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« Mr. Buffay explains | Main | Show me the money »

Mar 03, 2013

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Steve Harrison

I'd say the media has played a pivotal role in the formula, but it has more to do with the economics of the media business than any sort of nefarious attempt to control public policy, which is a common meme.

With most standard advertising dollars being drained off thanks to changes in communications technology, the revenue from political ads is even more important to the business. And aside from the occasional fluke, if a candidate falls too far behind in the tv ad competition, he or she can kiss the election goodbye.

So they're forced to beg for money, and that amount increases in relation to the size of the (voting) market. While a campaign contribution doesn't automatically equate to buying political influence, you simply can't collect hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars and expect no strings attached.

And the truly funny thing is, when the worst of those strings are exposed, the media squeezes every bit of revenue out of the story. A story they helped to create.

justcorbly

The reporting that most people seem to consume -- and the appropriateness of the word "consume" is itself a damning indication of something gone wrong -- bears little relationship to an honest, professional best effort to accurately report what's going on and, ocasionally, offer some commentary grounded in that reporting.

Staying informed, rather than being the kind of news consumer dear to the hearts of cable TV, takes a little time and effort and sometimes a bit of cash. A lot of people won't do that because they don't care enough to pay attention, or because that kind of behavior would got them labeled as an elitist snob in their social circles.

I don't think we're any less intested in the news and in events that we were in the days of the Founding Fathers. A relative few people paid attention then, a relative few pay attention now. The problems we face are much more complex, much more threatening, than those faced in 1800, and I think a great many people have just washed their hands of it all as something beyond their abilities. Or, taken refuge in the glib certainty of ideology.

While some folks thought the web would open up opportunities for ordinary mortals to engage in homebrew reporting that circumvented the so-called gatekeepers, the web has been commercialized and corporatized in the image of cable TV. If you are big enough, and clever enough, like this White House, you can, in fact, use the net to do and end run around the gatekeepers. Ordinary folks, not so much. Their voices disappear like a discarded Kleenex on a windy beach.

Here's my version of a joke that's going round:

Democrats: 2 + 2 = 5.
GOP: 2 +2 = 76
Media: Not interested enough to say it's 4
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Dale

If the media knew it was 4, they wouldn't say so.

Hartzman

REGULAR MEETING
TUESDAY
MARCH 5, 2013
5:30 P.M.
COUNCIL CHAMBER

27. Motion directing the City Manager as to the authorization of automatic payroll deductions for Fire Association/Union dues.
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Interesting correlation.

Should some unions representing employees of public municipalities be allowed to theoretically increase incoming dues, which some of which may contribute the firefighter's PAC, via the elected government allowing auto deduction from paychecks issues by same said municipality.

So if some city council members artificially subsidize what may be a financial benefit via increased campaign contributions from more fire fighter unions etc... paying more because of the ease of setting up and then forgetting about it method of "donation" marketing, who loses?

Should that be allowed?


Hartzman

btw..., I recall Denise Turner Roth's husband telling me he is a lobbyist for the local Teamsters Union, not that overrides Denise having been the Greensboro Partnership's lobbyist, or that the N&R can't seem to be able to report that TREBIC's Marlene Sanford is a lobbyist, or that she has illegally lobbied NC's state house with "dues" collected and illegally deducted by Robbie Perkins etc..., who ended up hiring one of his campaign contributor's son to be Greensboro's lobbyist, not that there is anything wrong with that.

Hartzman

Fire PAC Greensboro 2011

http://www.co.guilford.nc.us/elections_cms/reports_2011.htm

No Fire PAC Greensboro 2012

http://www.co.guilford.nc.us/elections_cms/reports_2012.htm
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I can't see that they accumulated enough money to disperse to many.

So if the Greensboro City Council votes to allow a Fire Union, or a Police PAC etc... to have dues taken from their government local taxpayer funded paychecks, and the Union/Associations etc... create or recreate a way to fund City Council campaign chests, how would this not be an indirect avenue to bring in more campaign money for incumbents who voted for it?


Hartzman

"Other recent endorsements

Robbie Perkins: Professional Fire Fighters of Greensboro

Marikay Abuzuaiter: Professional Fire Fighters of Greensboro

Yvonne Johnson: Professional Fire Fighters of Greensboro

Nancy Vaughan: Professional Fire Fighters of Greensboro

Dianne Bellamy-Small: Professional Fire Fighters of Greensboro

Jim Kee: Professional Fire Fighters of Greensboro, Rhinoceros

Zack Matheny: Professional Fire Fighters of Greensboro

http://yesweeklyblog.blogspot.com/2011/11/simkins-pac-endorsements-bellamy-small.html
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I didn't get the angle on this until I heard Zack last night telling the fire assn rep how firefighters were handing out endorsement fliers at voting centers.

Apparently the assn. didn't endorse Zack once, and he brought it to the attention of the rep.

Campaign contributions came up, and the rep said none of the money deducted from paychecks can go to campaign contributions.

What wasn't spelled out, is whether or not the political activities of the assn in endorsements and campaign voting place actions are now being subsidized by Greensboro's taxpayers.

Looks like some voted to enable and subsidize endorsements and electioneering with taxpayer money.

Having auto deduct will bring in more money to the fire assn.

Those who voted for it are more likely to receive an endorsement this year.

Charlotte had the assn pay the full cost.

Greensboro City Council voted to subsidize an assn which previously endorsed and did leg work the same members.

What is the likelyhood of those who voted for it receiving an endorsement this year as well as campaign help?

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