Showing the same business savvy that tanked the finance industry, the wealthy mega-donors of Republican SuperPACs are waking up to the fact that they got played by a bunch of political hacks that managed to massage the financiers bruised egos while fleecing the rich and mega-rich alike to the tune of hundreds of thousands to hundreds of millions of dollars.
It turns out that a swath of the financial industry is no more adept at handling campaign money as they were in dealing with American mortgages.
From the outset let me say a few things. One, I am not a Communist. Two, I am not opposed to people making money. Three, I am a former Treasury Department spokesperson and have a lot of respect for many, but not all, of the people that work in the financial sector.
The American financial industry has been a source of comparative advantage for our national economy. A large number of actors in the industry have played by the rules, become wealthy and made others money as employees or stockholders, directly or through retirement plans.
But the fact of the matter is that the global financial industry brought down the global economy. A lot of bad actors walked away without legal ramifications.
Everyone in the industry, good actors and bad, ought to expect a an amount of deserved heat and attention for a while – at a minimum until the economy is in full recovery.
But the industry rejected the heat and has returned some of its bad behavior, which is why New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has filed a lawsuit against Bear Sterns and JP Morgan Chase for allegedly selling garbage subprime mortgage-backed securities to unsuspecting investors.
Some contrition at some point would have gone a long way. But collectively the Titans of Wall Street did not have it in them.
And they cry all the way to the bank when politicians point out that the very industry that tanked the economy gets a special protected low tax rate at a time when the people they knocked out of jobs are struggling to feed and shelter their families.
It was a message that was difficult for those used to hearing from the sycophants and yes men they employ.
A large and vocal part of the wealthiest Americans has become unhinged over this. And the mega-rich SuperPAC donors have engaged in class warfare at an unprecedented level.
The mega-rich have found their way to get revenge. Thanks to the Citizens United decision by the Supreme Court they are able to attempt to buy the 2012 election and put in power people that are more sympathetic to their perceived entitlement to live as they want, fleece who they want and not hear any back talk from Washington.
The collective emotional catharsis that Karl Rove and other SuperPAC profiteers offered wealthy donors cost donors a fairly substantial amount of money, at least by conventional standards.
They would have been wiser, or at least more economically efficient, to invest in actual therapy.
Incidentally, the financiers money may have attracted enough Republican campaign talent from actually working on campaigns that the Republican Convention and a number of campaigns have been poorly run while SuperPACs, that are not producing Republican victories, most certainly made their workers a lot of money by campaign standards.
It is called poor money management. It is called incompetence. It is also called arrogance.
The belief that you can just write a check, or write check after check after check, so that Karl Rove can take a cut off the top, then the ad guy can take a cut, and the pollster get their cut and then another large portion goes to overhead, then you are paying a massive premium for running the ad that campaigns do not.
Campaigns pay the lowest possible rate for ads. SuperPACs pay the market rate, which can be five to ten times more expensive in some cases.
It would not be surprising to later learn that 5 to 10 million SuperPAC dollars on the right went as far as 1 million dollars went for the Obama campaign.
No matter the disparity, it is clear that Democrats have shown a greater propensity to spend money wisely. At the end of the day, that is what America needs.
And the wealthy SuperPAC donors got what they needed too: an expensive vehicle to vent their anger at President Obama.
About Bill Buck
Bill Buck is a Democratic strategist, President of the Buck Communications Group, a media relations and new media strategies consulting business based in Washington, DC, and Managing Director of the online ad firm Influence DSP. He has over twenty years of international and national communications experience. The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of CBS Local.
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