Public office for sale; is it the new American way? | Arkansas Blog

Monday, June 16, 2014

Public office for sale; is it the new American way?

Posted By on Mon, Jun 16, 2014 at 6:59 AM

An Illinois businessman has now given $3.6 million to the Republican candidate for governor in that state. There are tens of millions more where that came from.

The post-Citizens United era will bring ever more cases of government for sale to the highest bidder.

With it comes the question: Do voters really want this? In our system, you have to think so by their election of the people that shape Supreme Court majorities and run for office on a platform of richest-take-all.

(Some outliers like Eric Cantor and David Sterling don't disprove the thesis.)

It's afoot in Arkansas, if you didn't know. You can buy our legislature cheaply.  A million bucks or so has given the Koch Bros. a budgetary veto in the state Senate. The Waltons probably spent less than that in direct campaign contributions to elect a legislature in thrall to their pet ideas on "school reform." Winning judicial candidates got the job done with a few hundred thousand in nursing home money.

Arkansas still retains limits on direct contributions to political campaigns, but there's nothing to stop Warren Stephens, Jim Walton or Bill Dillard from writing a $2.5 million check for an independent expenditure for a candidate of their choice. As in Illinois, they'd still have plenty left over.

As wealth grows and concentrates, voters are going to have more occasions to contemplate if this is healthy.

Tags: , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (5)

Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • North Little Rock mayor shows downtown plaza plan

    North Little Rock Mayor Joe Smith is presenting a plan to the City Council tonight for a downtown plaza meant to augment planned private developments and further enhanced downtown as a destination.
    • Sep 25, 2017
  • Attorney general asks for continued secrecy on execution drugs

    As expected, Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has asked the Arknasas Supreme Court for an "emergency stay" of a lower court ruling that the Correction Department must produce labels from one of the drugs used in executions.
    • Sep 25, 2017
  • Groups seek end to commercial collection of wild turtles

    Several environmental organizations to end commercial turtle collection in Arkansas.The harvests (more than 126,000 turtles from 2014 to 2016) are not sustainable and that, in turn, is damaging to ecosystems, the groups said.
    • Sep 25, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

Most Shared

  • Bad health care bill, again

    Wait! Postpone tax reform and everything else for a while longer because the Senate is going to try to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act one more time before September ends and while it can do it with the votes of only 50 senators.
  • Sex on campus

    Look, the Great Campus Rape Crisis was mainly hype all along. What Vice President Joe Biden described as an epidemic of sexual violence sweeping American college campuses in 2011 was vastly overstated.
  • The inadequate legacy of Brown

    LRSD continues to abdicate its responsibility to educate poor black students.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation