What’s The price Of An Election?

Depends on how high the office . . .

I was once asked to ‘run’ for a political office here in Murray City, and the request was so unexpected and also beyond my realm of experience, that in shock,  I asked for time to think it over. To begin with I had no training for such a position, and secondly if I did ‘run’ and then win (??) how would it affect me, my life, family and job?

I told no one, but just the same, somehow others knew, for within the next three days, I received four phone calls from CEO’s of businesses I recognized, and, surprise, each one told me how much money they would donate, AND also that they had qualified people to assist and advise me.

Well, I told them the same thing, that I hadn’t made up my mind if I would go that Course, but I also quickly knew that some ‘group’ had decided they wanted someone in the City government, with qualifications they felt would be amenable to their needs, and I must have come close to what they needed.

Of course, I knew that first of all, and most important, they knew that I worked at the Murray Eagle, the great ole local Green Sheet newspapers, and that I had a good personal readership.   I’d also been there long enough to see a bit of how politicians work. People in the local government, coming and going and behind closed doors, talk to Jim Cornwell, our Owner and/or Don Robinson, our  Editor.

So I knew that those who were reaching out to me, were the ‘silent brains’ behind some group which had decided that Ethel, and her job with the newspaper,  would be a good one to sponsor.

Anyway, within a day or to, I called the one who had asked me, and sincerely thanked him for his invitation and offers made, but No, Ethel wasn’t the one they needed, but their offer had been a wonderful compliment. And thanks, again.

I suppose the owners of the Green Sheets, James M. Cornwell, and his wife, Bette Vogeltanz Cornwell, could have known of the plan, and perhaps I should have spoken to them, but I didn’t. It had to be my decision for it would also be me, Ethel, who would be the group’s ‘voice’. I didn’t want to have to ask, or wait to be told which issues to support. Just wasn’t then, and still isn’t, my style.

You know the old adage, “The least said, the quickest mended”, and within a week the whole thing was over and nothing more ever said about it. By anyone.

But, I learned a lot from that incident. If, so far in advance of an election, that a middle-size City such as mine, was so organized, then how organized large Cities and States, and Federal offices must be?   I shivered to even contemplate the plans and maneuvering that must occur so far ahead in their ‘games’.

And I still shiver. Deciding who might be a good candidate, before any names are publicly mentioned, and the money involved. Yeah, the money offered me, shook me. Fortunes? No, no, but the dollar figures surprised me, for they were far more than I would have ever considered for my City.

‘Twas no slim pickings. And, of course the offered money was not for Ethel, personally, but I suppose for publicity, handbills, radio and  TV time, as well as someone to help me present the ‘right’ image. Yes, all that was mentioned. There was a lot to it. and makes me quell when I think of someone running for President of the United States and the offers made and the pressures that must occur.

Why do they want to choose the candidate? Their purpose? How much money is spent? Who gets that money?? Who makes up and writes the posters?  takes the pix? creates the image? Staggering, and I think I have touched only the far edges of what happens in creating the image the ‘backers’ needed.  Wanted.   First to get YOU to the  polls and then for YOU to vote for THEIR candidate.  And the pressure put upon the Candidate if elected???

My eyes were really ‘opened’ during those days, and widen more and more with every election. I cross my fingers and think of our 52 United States which make up the wishes, hopes, and dreams of people the world over.  And someone is paying the price to try to control those wishes, those hopes, those life-changing dreams.  Where does the money come from?

There are no boundaries I know of,  to stop money secretly moving from country to country. Who is paying the unbelievable billions to Buy and Control, the President of the United States of America? Not me. You? I think not, but I also think that billions of dollars change hands trying to get that control.  Hopes, wishes and dreams are powerful weapons to control.

Worth thinking about and perhaps changing some of our election laws. If it’s not already too late.

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