August 7, 2012

"In Missouri, Wisconsin and Arizona, a trio of wealthy businessmen have tapped their own bank accounts to surge near the lead of Republican primary contests this month..."

"... by portraying themselves as anti-politicians ready to come to Washington to fix things."
In launching these campaigns, the wealthy businessmen are trying to tap into the general disgust many voters have for Congress, which has an approval rating just above 15 percent in most recent public polls. 
They're tapping their our bank accounts and tapping our general disgust.
However, according to a Washington Post analysis, over the past four elections, only six senators have been elected without previously holding some kind of elected position, and [Wisconsin's Ron] Johnson is the only one to come directly from the business world. Before that, New Jersey Democrat Jon S. Corzine, after leaving Goldman Sachs, was the most recent businessman-outsider to come straight from the corporate world to the Senate, having spent more than $60 million of his own money to win his 2000 race.

“There are the Ron Johnsons and John Brunners, who made money making things,” [said Jennifer Duffy, the senior editor for the independent Cook Political Report]. “Their businesses were local and part of the community, or at least had a local feel to them. I think voters have a harder time understanding how a Hovde or a Romney made money.”

Hovde, before returning to Wisconsin after more than two decades running a fund in Washington, faces a similar hurdle as Romney in explaining to voters how he made his millions through investing in other companies and funds.....


ignatzk said...

They're tapping their our bank accounts and tapping our general disgust.

Ah, 'tis the 'our' of royalty!

So you prefer native politicians to businessmen?

PaulV said...

"It's the economy, stupid" They know more than the dunces in Congress.

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

"Our"? You mean "Progressive's"'?

Thanks for the reveal.

DKWalser said...

I don't know about the races in the other states, but here in Arizona, the businessman turned candidate just announced that his campaign will not run any more television ads. That's as close to throwing in the towel as it gets short of withdrawing from the race.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

We can't have successful business people running things. We need incompetent economic illiterates and who have gotten rich off of tax payer graft, influence peddling and insider trading. *cough* Nancy Pelosi.
We need a president who once said about his short time in the private sector that "he felt like an spy behind enemy lines".
We need government backed loans to go to democrat donor billionaires for their phony solar start-ups.

We need life-long insider pols who went to DC and got rich off of the tax payer.

chickelit said...

You know what really taps my disgust? Thinking about where Harry Reid may have gotten all his money.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

Harry Reid lined his pockets with $$$million$$$ in insider land deals in NV. for starters.

edutcher said...

While Corzine represents a cautionary tale, to be sure, what the WaPo really doesn't like is the idea of all these outsiders coming in and really making things work.

bagoh20 said...

If you insist on having government all up inside of business, then of course it makes sense to then hire a businessman to run it right. Otherwise you end up screwing up both government and business, and we just can't afford that.

I think we have seen the effects of hiring predominantly failed lawyers to run things. We just ended up with a bunch of laws - nonfunctional, convoluted text which other better lawyers have to rewrite to make it legal.

Businessmen tend to have different sensibilities. In fact, most law firms and law schools should be run by businessmen. Lets put one in charge of the U.N. too.

YoungHegelian said...

"....have tapped their own bank accounts...

What an utterly fatuous & bullshit line!

Does the writer think that Democratic pols are poor? Has he/she looked at the breakdown of the wealthiest members of Congress?

NEWSFLASH: Congress is full of rich people who partially financed their own campaigns big time. This is true for both parties.

Lem said...

I want to tap into Obama's college records.

Chip S. said...

I think voters have a harder time understanding how a Hovde or a Romney made money

I don't know anything about Hovde, but I don't see what's so impenetrable about how Romney made his money. You identify poorly managed firms, buy them, get rid of the old managers, reorganize the firm, get it running profitably, then sell it.

The hard part is in the doing, not the understanding.

yashu said...

(Off topic: art critic Robert Hughes is dead. Sad, I was a fan. It would be nice to have a post for him, not because I have anything interesting to say, but because I'd like to hear what e.g. Palladian might have to say.)

bagoh20 said...

As Chip explained, Romney's road to wealth was like flipping houses, with a lot of remodeling in between the buy and sell. It's not complex, but it takes some skill and good judgement. Most important is experience in how to succeed at taking something broken and make it work so well that others want to pay a lot more for it than you did. Your buyers are generally sophisticated and successful themselves, and go by the numbers with bullshit not carrying much weight.

Now which candidate are you voting for for President?

