“The Political Consultant Racket”

Adam Sheingate NYT oped:

Political consultants earn fees and commissions by turning the billions of dollars given to candidates, political parties and “super PACs” — like Mr. Bush’s Right to Rise — into the products and services of contemporary campaigns, especially TV (and Internet) ads.

More money means more ads, and more ads means more money. However, media saturation makes it more difficult to grab our attention, requiring more ads, and more money and contributions, to reach the electorate.

Consultants want their clients to win, but they also need their businesses to survive. Despite mounting evidence that the effects of TV on the electorate can be uncertain and often short-lived, television remains the single largest expenditure in most campaigns because candidates think they need it to win — and because it is the most reliable source of revenue and the most lucrative part of the consulting business. The economic incentives of the consulting industry are driving up the cost of campaigns.

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