America’s Oligarchs Support Clinton Almost Unanimously

Eric Zuesse

The results are already in, even before the official campaign-finance final figures will become available after the election.

Though a large percentage of the people funding the campaign advertising will never be made public — due to recent Supreme Court decisions allowing “dark money” — data already exist on the final product of the campaigns (including both the above-board and the dark money), which is the booked advertising time for each of the two candidates at the start of their campaigns. (Similar proportions of donations go also to get-out-the-vote and other campaign-activities; so, these booked-advertising figures correlate rather well with across-the-board funding of the two campaigns.)

Advertising rates — the charges per second of air-time — get higher and higher the later and closer to Election Day the time is booked; so, any candidate who books late is really starved for funds and has little chance of winning; any candidate who does the booking early is getting a big break from the networks and from certain other media. This discount, for early booking, magnifies even further the cash-advantage of the candidate whom the oligarchs prefer.

However, normally, both Parties’ nominees have their own billionaires backing them (Republican billionaires backing the Republican nominee, and Democratic billionaires backing the Democratic nominee), and so there’s a real contest, they both have a chance; but not this time: Look at the figures, and you can see that, this time around, virtually all of the oligarchs are backing only one candidate: they have united around Clinton.

On August 2nd, Carrie Dann at NBC headlined, “Clinton, Allies Have Reserved $98 Million in Ads”, and she opened: “Hillary Clinton and her allies are poised for a TV ad blitz of nearly $100 million dollars, compared to less than $1 million currently reserved on the airwaves by backers of Donald Trump.” That’s a wipe-out of Trump, by the oligarchs.

The detailed total on ads that have already been aired was: “Through last week, Team Clinton had aired a total of $68 million in ads, while Team Trump had spent roughly $6 million.” The totals booked going forward are even more skewed in Clinton’s favor: $98 million for Clinton, $817,000 for Trump. (In other words: Trump’s ratio is even worse now, than it was leading up to the two Conventions.)

Going forward, it’s like a hundred-to-one advantage, Clinton over Trump.

Perhaps the reason why this is so, is: Clinton has already spoken privately with the heads of these companies (the companies owned by the oligarchs) and with their lobbyists, and she coordinates her campaign with their propaganda-operations. So: her messages are also their messages. (But what she has told them behind closed doors goes even beyond that, into her proposing new federal subsidies for their businesses.)

The historical background of the current developments in the U.S., has already been well covered in a lengthy paper by Ryan Patrick Alford, that’s appropriately-titled “The Dismantling of the Rule of Law in the United States” (especially see there “Citizens United,” which is a direct source of this).

But, whatever the reason: in the current U.S. Presidential race, there is no real contest at all, in terms of support by the oligarchs — and their support tends to be decisive. There is, amongst them, a near-100% unity around one nominee, as there has never been before in American history, at least going back to 1896, and perhaps to the founding of the republic. (Furthermore, back near the founding, there was no oligarchy; the nation started out as being, to a large extent, a democratic republic. It no longer is that.)

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Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

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  • tom

    Surely when you look at the actual spending, even though many billionaires are involved, it’s only in the tens or hundreds of millions? So while that’s a lot for even a billionaire like Trump to cough up, if he really wants the Presidency he could afford to pay for it all himself, couldn’t he? Or is there some rule forbidding that?

    It seems to me (as a mere foreigner) that there ought to be a law guaranteeing all candidates sufficient free air time. I know in America everything is for sale, but the government? Really???

    • cettel

      That’s the way it is now.

  • Kansas_Voter

    Why should Trump pay for tv time when they just give it to him for free? With Fox, CNN, MSNBC, and even my local newspaper it’s all Trump all the time, so spending money on commercials (which most people don’t watch anyway) is unnecessary. He can just put out a commercial on Twitter or YouTube and everyone will be talking about it and replaying it during news programs, and he doesn’t need to spend a dime.

    • kimyo

      likewise, sanders could have put together a youtube video for california voters showing them which ballot they needed to request. his rabid cyber support would have ensured millions of views.

      max budget – $100k if he wanted to get fancy and include some motion graphics. the result? priceless, as they say….

      comparing clinton’s war chest to trump’s is obsessing over non-material minutiae. it’s a complete non-story.