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FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK: Billions spent for campaigns – none for jobs

Posted on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 10:44 am

When I see the Center for Responsive Politics’ report that an estimated $6 billion was spent on this year’s election I try to envision $60,000 sitting in every seat inside Neyland Stadium.

By Josh Peterson, editor

By Josh Peterson, editor

Then I just want to grab the money out of one aisle. Not even a big aisle.

That is six BILLION – with a “B” spent on who we want to go to Washington (or a state capital) and be influenced by lobbyists with even more money. Ah, the people’s voice.

That money comes from many different areas – some from personal donations. But much of that money comes from people with deep pockets. Some from organizations like the National Association of Realtors, which forked out $4.8 million on federal elections. Goldman Sachs divvied $6 million on the federal level. Didn’t we just bailout Goldman Sachs with a check in the neighborhood of $12.9 billion?

Comcast spent nearly $3 million in state elections and $3.5 million in federal races.

All of this big spending and there is much more out there from businesses and individuals with deep pockets. It makes me wonder something – where are all the jobs?

Perhaps my line of thinking is too simplistic. Obviously these groups and people with money will spend for political pull. But to claim the money isn’t there to hire one of the millions of unemployed Americans sounds a bit hypocritical, doesn’t it?

How many people could Goldman Sachs hire with $3 million? That’s half the money it spent on federal elections. Maybe they could hire a board of people to oversee that another federal bailout would never be necessary. Wouldn’t that make too much sense?

Will Congress and the President finally reach compromise and at least quiet the bickering in Washington?

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It’s naïve to think these groups won’t exercise their power – it’s all about the Benjamins – when it comes to political races and the candidate who can best help them.

But the sheer thought of $6 billion on ads and busses and websites and staffers blows my mind.

But hey, what does my opinion matter? I’m not donating any money.

-Josh Peterson is the editor of the Manchester Times. He can be reached by email at or by telephone at 931-728-7577 ext. 105. Follow him on Twitter @joshpeterson29