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November 4, 2014

Costs for Getting Votes

Harry M. Covert

On this day of astonishment when expensive public duty comes to a closure just a little bit, time may well be on tap to consider the incredible amounts of money needed for public office.


If consultants, poll-takers and other experts are correct, over a billion dollars will have been spent throughout the nation so far for all of the elections. The intelligentsia certainly is in charge of governing.


As the ballots will be counted this evening, revelries of all sorts with adult beverages will be ongoing. There will be either celebrating or crying and while this is going on, people should think about the “buying of the people.”


Those who get the most votes and positions for public service, the real winners will be the broadcasters and print publications. There are others, too, who benefit, like direct mail providers, the massive telephoners and blasting emailers. It is exciting to know that the good citizens of all persuasions become friends with those on high.


The joy of politics is awesome. It is thrilling, for lots of supporters to be able to contribute to favorites and listen to the rabble rousers, the canaille to be accurate, who can get into name-calling in a big way. Integrity of candidates can be torn to shreds whether the words are true or not. This is the American way, of course.


All of the wizards like to bring up those of the proletariat, the bourgeoisie, and the middle class or to be blunt, the poor people. They all talk about “better this” and “better that.” With few exceptions it is all claptrap or hooey. It is always amusing to listen to everyone calling for better education, better policing, better libraries, and other obfuscations only heard about during the audacious electioneering.


Maybe it’s more than time to reconsider the vote-getting longevity. All of the cable news shows are now so partisan it’s hard to keep up with the regular news – murder and mayhem on streets or financial hi-jinx on stock exchanges. Cable sports keep the public aware of all athletic endeavors, not only the games, but the private lives of the “greats,” many of whom are so over-paid their private lives get in the way. Whoever heard of so many domestic quarrels where fisticuffs became so popular?


How many candidates supporting improved education have dared to comment on the collegiate academy deficiencies for athletes? No name calling, please.


Some 64 years ago a far west university football coach had the perfect idea for recruiting athletes. It’s pretty good for these days. Football recruiters should find three teams, one for offense, one for defense and one to go to class. Naturally this thinking is not necessary around Frederick County or the rest of the state.


College sports are a good example of why politics on all levels has become so expensive. Civic-minded residents do make a difference and always have the bite put on them. Volunteers seem to be exiting from the scene. Why knock on doors, carry signs, make phone calls when some recompense is available? Again, that’s not true in Frederick. I did hear that some illegal immigrants have been introduced to los estados unidos procedures and have enjoyed the welcome mats. Of course, this was elsewhere with tacos and burritos to “live mas.”


It is concerning that elections have become so expensive. It would be good for shorter campaigns, less funding but, it won’t happen. There is a constitutional guarantee for free speech and spending money for favorite leaders.


So, maybe another discussion on the cost of votes may be worthwhile. Too late, of course; the vaults have been opened.


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