of $629 million that the 1,063 “Super PACS” spent supporting their candidates. Since the candidate didn’t buy and or approve the ads, they don’t have to add them into the campaign figures.
Who or what is a super PAC? Did you forget about the ads from Restore Our Future, a pro-Mitt Romney super PAC that spent more than $143 million? How about American Crossroads, a conservative super PAC that spent $105 million? The biggest Obama supporter, Priorities USA Action, spent $67.4 million.
So if you combine the approved and unapproved advertising campaigns, it reaches and impressive total of $3.234 billion (billions get rounded off too).
I don’t know about you, but that information ruined my appetite for the parties, their PACS and Thanksgiving dinner. Isn’t it illegal to buy for a vote? Isn’t it equally illegal to sell a vote? Since I’ve worked very hard these past 12 months to lose 86 pounds, I don’t want to go to jail and wear stripes or the color orange. I don’t look good in either one. So I am objecting to the perception that I’d be agreeable to having either one done on my behalf.
Furthermore, since I neither asked to sell my vote nor wanted someone buy it, I’d like to have a say in how that money should have been spent. So once again, let’s do the math. I voted for Brown and Obama so that equals to $34.54 for my collective votes. I’d like to have that money spent on something this American could really believe in and knows it would help us go forward. I’d like to have that $34.54 spent on educating our children and helping those of us who really want to go to college.
Look at your choices and decide how much the candidate spent to buy your vote. Then think of all the ways that money could have been better spent to really make a difference in America. Something that will help all of us all move forward.
I know when the next presidential or state campaign comes around (that’s only 765 days away for the presidential), I’m going to be watching for both the number of ads and whom the super PACS support and vote for the other candidate.
- Friday, 23 November 2012
- Posted in Categories: : Ginger Costen's From This Corner