$250K is lunch money for Larry Ellison. The _truly_ sad thing about American democracy isn't that the government can be bought; it's that it can be bought so cheaply, relatively speaking. If you want the government to hand over a whole new business line to one of the already-largest and most-successful businesses in the world, you'd think they'd have to drop an amount of money they might actually notice.
I disagree. I think the problem is entirely systemic. I don't think Graham is corrupt, any more than any other Congressman. This is the same problem that the Trump tax returns illustrated. It's all perfectly legal. If you could find a way to pay less tax, you would too. Similarly, if you can get someone to give you campaign dollars for voting a certain way, why _wouldn't_ you sell that vote?
I believe we should fund national-level campaigns with Federal money, depending on the "level" of the race. (And state elections with State money.) Everyone gets the same amount, and all of this nonsense goes away. Will it prevent graft? Of course not, but it would kill the legal-and-public kind.
What makes you think the small-dollar donations are from in state? Graham only raised $11 million during his last election. Raising over $85 million for a South Carolina race is nuts. No doubt the vast majority of that is from out of state.
I didn't mean to imply they were in state. My split up wasn't orthogonal: I just wanted to note the interesting parts were small-money donations (as you note from in and out of state) as well as money from the national committees and PACs.
I believe it’s a bit unclear if all this spending makes much sense. On the other hand, money seems to be pouring in and you need to spend it somehow. Not spending it and then loosing would likely make many angry donors.
Lindsay Graham is phenomenally unpopular across the country. Lady G is almost a cartoon version of a quisling Trumpist and is hated by both the left and the right. For quite a long time it was simply assumed that there was nothing that was going to pry him out of a safe seat in deep-red South Carolina. Over the past few months the truth on the ground has shifted significantly against him and (via incredibly easy to use online tools) donations have poured in to Jamie Harrison from around the country. The debate between the two candidates was probably the tipping point for the flood of donations.
No, it is probably not possible to spend all of that money in the time left, but it is worth a try and with big campaign coffers it is possible to do high-cost/high-touch voter outreach and get-out-the-vote activity that can have an impact on a race like this. If the money is not spent on this campaign it is available for the next one...
Almost all Lobbying is not bribery. Lobbying means using your resources to influence politicians by campaigning and meeting up with them. But there is no direct exchange of money, which would be bribery. Actually lobbying can be a useful part of the democratic process and it can also be done by civil rights organizations or environmental organizations that are non-profit.
I know it can be comforting to simply say "all those politicians are corrupt" but doing so will only help those who are actually corrupt.
I personally know lobbyists and this is simply not what's happening, at least not in my home country in Europe. Lobbyists will mainly explain the industries standpoint towards new parliamentary initiatives and how it will impact them.
But in my home country those accusations in the article would definitely be one of the biggest political scandals of the year while in the US it's apparently not very noteworthy at all. So maybe I'm simply missing the US perspective on this.
Graham's opponent already does have money out his ears. He currently has nearly $8 million cash on hand. In total, he has raised over $85 million. The vast majority of that is probably from out of state. I know at least $32 million is from out of state. Graham raised only $11 million during his previous election.
The best klepto-plutocratic pseudo-psephocracy money can buy.
There is only one party, the Property party, with two wings: Democrat and Republican. - Gore Vidal (the author of the book Julian Assange was clutching while he was being illegally dragged out of the Ecuadorian embassy.)
We have the best government that money can buy. - Mark Twain