Thursday, December 8, 2016

You can't buy a Senate seat, but cronyism can get you the SBA

Linda McMahon finally has that job in politics she has been wanting.  She has been an object lesson in something that Jennifer Steen tried to teach people years ago, but nobody wanted to hear.  And you had probably forgotten about her!

Back in 2010, when Republicans could only lose an election if they tried (and oh how they tried:  see O'Donnell, Christine), wrestling executive Linda McMahon tried to buy herself a Senate seat in Connecticut.  And I do mean "buy."  She's rich, thanks to a bunch of redneck fuckwits and children.  She spent a lot of her money in 2010 trying to buy that Connecticut Senate seat, and if the whiney little goo-goos* were correct in their assessment that elections simply went to the highest bidder, she would have won.  Nope!  Despite her money and the 2010 Republican wave, McMahon had about as much chance as a wrestler with the writers against her.

Now, I know what you're thinking.  New England!  Republican!  Excuse me, but Scott Brown had just won the Massachusetts Senate seat in a special election earlier that year.

But, McMahon is nothing if not persistent!  So, in 2012, she tried again.  And lost again.  Ha!

Which brings us to the research of Jennifer Steen.  Money is funny, and not just the counterfeit stuff.  Challengers in legislative elections seem to benefit more from it than incumbents.  Why?  Mainly, they need name recognition.  But, it only does you any good if you have a resume that voters are willing to accept.  Inexperienced candidates lose.  Period.  You know who self-funds their campaigns?  Inexperienced candidates (with money, obviously).  Why?  They can't get anyone else to give them money!

So, you're rich.  Even so, why would you spend your own money if you could spend someone else's?  That, in short, is why most self-financed candidates lose.  Go read Steen's book, and quit whining about rich people trying to buy elections.  They fail.

And then you forget about them!  Did you remember Linda McMahon?  Why did Trump?  That wrestling thing.  President Camacho was involved in the WWF for a while.  Were it not for that, nobody but campaign finance junkies would remember Linda McMahon, who will now head the Small Business Administration for her troubles.

Hey, at least it's something, right?  Now, quit whining about rich people trying to buy seats in Congress.  All she got was the SBA, and that was cronyism.  Totally different.

*pejorative term for "good government activists"

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