Has the Supreme Court hung a "FOR SALE" sign on the White House? When the court okayed unlimited corporate money in political campaigns it opened the door to the most expensive presidential election in history. Will the candidate getting the most money take the prize?
An informal random survey of voters in the East County says yes. But pundits and voters will be arguing this without stop between now and November. Only then we'll really find out what money can and can't buy.
Paul Krasnot of Knightsen thinks unlimited corporate donations will sabotage the coming election. "It's a very bad idea," he said. "Attack ads on TV will influence a lot of voters who are likely to believe them and go along with them."
Device Fetzer of Brentwood said bluntly, "The candidate who spends the most is likely to be the winner. I'm scared and angry at the consequences. Campaign money will have a great effect on the outcome. There's a good chance other things that offset the importance of money will get lost in the shuffle."
Brentwood's Peter Reilly thinks the same. "The man who gets and spends the most in the fall campaign will be the winner," he said. "The problem comes down to so many voters who don't know or understand the issues and are easily swayed by attack ads. So many Americans vote slogans and are oblivious to the consequences of the claims. It's B.A.D., bad."
Antioch's Frank Jamison is critical but remains unconvinced. "Meg
"It won't work every time, but I believe that money potentially can buy the presidency," said Shawrie Fassette of Antioch. "This is especially true if it is a very close contest. That's where money can be the deciding factor. I'm very sad about it. The Supreme Court has tremendously increased corporate power."
Brentwood's Caren Ironside is convinced that money means votes. "The effect is going to be huge. Unlimited campaign money adds up to the likelihood of an unprecedented amount of mud slinging in the coming months. I believe that money can buy a lot of things, including a presidential election."
Antoinette Trezza of Brentwood said, "The corporations are going to have a field day. Money is an advantage and the effect is going to be great. I try not to let political ads influence the way I vote, but unfortunately those ads are very effective with many voters."
Melizza Antunez of Antioch feels that unlimited campaign money distorts the whole election process. "Money is going to buy this coming election. The candidate with the most is going to win," she declared. "The election is in the hands of a lot of voters who are easily swayed by ads and slogans. It's a bad idea."
Antioch's Kaylinn Morrell is less disturbed at the prospect. "God will protect the United States as he always has done," she said. "Sure, money talks and there are many who can be swayed by lies and half truths. But I remain firm in my hope and belief that most Americans will vote with their hearts and cannot be bought off."
Contact Ed Arnow at BrentwoodBuzz@aol.com.