Former Democratic House Speaker Tip O’Neill is credited with saying, “All politics is local.” I think that fact is partially responsible for the victory of Republican Karen Handel over Democrat Jon Ossoff in Tuesday’s special election in Georgia.
This was the most expensive U.S. House of Representatives race in American history. For those people screaming that we need to get the money out of politics, here are some numbers from an article posted at Hot Air today. As of the end of May, Republican Karen Handel had spent $3.2M. Democrat Jon Ossoff had spent $22.5M. Obviously this election was not for sale.
To add irony and a touch of chutzpah to this:
Candidate Ossoff stated in interview:
MARTIN: How do you feel about the money that’s been spent on this campaign? The Atlanta Journal Constitution published a calculation that said you and your opponent have spent or reserved over $40 million for TV and radio ads. Does that disturb you? What does it say about our political culture?
OSSOFF: The role of money in politics is a major problem and particularly the role of unchecked anonymous money. There have been super PACs in Washington who have been putting up tens of millions of dollars of attack ads in air for months now. When you have that kind of an environment, it’s necessary to raise the resources to fight back. I’m proud of the fact that my campaign has raised that money in small-dollar contributions, on average less than $50.
MARTIN: Although, it was your party that started the big spending. The Atlanta Journal Constitution also found your campaign and groups supporting it spent about $2 million more in ad spending than Handel during the runoff.
OSSOFF: Well, the overwhelming majority of money spent supporting my opponent has come from super PACs in Washington. And the overwhelming amount of money that’s been spent supporting my candidacy has come from small-dollar donors. But there’s no question that money in politics is a major problem, which is one of the reasons that we need campaign finance reform so that candidates and campaigns will spend more time talking to voters and discussing the issues and less time raising money.
On Friday, The Daily Caller reported:
Georgia Democrat Jon Ossoff has set a new national record for out-of-state fundraising in his bid for Georgia’s 6th Congressional District.
Here are some of my observations on the election. The mainstream media again had it wrong–they predicted a much closer race or a victory for Jon Ossoff. The money in the election was not the determining factor–the voters looked at the candidates and made their choice according to what they knew. The media has totally lost contact with the voters–they have no idea what the pulse of America is.
The picture below sums up last night: