Dark money — and the ultimate human representation of dark money, that being the Koch Brothers — should probably terrify you. You can ultimately look at this in 1 of 2 ways, best I can tell:
- To have a set of 2-3 people and their network throwing so much money at the political process basically defeats the idea of the political process.
- They’re rich, and whatever you think about how they got rich, they earned the ability to do what they want with their money. Being rich doesn’t always physically mean you have a lot of money; it means you have flexibility with your time and decisions, give or take.
I tend to gravitate towards No. 1 above. But there’s some more bad news.
Following this bouncing ball:
- The Koch Brothers might spend $1 billion on the 2016 elections.
- That’s about $200 million+ more than anyone raised in 2012.
- 17 allied groups in the Koch Brothers’ Freedom Partners network raised about $407 million in 2012; the number here is about $889 million. That’s double and then some.
- Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, and Scott Walker all hit up the weekend event the Koch Brothers threw in Palm Springs, CA. Wonder why.
- Most of those guys, while at the Palm Springs event, defended outside spending.
You can write entire books on money in politics — heck, people have done that — and this is but a simple blog post. I’m not trying to change the world here; I’m just ruminating on something.
Even if you look at the idea of “The Koch Brothers” as really a network of 300 or so people, that’s still about 0.000001 percent of the United States funneling a billion dollars into a Presidential election cycle and having a drastic play around its outcome. I personally think the GOP side doesn’t look great right now — in terms of candidate possibilities or their Electoral College layout — but still, lest we forget the words of Sean Parker:
When you see ideas like this or this around inequality and you scoff at it — or you have the attitude like “Well, the rich earned that money, so they can play with it!” — I think you’re a seriously misguided person. I don’t people it’s the responsibility of society to be completely equal — that’s a utopia — but I do believe more than 300 or so people should be drastically impacting the 2016 elections. Or, at the very least, could we base these things more on ideas than money?