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Controvercial Essay: Presidential Campaign Money

1418 words - 6 pages

Through the rain of campaign pamphlets, flyers, commercials, and endless televised debates, do you ever stop to wonder where our presidential candidates got the money to finance their propaganda? In most cases, special interest groups donate the money to the presidential candidate they think is going to win the election. Propaganda is a necessary element of running for office however, the "donated" money leaves the president in debt to the special interests groups. These groups later approach the president for favors that will not always benefit general public, but instead put themselves in advance. Campaign contributions make it more difficult for the president to run his presidency with the best interests of the people in mind. In last year's election, $528,900,000 was contributed to the presidential candidates (Presidential Profile, George W. Bush, 2001). A diplomatic president can hardly forget the generous contributions that brought him to Washington if he wishes to receive contributions when he or another candidate from his party runs for president next term. The wish for future funding and the sense of gratitude invoke a policy change from a previous presidency, the introduction of a bill to Congress, a nomination as ambassador to a friendly country, or any other proposition the contributor deems worthy (The First 100 Day's, April 26, 2001). In the past, many controversial "favors" were performed by the presidents to major contributors, however, I would like to concentrate on the favors our current president Bush has performed so far. In 1992 the people of Texas passed a bill that helped reduce impact of upstream development on Austin's Barton Creek and historic Barton Springs. The developers were very happy with this new bill: "leading developers Gary Bradley and James 'Jim Bob' Moffett wanted to build their thousands of acres of development over the sensitive watershed without following the local water quality regulations". In 1995, during former Texas Governor Bush's first term, he wrote a bill that allowed specific developers to "overturn local environment regulations". Bush's "Letting Texas Run Texas" theme definitely came in second to the industry interests. Interestingly enough generous contributions ($33,000) were made to Bush from the major developing companies that profited from this bill (Public employees for environmental responsibility, 1995-96). Bush is in the process of establishing a new energy policy. However, there currently is a huge controversy and legal investigation centering around this issue which involves Vice-president Dick Cheney. The Vice-president is being forced to reveal the Enron officials on the board that helped come up with the new policy. Bush's number one contributor was Houston based Enron with $2.3 million in contributions. Enron, once a multi-billion dollar corporation, is undergoing an extensive investigation into the disappearance of funds and it's sudden bankruptcy. Bush has...

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