Maybe money can’t buy you love, but it sure can buy you plenty of hate in an election year. It can also get voters to forget just how much they don’t like their incumbent legislators.
Gov. Rick Scott is unpopular. His approval rating is in the 30 percent-range, which is lower than Barack Obama’s, hovering in the low 40’s.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Florida’s unemployment rate remains above the national average, despite Scott’s promised to bring jobs to the Sunshine State. And if you type “Rick Scott Medicare fraud” into your browser’s search box, the results will make you wonder how he ever got elected in the first place.
With questions surrounding his involvement in Medicare fraud, draconian budget cuts, and pro-pollution policies, by spending millions of dollars on negative ads, Rick Scott has narrowed the gap against his opponent, Democrat Charlie Crist.
In Kansas, incumbent Republican Gov. Sam Brownback, has publicly admitted that his policies have been a disaster for his state. His massive tax cuts have turned the state’s budget surplus into a deficit, killed jobs, and caused a credit downgrade.
The Kansas City Star called Brownback’s conservative economic policies “a costly failure.”
Kansas is still trailing about 30 states throughout the country in its rate of total employment growth since Jan. 2013, when Brownback’s income tax cuts took effect.
Brownback’s abysmal performance as governor notwithstanding, his race against Democrat Paul Davis is competitive. It is also filled with attack ads.
Mudslinging takes on new meaning in Wisconsin, where Gov. Scott Walker is in the fight for his political life. He made a lot of enemies in the working class when he stripped public employees of their right to collective bargaining. Still, Walker survived a recall election in 2012, thanks to more than $30 million in dark money, 66 percent of which came from out-of-state donors. Questionable dealings during the recall election prompted an investigation for campaign finance fraud.
According to an article in the Washington Post in September:
A U.S. appeals court panel on Wednesday lifted an injunction freezing an investigation into possibly illegal campaign coordination between top advisers to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and conservative groups, clearing a roadblock to reviving the two-year-old case.”
Still, the money for negative ads keeps flowing in the 2014 Wisconsin gubernatorial election, and it is one of the most hotly-contested races in the country.
Money can influence the outcome of elections, especially when it’s spent on negative ads designed to try to make voters forget just how bad the consequences of the last election were.
No matter how poor candidate choices are, voting still remains the only way to replace politicians that forgot who they were elected to serve.
For information on where and how to vote in the Nov. 4, 2014 elections, visit: https://www.votinginfoproject.org/
Author’s note: The opinions and commentary in this report are based on the author’s original reporting and independent analysis of public information.
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