Saturday, August 01, 2015

Republicans Audition for Big Money

By THE EDITORIAL BOARD, NYT
JULY 31, 2015

A definitive event in the plutocratic spending binge now engulfing presidential politics is taking place in Orange County, Calif., this weekend. The Koch brothers and 450 of their most affluent allies are auditioning a select group of Republican candidates, who are vying to get a share of the whopping $889 million pledged by these donors for the presidential race next year.

“For that kind of money, you could buy yourself a president,” said Mark McKinnon, a Republican strategist, who is wary of the influence of big money in politics. “Oh, right. That’s the point.” Mr. McKinnon’s point is well taken. American politics has never seen such a sluiceway of unlimited special-interest money — much of it anonymous corporate money loosed by a misguided Supreme Court — put to shopping for and burnishing the Republican candidate-most-likely.

Donald Trump, the party’s embarrassing front-runner, and a half dozen others were unapologetically weeded out from the pack. The Koch umbrella group sponsoring the forum, the Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, granted five candidates a hearing at the gathering of billionaire and millionaire check writers: former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida, Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin and Carly Fiorina, the former chief executive of Hewlett-Packard.

(More here.)

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