Published on

Who Profits from Silly Campaign Season?

We need another word for silly season. It's way beyond silly how some are competing in this midterm race.

In Illinois in particular, it's not been pretty in the tight fight for Barack Obama's old seat. At three different points in a recent televised debate, Democratic contender Alexi Giannoulias challenged Republican Representative Mark Kirk over his claims that he had been shot at in a plane when he was serving in Iraq. 
"The question, Congressman, is, why would you not tell the truth? Why would you make all this stuff up?" Giannoulias asked.

Actually the question is, "What, Congressman Kirk, did you do while the Illinois economy was diving off a cliff?"

According to the 2010 Report on Illinois Poverty, close to 20 percent, or 3.5 million, Illinois residents live in poverty or close to it. The poorest in the state face 1930s style unemployment rates of 27 percent.

What's Kirk's record? He voted against the Reinvestment Act, against tax cuts for the average person. He voted FOR tax cuts for the super rich, and voted six times for a loophole that rewards companies that export jobs.

While Giannoulias is no dream candidate, at least he's for reinvesting such that the state as a whole stands a chance. Kirk's for tax policies that let the super rich get ever further ahead.

Campaigns this year are likely to spend a record $3 billion on television advertising -- and more than ever it's negative. There is no way precisely to quantify it but quality we can assess: It sucks.  Mudslinging may be good for ratings, but it's no way to make decisions about our shared future. Money media, however, are laughing all the way to the bank.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Laura Flanders

Laura Flanders

Laura Flanders is a best-selling author and broadcaster who hosts the The Laura Flanders Show, where she interviews forward thinking people about the key questions of our time.  The LF Show airs weekly on KCET/LinkTV, FreeSpeech TV, and in English & Spanish in teleSUR. Flanders is also a contributing writer to The Nation and Yes! Magazine (“Commonomics”) and a regular guest on MSNBC. She is the author of six books, including The New York Times best-seller, BUSHWOMEN: Tales of a Cynical Species (Verso, 2004) and Blue GRIT: True Democrats Take Back Politics from the Politicians (Penguin Press, 2007). The Laura Flanders Show first aired on Air America Radio 2004-2008. You can find all her archives and more at or via Twitter @GRITlaura

Share This Article

More in: