Give ’em Enough Rope
Today’s ruling upends the nation’s campaign finance laws, allowing corporations and labor unions to spend freely on behalf of political candidates.
What I really want to see from this is full-on corporate endorsement of candidates, absolute commitment past the point of product placement in tv spots to actually inserting a company’s logo onto candidate signs — “Joe Jones for Congress” next to an American Flag and GE’s cursive circle.
This could work, too: a candidate endorsed and funded by Goldman Sachs is presented as someone with sound ideas of fiscal responsibility. The Pepsi candidate is focused on young people’s interests. The Wal-Mart candidate is someone who wants to build solid jobs in smalltown America, and his primary funder recognizes his ability to serve the interests of the rural people who depend on big-box stores for their goods, services, and livelihood.
What I suggest is a simple co-mingling of the money and the message. Get in front of the inevitable scandal that emerges every time a reporter shovels out the striking truth that (audible gasp) a guy running for the state Senate is funded in large part by an energy company by having said company’s marketing team run the candidate’s campaign. Don’t just admit that you fund the guy — flaunt it. Decry the people who complain that he’ll only serve the company’s interest by reminding them that you, the power company, supply power and therefore know more about it than just about anyone, and you feel that this candidate has a feasible, practical, serviceable energy policy that will help everyone within the company’s umbrella. It’s time for America’s companies to take a more active role in shaping this nation. Or at least a more visible role.
Now: what are the restrictions on foreign companies? Can Gazprom get in on this?