Gleefully burnin’ the petrol on the T-giving family pileups of Interstate 10. Maybe I saw you there? I was the one tailgating into the wee hours as the frost from Washington’s assembling Middle East peace gathering swept west. It was nothing to do with your speed. It was just I’d never seen The Lives of Others and the clarity on your headrest television almost allowed me to read the subtitles.
Given our fender bender, my bloody lip, and the insurance hassle, you can imagine Queque’s new-found enthusiasm for the possibility of digital billboards coming to SA highways. Will this mean free highway movie screenings with scrawling subtitulada? An eye-rest for road-weary passers-through crossing SA at 80 mph? Either way, we’re down with bright moving lights, whatever ScenicTexas.org is cryin’ about.
And that Washington frost? It appears President Cheney won’t make the summit. Likely that’s a good thing, considering doctors say the top half of his heart doesn’t actually pump anymore, it quivers. Must be Kucinich’s cry of impeachment that has the best (failing) body that money can sustain still strangely animate: a wonder of modern necromancy.
Which leads Queque to the long-winded windup to Election 2008.
Now we’re sure you understand what corporate money means to politics. That is: The two are so interwoven that we have come to understand through the most esoteric of sources that it can take lifetimes of Tantric chanting by highly adept practitioners to weasel out the hint of a gap where money stops and politics begins. That is: The economy in all its multi-faceted wondrousness creates policy and politics is its widget.
That said, Queque thought it would be interesting to see where San Anto’s cash has been heading.
One of our big players, Valero Energy hedged its bets back in 1998, sending out $100,000 to both parties. But after the White House was taken over by oilmen, the company adopted the popular 60-40 split in Republicans’ favor. Then the war came on, and hundreds of millions in contracts for Valero followed. Dems found themselves licking Abram tank tread. Of $1.6 million shipped off to Washington intended to influence the 2004 elections, only 14 percent went to Democrats; that figure dropped to only 10 percent of $2.3 million in 2006. However, stung by the Democratic sweep that year and continued anti-war sentiment feeding Democratic opportunities ahead, Valero officials have already ratcheted up the Dem share to 25 percent so far this cycle.
AT&T has maintained its 60-40 split in favor of Republicans, spending about $1.6 million on the 2008 election cycle so far. Immunity is on the way, dear ol’ Ma (RIP).
Interestingly, San Anto’s Clear Channel Communications is the only company that has outright flipped the 60-40 equation, from Republicans’ favor last election to the Dems’ for the’08 showdown. Does the media mogul know something we don’t? Like people are sick of war and Big Oil spinning Washington? Could be.
Go on, check our math. Log on to fec.gov for the PAC cash track. Then check opensecrets.org for the party splits. Enlighten thyself, fellow traveler.
Then we’ll open a betting pool on which corporate interest gets to install our next potentate. •