• $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.

    • atomi 1 day ago

      When you lump all of government together in your judgment you lose the ability to hold individuals accountable in public discourse. It's akin to justification in my opinion.

      • mola 1 day ago

        It's true, but there's also a systematic problem. Both probably should be solved: Graham should be deemed corrupt. And super pacs should be illegal.

        • 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.

      • yomly 1 day ago

        Yeah - even buying a spot at Harvard is over a million...

      • An honest politician: one who, once bought, stays bought.

        • curiousgal 2 days ago

          Blatant legal corruption asside (I mean it is the U.S., am I right?), I am more astonished by this tidbit

          > Still, Harrison raised $57 million in the third quarter of this year, dwarfing Graham’s $28 million.

          How the fuck do you raise 28 or 57 million dollars in 3 months and are state election campaigns THAT expensive??

          • meragrin_ 1 day ago

            According to OpenSecrets.org, it is well out of the norm for him to raise that much money. The democrats brought in a lot of out of state money to win the seat:


            • portpecos 1 day ago

              Is there a way to find out from which state(s) that out-of-state money is coming from?

              • RickJWagner 1 day ago

                And which industries the money represents?

            • peteretep 1 day ago

              > and are state election campaigns THAT expensive??

              I wonder what percentage of that ad spend goes to Facebook. Does Facebook profit more if political discourse if very divisive?

            • rrmm 1 day ago

              A ton of small-dollar donations are flowing into Harrison's campaign as well as plenty from national sources. Graham is not well-liked by either side really.

              • meragrin_ 1 day ago

                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.

                • rrmm 1 day ago

                  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.

            • chrisseaton 1 day ago

              Note also that the population of the state is just five million people.

              • jpalomaki 1 day ago

                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.

                • evgen 2 days ago

                  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...

              • telaelit 2 days ago

                This is straight up bribery.

                • gambiting 1 day ago

                  America is one of the most corrupt countries in the world, they just legalized it so "it doesn't count".

                • scrollaway 1 day ago

                  Lobbying always is, this is just more blatant than usual.

                  • chki 1 day ago

                    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.

                    • engineer_22 1 day ago

                      Raqueteering then. "Hey pal, help my campaign I'll help you close your deal wink."

                      • chki 1 day ago

                        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.

                        • NicoJuicy 1 day ago

                          Lobbying seems to be done in Mar-a-Lago these days ( US), the president is easily bought. Eg. A QAnon member seems to have donated 1 million to the Trump campaign.

                          Without checks in place of course, unlike in Europe.

                        • anigbrowl 14 hours ago

                          'Raqueteering' is now the only correct spelling.

                  • Jonnax 1 day ago

                    In America they often talk about these huge sums of money being raised by politicians.

                    Where does it go in a campaign? Adverts?

                    • Taniwha 1 day ago

                      geez - when the tictockers find out it will be anarchy - Graham's opponent will have money out his ears

                      • meragrin_ 1 day ago

                        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.

                      • hexbinencoded 1 day ago

                        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

                        • mtgx 2 days ago

                          Just free speech units guys, nothing to see here.