By Peak News Contributor Dave Diepenbrock
When Barack Obama makes a U-turn, he's a superb stunt driver. Obama just embraced Super PAC spending to help his re-elect. He'll make available “senior White House advisers and campaign staff" to beg fat cats for bucks. That's change from, “I don’t think American elections should be bankrolled by America’s most powerful interests. They should be decided by the American people.” Bring on the bankrolls, boys! Forget (euphemistically) the people.
But Obama's fat cat connection already existed. Consider Super Bowl ads, where major Democratic donors took care of spreading Obama's message (reviewing this Super Bowl ad rundown).
- The ballyhooed Chrysler “It's Halftime America” echoed Obama's statement that he's only halfway through 'fixing' the economy. The auto workers' pension plan owns nearly half of Chrysler – and auto workers have huge political cash, 95%+ going to Democrats, $27.5 million to federal politics plus $28.1 million to state level politics (h/t opensecrets.org and followthemoney.org).
- GE, a huge beneficiary of Obama stimulus cash, had its “manufacturing is back” ads to boost that Obama meme – and GE gave $13.8 million to Democrats. GM's Chevy had a duo, “Looks Like We Made It” (don't Obama hope!) and “Stunt” featuring the singer Monae doing “We Are Young.” It's purely a coincidence that:
- Monae appeared at an Obama fundraiser,
- Chevy's agency picked the music “before pairing it with the ad's footage,”
- agency partner Democrat donor Goodby touted Obama on HuffPo, and that (courtesy Obamachinations)
- General Motors Company “operates as a subsidiary of United States Department of The Treasury.”
Such iconic American businesses shouldn't smell of cronyism.
It don't stop in DC, folks.
Federal campaign giving aside, Colorado-connected unions have given over $16 million for Colorado politics. It is a truism that union bucks go primarily to Democrats. Less appreciated is that typical Democratic state legislators depend very heavily on union cash. As a single example, Rep. Peniston's campaign got 54% of her donations from unions (excluding some self-funding cash).
Especially for public sector unions the nexus is taxes. Higher taxes may produce higher salaries. So, again with Peniston as an example, where was she on this issue? In February 2010, Peniston backed nine separate tax hikes that were considered just one day. And then voted to stop seniors' property tax relief on May 12.
Let's compare state employee and private sector annual wages Colorado, starting with 2007 (before the Great Recession) and ending in 2010, when voters put Republicans in control of the State House (to stop the Democrats' tax hikathon).[BLS, QCEW data]
- Private sector employees got raises across those years of 4.99% or $2,279;
- State government employees got raises (same years) of 9.6% or $4,484.
(Peak Note: See a more truthful version of the Chrystler ad below, courtesy of the Reason Foundation)