Tags: One | Reporter's | Opinion: | 'Them | That | Has | Gits'

One Reporter's Opinion: 'Them That Has, Gits'

Friday, 27 June 2003 12:00 AM

It is this reporter's opinion that it is "hat in hand" time again. One campaign is barely over and the next begins.

The other evening the president, whom many believe is assured of a second term, picked up $4 million at a $2,000-a-plate gathering - the bill of fare, hot dogs and hamburgers ... and it's only the beginning. The Republican National Committee says it hopes to pick up $175 million by next election time.

Meanwhile, both parties whisper the words "CAMPAIGN REFORM" ... and it isn't just the Republicans; it's also the Democrats and the lesser-known parties. They speak of campaign reform, but they continue to dodge the issue. Meanwhile, lawmakers miss votes in Congress while they're out "wooing the voters" and their money.

As an example, the Democratic candidates for president never lose the chance to join in the hat-trick game. There's Gephardt, who has missed almost 90 percent of this year's votes in the House; Kerry has missed 43 percent of the 242 votes taken in the Senate; Lieberman, 29 percent; Edwards, 19 percent; and Graham, 17 percent.

As one observer puts it, we call it the "House of Representatives." Seems to me if you don't show up for a vote, you're not representing the people! And speaking of the people ... seems to me the average hardworking citizen is all but forgotten in the rush for campaign millions. As Gandhi once said, "Their politics are confined to bread and salt."

It would be absolutely fascinating to determine how all of these campaign dollars are spent - an actual breakdown of who gets what and who receives what in special interest for consideration in return.

Who's putting out this kind of money and what are they getting in return? Such names as Goldman Sachs and Lehman Brothers come to mind. Now, these people are well aware of the importance of the campaign contribution, even at the cost of swallowing a $2,000 hot dog.

Let's take another look at the campaign contribution and may I suggest we assign as the investigators the accountants who did the fancy work for Enron and the others. We have been through an exposé of the swanky manipulations at the highest corporate level.

Only one guilty individual has, thus far, gone to jail. So if you have a pending problem before the SEC, it would behoove you to contribute a few hot dogs to a political campaign!

Money comes first. Money is the game. Money is politics and politics is money. They're forever intertwined; they're all tied up in the same ball of wax. But whatever became of the simple contribution in the days of the "rail-splitter" As Grandma said, "Them that has, gits."

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The legendary George Putnam is 88 years young and a veteran of 68 years as a reporter, broadcaster and commentator ... and is still going strong. George is part of the all-star line-up of Southern California's KPLS Radio – Hot Talk AM 830.

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It is this reporter's opinion that it is "hat in hand" time again.One campaign is barely over and the next begins. The other evening the president, whom many believe is assured of a second term, picked up $4 million at a $2,000-a-plate gathering - the bill of fare, hot...
One,Reporter's,Opinion:,'Them,That,Has,,Gits'
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2003-00-27
Friday, 27 June 2003 12:00 AM
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