Thursday, January 03, 2008

One Versus Ninety-Nine

In an NPR story on new Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and his promised clean-up of that state's politics, it's mentioned that Jindal raised more than $13 million for his campaign.

Not a problem, one longtime Louisiana Capitol watcher told NPR. "You hope that if everyone buys him, no one owns him," he said.

He hopes.

His hope is a false one. In a system that's supposed to be government of the people, by the people and for the people, only a tiny percentage of the people are doing the buying. If you look at every last donor in the Democracy Campaign's searchable computer database of contributors to campaigns in our state, the total number of individuals you'll find represents about 1% of Wisconsin's voting age population. I'm sure it's pretty much the same in Louisiana.

There's the rub with the money in politics. If 1% buy our politicians, then that same 1% own them. And you know where that leaves the other 99%. Taxed, but not represented.

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