Sunday, March 30, 2008

How Much Will Change Cost?

Each of the remaining candidates in the US primary elections hopes to present him/herself as a candidate of “change”. But after viewing their campaign fundraising and expense reports for Feb. 2008 I am left asking “just how much will “change” cost?”

According to the website :

“ The candidates for president have broken nearly all fundraising records, amassing approximately $800 million even before the two major parties choose their nominees for the November ballot. By some predictions, the eventual nominees will need to raise $500 million apiece to compete—a record sum.”

Here is an abbreviated version on the US primary campaign finance records report that appears on
OpenSecrets. The reports for March are due April 20th.

These number are amazing and when you take in consideration that the US is, in my opinion, in recession, they are mind-boggling.

Where are they getting this money?

In an article for Forbes, entitled
Voting with Their Wallets, Andrew Gillies reported:

“ So far in the 2008 election cycle, Barack Obama has pulled in the most dollars from folks working for the 118 companies that make up the Forbes Beltway Index.

Using data from the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan research group in Washington, D.C., we tallied individual contributions made this year and last, through March 3, for Hillary Clinton, John McCain and Obama.

The Center for Responsive Politics' database, searchable here, tracks individual contributions of $200 or greater, as smaller contributions are not part of the public record. Note also that we did not survey contributions made to political action committees.

By the individual contributions measure, Obama's take adds up to $962,000 from people working at Forbes Beltway Index companies. Clinton and McCain, respectively, show contributions of $771,000 and $525,000.

For those unfamiliar with the Forbes Beltway Index, it is our means of monitoring the stock market performance of publicly held companies that have a significant business attachment to the federal government. Its ranks include the biggest federal contractors, government-sponsored enterprises, and companies enjoying significant competitive advantages thanks to federal policy.."

And, believe it or not, some of the money is coming from the subprime mortgage industry.

In a recent WSJ article entitled “
Subprime Politics” , Christopher Cooper reported:

“ Opensecrets also provides industry-wide data. According to the site, Sen. Clinton has taken in $199,000 from employees of mortgage lenders, compared with $168,000 for Sen. Obama and $58,000 for Sen. McCain. Sen. Obama leads her slightly among employees of commercial banks, at $1.28 million to $1.22 million.

Adding up donations from mortgage companies, banks, private-equity and hedge-fund firms -- all industries involved in subprime lending -- Sen. Clinton has drawn $2.8 million in donations, compared with $2.67 million for Sen. Obama and $1.28 million for Sen. McCain.

Employees of Bear Stearns Cos. -- the Wall Street firm that recently agreed to be bought by J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. after a funding crisis brought on in part by bad mortgage-related investments -- gave a combined $122,000 to Sen. Clinton, $41,000 to Sen. Obama and almost $59,000 to Sen. McCain, according to Opensecrets.”

How Much Will “Change” Cost?

And, who is going to foot the final bill?

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cross-posted at the Care2 Election Blog

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