According to syndicated columnist Tom Elias, Dianne Feinstein recently put an additional $5 million of her personal cash into her re-election campaign for the U.S. Senate. She had to. A Democratic Party crook, Kinde Durkee, showed sometimes there is not honor among thieves by embezzling untold sums from the many California political campaigns she served as treasurer for.
The candidates who lost money, or whose funds are frozen while the investigation continues, may have a difficult time in the 2012 elections, perhaps even in the June primaries. Not Ms. Feinstein, whose personal and family wealth is inconceivable to most Californians.
Despite her voting record in Congress, most notable for her desire to crush any remaining Palestinian resistance to Israeli occupation, to give unlimited funds to the U.S. military and homeland security, and to serve herself and her husband heaping helpings of the federal budget pie, there will be no serious reformist Democratic Party challenger to Dianne in the June primary. A Senate campaign requires reaching some 18,000,000 likely voters. If you can convince the media gatekeepers that you are a serious candidate, you might be in the debates, but not all that many voters actually watch or listen to debates. No, you would need to mail a flyer or two or ten to each voter and buy a good deal of television and radio spots to have a chance at winning. That is a daunting task unless you are a multi-millionaire or have a money machine left over from say, having already been governor of California.
Even Michael Reagan, talk show host and son of Ronald Reagan, apparently looked at the Feinstein money and decided even Reagan name recognition would not give him a shot at her Senate seat.
How did the Democratic Party end up with so wealthy of a Senator? That has always been the plan from the time when Andrew Jackson and his wealthy slave owning friends noticed that poorer white men, having been given the vote, had become a danger to the class system, and created the Democratic Party [See Andrew Jackson for President, Act I].
In particular, Dianne Feinstein was born to a wealthy doctor, then married money not once but three times (retaining her political last name, Feinstein, from her 2nd husband). Current husband Richard C. Blum is an investment banker (the kind people are protesting against on Wall Street right now) with very extensive real estate holding and close connections to the U.S. education, defense, and homeland security establishments. [See also DiFi and Blum: a Marriage Marinated in Money]
Most political offices in California cover a limited geography. Money is important in local elections and in elections to the California State Assembly and State Senate, but the magnitude of money needed to run for one of the two U.S. Senate seats, or for governor and other state-wide California offices, is staggering even to most successful, seasoned politicians. Since Republicans are hard pressed to win any state-level office anymore (the last was Arnold Schwarzenegger), the real action is in the Democratic party primaries.
Challenging a Democratic Party, state-wide, near-billionaire incumbent in a primary amounts to tilting at windmills. Perhaps we should take a lesson from Ebay. There should be a buy-it-now option. Then we would not have to wait to see who wins the auction. Instead of wasting money on lying to voters, Dianne could donate all that money to helping reduce the State budget deficit. [Yes, this last paragraph is satire, not an actual proposal.]