Unfortunately, wealthy private donors own “our” government. When you think about it, it's disgusting that we talk about private donations at all in an alleged republic, but we have to because that's the system we live under.
You wouldn't know it yet because ads aren't online or on TV, but the Republican primary between Attorney General Greg Abbott and Governor Rick Perry has already begun. Corporate masters are taking sides. And Abbott is ahead.
On Wednesday, Texans for Public Justice released a report about where wealthy donors and corporations are lining up in the primary. Bad news for Perry: in 2012, Abbott out-raised his $5,490,231 by $1,749,196 (for a total of $7,239,427). Even worse for Oops: Abbott has $18,032,304 in his bank account to Perry's $6,028,636.
Those numbers tell a clear story about where the momentum of the race lies. But the TPJ report also has some other interesting facts about 2012 donations.
- Massive Dallas donor Harold C. Simmons, one of Perry's top career supporters, has given $475,000 to Abbott and only $35,000 to Perry this year.
- Bob Perry, another classic supporter of Perry's, gave Abbott $210,000 and Perry $200,000.
- T. Boone Pickens has picked his side definitively, giving $110,000 to Abbott and nothing to Perry.
One naturally wonders why fatcats like Simmons and (Bob) Perry bother to give money to both candidates, even when clearly choosing a favorite. Both candidates will do anything to benefit the massively wealthy; it doesn't much matter who wins. Maybe it's crony state contracts they're concerned about.
But remember, the race for governor doesn't have to be just a Republican show in 2014. There is a clear opening for a strong Democrat to win the race. It's time for action, not depressed gazing at intra-GOP competition.