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One thing I don't understand is why no one talks about what really happens with political advertising money and how it inevitably ends up in the pockets of pro-Republican broadcasters and corporations.  Everyone talks about the money going in.  NO ONE talks about where that money ends up.  I am truly mystified by the unquestioning willingness of progressives to donate their hard-earned money to progressive campaigns, who in turn hand that money over immediately to pro-corporate broadcasters.  I'm not saying I know the answer to this dilemma, but it is a cycle which will always play in Republicans' favor in the long run and allow them to buy more and more advertising over time as revenues increase.

I hear someone shouting "troll" -- it's absolutely not the case.  I'm questioning how we can get messages across without pouring money into the pockets of people who will then use it to promote the opposite message in a perpetual cycle.  These are people whose money will not run out, as it ends up basically being filtered from one to another with almost unlimited TV ads in the middle, whereas ours disappears forever once that ad it helped to fund runs.

Follow me over the orange non-Hancock if you are interested.

Republicans essentially have a money laundering system in place when it comes to television advertising.... their money stays solidly in the hands of corporations the whole time.  It goes from one to another, perhaps.  But it is solidly being used to promote Republican and corporate causes... and cycles itself right back to readiness for that purpose immediately.

Democrats, however, are essentially giving money to Republicans that they will never, ever see again.  Small donors, the millions that President Obama is rightfully proud of, are turning over funds to run ads at prices inflated grossly by Republican broadcasters.  They donate those funds, the ads run, and the next time that money is used for advertising purposes, it will be used to promote Republican causes.... indefinitely.

Again, I don't know the solution.  I am asking why it is not discussed more frequently.  And asking what, perhaps, can be done about it.  I understand, this time, that Obama has a lead over an incredibly inept candidate.  What if the Republican candidate were not so inept?  How can we tackle these things without just feeding the money we barely have into a system that will always reward conservatives in the long run because their funding is in a never-ending perpetual cycle, while our money just drains away?

Any thoughts?  Mainly, I don't understand why this is not talked about all the time.  Truly......

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lujane, 2thanks, James Hepburn, kurt, George3

    "The law of love will work, just as the law of gravitation will work, whether we accept it or not...." -- Mahatma Gandhi

    by waydownsouth on Wed Sep 19, 2012 at 12:12:22 PM PDT

  •  Combating Citizens United w/o an Amendment (7+ / 0-)

    A Way to Combat Citizens United without a Constitutional amendment

    The real issue is money in politics, and there's actually a fairly straightforward way to address this. (Note, I did not say easy).

    The single biggest reason that political campaigns need money is to buy airtime on TV and radio, even in this age of Internet. By definition, the public airwaves are public and are regulated by the Federal Communications Commission. By legislation private companies (e.g. broadcasters) are allocated a particular part of the spectrum and allowed to use that for their TV or radio broadcasts, with at this point an extremely minimal requirement to broadcast a certain number of public service announcements in a given period.

    The solution would be to expand and modify the requirement for public service announcements to include free airtime for major Presidential candidates in the primary season, and then for their respective nominees. For example, 60 hours of free airtime during a primary season, and then 100 hours of free airtime from Labor Day to election day, with the stipulation that no spot can be shorter than 5 minutes. It would help level the playing field, and it would get back to a 21st definition of "the commons" that our Founding Fathers understood so well.

    •  We Should Nationalize Cable and Satellite Infra- (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      structure, for distribution, as well which would allow them to be brought into an expanded public communication commons.

      Under the old laws broadcast licenses required frequent renewals and demonstration of programming in the public interest. What broadcasters did back then --Thom Hartmann who was working in radio then often elaborates on this-- was to offer journalistic news as their public service, so that there'd be little examination of their much more lucrative entertainment content. Requirements for airing free political issue and election ads should certainly be included in mandatory public service activity.

      We need that back again too.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Wed Sep 19, 2012 at 12:39:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I agree.... and maybe we play the game until (0+ / 0-)

      we can get politicians in office who will make these kinds of changes.  Maybe we keep it up until we can get a Supreme Court that will overturn Citizens United....

      But maybe the game becomes perpetual and the inevitable drift to the right that is the result of this private system of unlimited money keeps on unabated.

      I suppose that's the question.  And I suppose the game must be played for now....... and there must be diligence about fighting it down the road.......... uhhhh yeah.

      I must admit that when I hear Alan Grayson enthusiastically promoting "money bombs" I imagine the corporate broadcasters receiving the money he generates to run his ads laughing all the way to the bank.... and back.  I love Alan Grayson.  But "money bombs"?  Yeah, I guess so........ guess that's where we are, even with our most progressive candidates.

      "The law of love will work, just as the law of gravitation will work, whether we accept it or not...." -- Mahatma Gandhi

      by waydownsouth on Wed Sep 19, 2012 at 12:41:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Money is for spending. Money that is not (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    spent is worthless. It is unlikely that dollars spent on advertising will stay in anyone's pocket.
    Also, what can be charged for electronic political advertising is fixed. Not to mention the time available for doing so.
    Although campaigns keep soliciting funds to the last minute, buys have to be made, often by some state deadline and when there's no more time, it doesn't make any difference how much money is left.
    In some states, ads have to be paid ahead of time. Salaries for staff and facilities can be paid after and account for why some campaigns end up with debts.
    When Carol Shea-Porter was elected from NH in 2006, she had no debts at the end.  This came as an unpleasant surprise to the DCCC, which wanted to make a contribution after the fact since they'd ignored that race entirely. The DCCC didn't come through in 2010 either, when Americans for Prosperity flooded the state to elect a nebbish. Lot of good that did them since the Congress was essentially moribund for two years.

    We organize governments to provide benefits and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Wed Sep 19, 2012 at 12:51:05 PM PDT

    •  I don't really agree with the first few (0+ / 0-)

      things you say here.... it seems to negate the idea of saving money and putting your money into the pockets of people who might promote a more progressive view of the world.  Wouldn't the money we're speaking of be better, say, in the pocket of someone raising local organic produce than of some massive corporation?

      Anyway, probably nothing to argue about here, really.  I just think your first few sentences ignore the fact that it does make a difference where you spend your money...... and it does matter if it ends up in the coffers of some massive corporation or of an entity more aligned with values that encourage ways of life that benefit rather than destroy the planet.

      "The law of love will work, just as the law of gravitation will work, whether we accept it or not...." -- Mahatma Gandhi

      by waydownsouth on Wed Sep 19, 2012 at 01:06:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Yes, and when people spend money on food their (0+ / 0-)

    money ends up going to corporations as well. The obvious solution is for all progressives to go hungry.

    FWIW, ad prices for political ads are not not inflated by the opponents' ads. Campaigns have to get the best ad rates by law.

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