By Abram N. Spangel
As the campaign season heats up, you will see more yard signs endorsing candidates. This political engagement is healthy for democracy. It is also healthy for the electorate to know who is paying for such signs. In the case of signs supporting Rush Holt, they are overwhelming financed by big pharmaceutical companies, defense contractors, hedge fund managers, the American Bankers Association and other large corporate interests. Indeed, during the second quarter of 2010, 62% of Holt’s campaign funds came from lobbyists and corporations located in the greater Washington DC area.
I do not begrudge these entities from participating in the political process. These companies and trade associations are a vital part of our community. They employ our neighbors and many of our senior citizens depend on the dividends these companies pay to supplement their income.
What is surprising is Rush Holt and his ardent supporters demonize the very industries, companies and institutions that are bankrolling Holt’s campaign. So why would Holt’s supporters impale their lawns with signs funded by General Dynamics, Raytheon, Boeing, and Lockheed Martin? Why would Holt’s supporters place bumper stickers paid for by Merck, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Novartis, and Wyeth on their cars? Why would Holt’s supporters don t-shirts and pins paid for by Prudential Financial, Oppenheimer Funds, the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, and, MetLife?
The answer is that Holt’s supporters place individual greed before ideology. This is evidenced by an overwhelming number of Holt’s supporters unabashedly praising Holt for his constituent services (a.k.a the distribution of government spoils) in their letters to editors and comments on the blogs.
While Holt is one of the most impotent Representatives in terms of sponsoring any meaningful legislation and is as submissive to House Leader Nancy Pelosi as the eunuchs who defended the imperial rulers of the Ming dynasty, Holt is effective in directing taxpayer money to his supporters. While Holt’s supporters tout their disdain for Corporate America, they are quite willing to throw their self-defined lofty notions under the bus for the opportunity to feed at the trough of government spoils.
The vast majority of Holt’s supporters are hypocritical trough feeders who disguise their greed and narcissism behind the veneer of liberal clichés. While these people may be your neighbors, they are not your friends. These radical redistributionists applaud Holt’s efforts to tax the working people of the 12th district back to the stone age, just as long as they continue to receive their government handouts. Holt is a predator on the taxpayers and his supporters are his accessories. At least their brandishing of signs supporting Holt are being erected without the necessity of the government having to pass a rendition of Megan’s law.