Editorial: Money talks

Days away from the presidential election our American neighbours are finding out how much $2 billion looks like.

Days away from the presidential election our American neighbours are finding out how much $2 billion looks like.

And it’s looking a lot like a massive money-pit, championed by negative spin doctors.

Comparing Mitt Romney and Barack Obama, the New York Times, has an impressive list of money raised, spent, allocated and leftover.

Obama’s team, to the end of September, had raised $934M and spent $852.9M. Mitt Romney’s camp had raised $881.8M and spent $752.2M.

As of Oct.17, Obama had reserves of $134.7M, while Romney sat a bit prettier (by cash flow standards) with a total of $193.3M in reserves.

Overwhelming TV ads, door-knocking, mail-outs, pop-up ads, print, radio – name it and the two candidates have covered their campaign bases.

And while no one can scoff at the power of advertising, the massive ad campaigns launched by both parties has turned the election into an ad campaign, rather than an issue-based one.

And it seems both camps knew it from the get go.

This is the first year both presidential candidates agreed to opt out of a system that sets limits on how much each party can raise and spend. Had they went with the financing system of capping funding efforts, both would have been tied to a maximum of approximately $100M.

But it seems both knew they would raise and spend much more.

It raises concerns of outside money sources, influential big-money backers and reeks of a need for financing reform.

The American people should be paying attention to the issues, the candidates and their platforms, not who had the most commercials or the best zingers.

 

This type of over-financed, un-regulated campaigning leaves far too much room for further corruption and big money controlling our already endangered democratic system.