Before it happens, it’s hard to know how you’ll feel when you see a slickly produced, oil-CEO-financed flier implicitly attacking your 11-month-old baby for not being old enough to attend school and explicitly criticizing your family for not being able to afford a home.
It sounds like a takeoff of “SNL’s” hilarious “bat problem” campaign ads — something so over-the-top it couldn’t possibly be real. But, in our case, it wasn’t a parody — such a mailer now fills up thousands of mailboxes throughout my town. And unfortunately, I now know how badly I feel in the face of such a barrage. I’m not overwhelmed by anger or vengefulness. Instead, I’m experiencing a far more numbing set of emotions: a mix of sadness and helplessness.
Six months ago, when my wife, Emily, decided to run for a school board seat here in Southeast Denver, I was (perhaps naively) expecting what we used to get from the most local of local races for such part-time, unpaid positions: lots of door knocking, a few yard signs, maybe a barbecue or two — all the wholesome activities that were once staples of local political Americana.
It is becoming apparent that the 1% has realized that they can buy local elections. They've got the bucks for sure and have been building the organization. And not just elections. How much do you think it costs to buy out a state PTA? Not much to a hedge fund manager. Repeat ad nauseum.