So long as money is how we affix value – the means to discharge debt, or to purchase goods and services – it will always be a significant influence in our lives. Right up there with love and lust.
Unless you live like some primitive eremite, you’re affected by it.
Money controls people – and our so-called “democratic” process – to the extent that We, The People, are now powerless to overcome its pervasive influence on our once honored system of governance.
By any measure, this election season has been the most bizarre spectacle on record – and not just at the national level. With one week to go, we are witnessing the worst-of-the-worst of what passes for politics in 2016. And anyone who still believes in the maxim, “In the voting booth, everyone is equal” is simply a victim of the game.
For instance, I was speaking to a friend recently and noted that the District 4 Volusia County Council race between Al Smith and Heather Post has gotten too weird for even the likes of me.
I wouldn’t touch the inner-workings of that wet turd with a ten-foot pole – mostly because, while I understand the base motivations of the players, I can’t for the life of me figure out how an influential insider would risk so much on so little.
Ugly allegations and counter-accusations of drug use. Hints of personal financial mismanagement, if not outright misappropriation of funds. Claims of money owed and nasty family disagreements. The insinuation of dubiously obtained pre-employment polygraph results – privileged information about one’s life taken at a time when the individual is most vulnerable.
Let’s face it, it’s a new low. Even for J. Hyatt Brown.
Look, I don’t know if this is even mathematically possible, but, in my view, both Smith and Post represent the lowest common denominator simultaneously. If either of them represent the ‘best and brightest’ District 4 can offer – we’re in real trouble.
What I find interesting is that, perhaps for the first time, many residents of Volusia County are beginning to see the enormous influence of big money donors in relatively benign local elections.
Is it possible that we are beginning to tire of the Volusia Triumvirate of Mori Hosseini, J. Hyatt Brown and Lesa France-Kennedy, and their very real influence on our lives and livelihoods?
Many believe we are now experiencing the distillate of their long-term artificial manipulation of our local political system – and they have forced choices on us no voter should have to make.
Of course – even as the worm turns – the ruling class still feel a servile sense of loyalty to their masters.
I was recently taken to task in a social media post by former state representative – and failed congressional candidate – Fred Costello. He took issue with a piece I wrote on Mr. Hosseini and the nexus of public funds and private interests at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
According to Dr. Costello, “All three, Mori, Hyatt and Lesa, along with many others, simply care enough for the community to support candidates who share their vision. And Mori, Hyatt and Lesa are willing to take the criticism that often comes when you exercise leadership. Their alleged excessive collective influence is overrated.”
Clearly, the cheese has finally slipped off Fred’s cracker.
Anyone with the ability for cognitive thought understands the enormous role these power brokers play in Volusia politics.
To believe that these billionaire insiders aren’t purchasing political influence as a return on investment is delusional – and Fred Costello damn well knows it.
In my view, it’s time we tell these perennial politicians, and their masters in the power elite, that there is some shit we won’t eat.
It is time we find a way to take big money out of Volusia County politics – and restore integrity and fairness to our democratic process – while there is still something left to care about.