Politics, open government, and safe streets. And the constant incursion of cycling.

What is my contribution accomplishing, again?

Chris Bowers highlights a recent Center for Public Integrity study of campaign finance reports. Some noteworthy extracts:

  • About 600 professional consultants were paid more than a combined $1.85 billion in the 2003-2004 federal campaigns.
  • Media consultants, who offer political and strategic advice and handle political advertising, were paid $1.2 billion, or 65 percent of all consultant spending.
  • Direct mail consultants billed the second-largest amount, $298 million, totaling 16 percent of all consultant spending.
  • Consultants routinely pitch campaign plans that rely heavily on their own specialty because there is a financial incentive to do so.
  • Fundraising consultants, whose services are necessitated in large part by the rising amounts campaigns spend on other consultants, cost candidates at least $59 million.

That’s a little shocking, in the aggregate, but it’s something to keep in mind when Chris says this:

When it comes to political contributions and the progressive movement, the flow of money is almost entirely one-way. To the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars, it is sucked out of the movement, and pocketed by the establishment.

It’s something we should all keep in mind, the next time we’re asked for a contribution.


The “First Americans”?


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