I’m an outsider. I really can’t address the question asked in this post’s title with any legitimacy, but I won’t deny that it’s the first thing I thought of when I read this story from The Rothenberg Political Report.
Does it flabbergast anyone else, inside or outside Louisiana? I’m not saying that it’s not a need that gubernatorial candidates must meet (to spend obscene quantities of money that people like me keep thinking would be better spent actually providing direct aid rather than electing someone who promises to help but may or may not be able to), but the juxtaposition of that size war chest with the images and written stories of the ongoing clean-up and reconstruction of New Orleans creates a paradox, at the very least. Not to mention the other needs of Louisiana.
But, like I said, I’m an outsider, just wondering – how much of the $5 mil. that Representative Bobby Jindal (R-1) (he lost to current Gov. Kathleen Blanco in 2003) has raised for his gubernatorial run is from LA? How much did he have before? And if a large chunk of that $5 mil is from LA, which demographic? And what might those donors be neglecting or avoiding or hoping to make go away by plumping up this particular candidate?
Just as an analogy: I felt the same way about the Issue 3/Ohio Learn and Earn effort. Private citizens spent over $20 million on a failed and flawed initiative to legalize casinos and gambling in Ohio last year. Purportedly for financial higher education benefits. And it failed.
And the millions spent over the years by Capri Cafaro who eventually was appointed to the Ohio state senate she now occupies. I found her expenditures quizzical because of how she had to move around to find a place to run, including places she’d never lived and doesn’t live now. It’s legal, and people move for jobs all the time, and she (and everyone else) can spend her money anyway she likes, but that doesn’t mean I have to think it’s right or proper.
This spending of money for a job, for a career, goes on and on and the 2008 presidential candidates are looking at a $1 billion campaign between now and 11/08. That literally makes me feel ill. It’s just not right – there is something clinically wrong with it.
What does this industry of political campaigns and elections say about our priorities?
We want good leadership, better leadership. We want to do with our money what we want to do with our money. But we also want to complain about poverty, the uninsured, the disabled, the elderly, the homeless and other sectors of our society who are heartbreakingly unrepresented and underrepresented – while Hillary and Barack raise more than $25 million by the end of the first quarter of 2007.
But I digress, sort of, but not really.
Redhorse today reports that John Breaux will not be the opposing Democrat in the LA gov race. So it remains to be seen whether Jindal will even have to spend his money. Even so, somehow, I don’t see him giving any of it back or to other causes, or more worthy causes, or other more worthy causes, than his ascendency.
I’ve emailed this post to a college buddy who grew up in NOLA, had her childhood family home destroyed by Katrina and only last fall moved back to her home with her husband and child. I look forward to getting her opinion.