Meg Whitman, former eBay head and GOP nominee for governor in California, broke the previous record for any self-financed political campaign when she gave her campaign $15,000,000, bringing the total that’s she’s spent thus far to $119,000,000. The previous record holder was Mike Bloomberg, who spent $109,000,000 on his reelection campaign in 2009.
Whitman has every right to contribute lavishly to her own campaign. It’s her money, she earned it, and she can spend it how she sees fit. However, I’m beginning to question the idea that money is equivalent to speech, and that corporations and other political action committees have the same ‘rights’ as people when it comes to ‘speech.’ The distinction between actual, living breathing human beings and corporate entities is a nebulous one, and the idea that money is speech is kind of ridiculous.
But, chances are, spending on political campaigns will continue at the same stratospheric pace that we’ve seen in the past few years, as it will with health care and education, and, in the end, we’ll all suffer because of it.