Some people call it obscene — the money being spent on political campaigns. It’s nothing short of amazing to the average citizen to learn about the money that is donated to political candidates.
Take the Missouri campaign for the U.S. Senate between the Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill and her Republican challenger Josh Hawley. Millions have been poured into the two candidates’ campaign coffers. McCaskill has received the most since Democrats want to gain the House majority to push their agenda. They need McCaskill to help do it. The Republicans want to do the same, but GOP donors have been slower to open their billfolds to the Missouri attorney general, who is pretty much an unknown.
The Associated Press reported this week that Hawley raised about $3.4 million and spent nearly $2.9 million in recent months. McCaskill outraised Hawley by bringing in $8.5 million and spent $17.5 million between July and the end of September. Hawley ended September with $3.5 million cash on hand compared to McCaskill’s roughly $3.2 million.
This campaign for the Senate must be the most expensive in the state’s history.
Hawley’s ads are trying to get across to voters that McCaskill and her husband have become rich because of McCaskill’s influence in the federal government. The truth is McCaskill married a wealthy man and was not involved in using her influence as a senator to help him in his dealings that involved the federal government. She has been unfairly attacked in Hawley’s advertising.
In too many political races, money has influenced the outcome of elections. The politicians, especially their handlers, know that many voters aren’t paying close attention to the issues, and if enough damaging seeds are planted, true or untrue, they can obtain votes. They use TV ads to smear opponents. The ads are expensive. The money needed to compete discourages would-be candidates.
The political scene for too many years has been corrupted by money.