MaggotAtBroad&Wall said...

Romney and Hovde both made their dough the same way. Hedge fund guys call it "2 & 20". Charge clients a 2% "management fee" for the assets under management, then take a "performance fee" of 20% of whatever the annual returns are.

If you've got a few billion bucks under managment, and generate returns of as much as 50%+ as Bain did when Romney ran it in some years.... well, the math is staggering.

Carnifex said...

Dirty Harry made his money off of pimping his used little boys out before killing them and burying their bodies in the desert. I heard it from an unnamed source, so you know its true.

Other indicators of the truth are...

Harry has a car with a trunk. Why?
Harry has garden implements useful for digging holes in the desert. Why?
Harry owns rope/duct tape/etc, perfect for making bonds and ligitures. Concerned parents want to know...WHY?
No Dems in DC. will ask him to babysit for them. Why?

If they weren't dead there would be dozens of young boys clamoring for justice from Harry. Their silence is even more telling.

WHY, oh WHY does the National Democratic Party enable this monster so?!

wyo sis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
wyo sis said...

The math is staggering, and the amount of skill and work is also staggering. If it were easy the companies wouldn't be in trouble in the first place. People like Romney and Hovde know how to get large numbers of people and complex interactions to work. What a perfect description of what we need in a president right now.

garage mahal said...

WHY, oh WHY does the National Democratic Party enable this monster so?!

We're a big tent. Pardon the pun :-)

Carnifex said...


Thanx for not taking it personal. I like the big tent line ;-)

Michael K said...

"Romney and Hovde both made their dough the same way. Hedge fund guys call it "2 & 20". Charge clients a 2% "management fee" for the assets under management, then take a "performance fee" of 20% of whatever the annual returns are."

So all venture capitalist are successful ?

What happened to Corzine ?


Anonymous said...

YoungHegelian: Democrats are not poor, but they would rather raid your bank accounts to stuff their own.

Frankly, if you wanted to be a crooked politician, you would better be a Democrat. Corzine would be living in the big house if he were a Republican. Buffett would have pitch forks stabbing his butts if he were a Republican. Gibbson's Guitars would not have to pay hundreds of thousands of fines if the owner had campaign contributed to a Democrat. He would have gotten hundreds of millions stimulus if he were a bundler like Solyndra's Kaiser. Las Vegas Sands' Adelson would have been stimulated to build another casino instead of being investigated.

Brian Brown said...

Seven of the 10 richest Senators are Democrats.

This author is an idiot.

A. Shmendrik said...

Didn't seem to matter in previous elections where Herb Kohl started each campaign by loaning the campaign organization $7-8M, only to forgive the loan about a week after the election. This a) froze the field of potential GOP challengers and b) allowed him to make claims like --% of my contributions are less than $---. He would take in a token amount of contributions ($200k) and then after the game was over he converted his personal loan into a contribution.

Perfectly legal, don't get me wrong. But, it went without comment as Kohl purchased the seat and then did very little with it. For four terms.

Quaestor said...

garage mahal wrote:
We're a big tent. Pardon the pun :-)

That's not a pun. That's imagery.

Your literary device is malfunctioning. Try a reboot... Now that's a pun. :-)

PianoLessons said...

The US Senate is full of mu lit-millionairres....everyone knows this. It's only when a Republican millionaire runs that the "ethics" of his or her fortune come into question.

BTW - everyone knows this as well.

Like Herb Kohl and his very annoyingly dissonant relationship to issues that matter never made us all wonder how the heck he keeps getting re-elected. Just what exactly did this sleepy, uber-rich senator ever deliver to our state?

Americans know that they are all extremely rich people in the Senate. Why we don't throw all the bums out and change election laws to give an edge to the middle-class kind of candidates is beyond me.

Ralph L said...

I'd rather they spent their own money instead of selling "access" and their votes to raise it from others.

Anonymous said...

The one in MO just came in second, 36 - 30 (i.e. not even close).

Michael The Magnificent said...

A recent conversation with a lefty neighbor went something like this:

Bob: I'm uncomfortable with rich people buying themselves a seat in congress. First Ron Johnson, and now Hovde is getting into the act.

Me: You cannot buy votes. Then again, you can hand out cigarettes for votes, can't you? Hey, just wondering, did you ever vote for Herb Kohl?

Bob: Sure. Why?

Me: It didn't bother you then?

Bob: Why would it bother me?


If it wasn't for double-standards, leftists wouldn't have any standards at all.