This is a story about how even “good” money – that is, money spent for candidates and causes I like – can be bad.
It’s a story about how outside donors and independent campaigns, not candidates and office-holders, are setting the political agenda. You can walk, and run, but money talks.
Most every poll you see in North Carolina today shows that education is the number one issue. And the Republican legislature’s biggest vulnerability – as is Thom Tillis’s – is its war against teachers and public schools.
But what issue dominates the pro-Democratic TV ads? It’s not education. It’s the environment, clean air and water, and the coal ash spill.
Now, those are great issues. Great Democratic issues. But why is TV filled with ads about the environment, and not education?
Because the big donors – big national and in-state donors – care more about environmental issues than education issues.
This is what the United States Supreme Court in effect believes should happen: People with money should be able to decide the agenda and define the issues. The Court says that is fundamental in our Constitution.
You can decide for yourself whether that’s good or bad. But how many ads can you afford?