Monday, April 20, 2015


You haven't really made it in this country until you personally own a Republican presidential candidate. Ask Norman Braman:
Braman, a former owner of the Philadelphia Eagles football franchise, is poised to occupy the sugar-daddy role for [Marco] Rubio....

The Miami businessman, Braman’s friends say, is considering spending anywhere from $10 million to $25 million -- and possibly even more -- on Rubio’s behalf, a cash stake that could potentially alter the course of the Republican race by enabling the Florida senator to wage a protracted fight for the nomination.
Braman doesn't like Jeb Bush because Bush, as governor, vetoed $2 million in state funding for the Braman Breast Cancer Institute. So he bought Marco, and Marco loves being owned:
Braman is both a benefactor and a friend to Rubio, and their close relationship dates back to when the now-presidential candidate was ascending the ranks of the state Legislature.... He employs Rubio’s wife, Jeannette, part time through his charity, the Braman Family Foundation. After Rubio was elected to the Senate in 2010 -- a race that Braman and his wife Irma poured nearly $10,000 into -- the two families traveled together to Israel.

In his recently published memoir, Rubio dedicated an entire paragraph of the acknowledgments to Braman and suggested that he’d become a father-like figure to him.
Ted Cruz is similarly owned:
... Robert Mercer, a Wall Street hedge-fund magnate ... who started at I.B.M. and made his fortune using computer patterns to outsmart the stock market, emerged this week as a key early bankroller of Mr. Cruz’s surprisingly fast campaign start. He is believed to be the main donor behind a network of four “super PACs” supporting Mr. Cruz that reported raising $31 million just a few weeks into his campaign.
But the Koch brothers are still the alpha dogs at this, because they've just declared ownership of a presidential candidate and they haven't put up a cent:
On Monday, at a fund-raising event in Manhattan for the New York State Republican Party, David Koch told donors that he and his brother, who oversee one of the biggest private political organizations in the country, believed that Mr. Walker would be the Republican nominee....

Two people who attended the event said they heard Mr. Koch go even further, indicating that Mr. Walker should be the Republican nominee.

... Mr. Koch’s remark left little doubt among attendees of where his heart is, and could effectively end one of the most closely watched contests in the “invisible primary,” a period where candidates crisscross the country seeking not the support of voters but the blessing of their party’s biggest donors and fund-raisers.
Mr. Koch’s remarks suggested that the political organizations they oversee -- which include Americans for Prosperity, a grass-roots organization, and Freedom Partners, a donor trade group with an affiliated super PAC -- would not intervene in the Republican primary process on behalf of a single candidate.
So (even though a Koch spokesman denied this report) here were the Kochs declaring Walker their boy without promising a dime to him -- but because they have so much money they could give him, he's owned.

And if he falters in the primaries, others will line up to be owned by the Kochs, even though they'll know that the Kochs would have preferred to own someone else.

Hey, I guess you could call this the Ownership Society.


petrilli said...

Maybe Koch saw how much fun Ian Murphy had punking Walker and deciding to get in on the action.

Victor said...

This is why we need to go back to the 1950's tax rates on upper income.

Instead of spending their spare money buying politicians, the uber-rich can spend the money left over after taxes paying CEO's to find loopholes, and Tax Attorneys to defend them.