Instead of spending obscene amounts of money trying, but failing, to buy elections, these three poor little rich girls could have done a heap more for society by taking the Giving Pledge. The one set up by Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates to attract philanthropic donations from the top 40 wealthiest Americans.
Instead, Meg Whitman, Carly Fiorina and Linda McMahon chose to go on a combined 217 million dollar ego trip. "These women belong to a new breed of self-promoting opportunists, paving the way for women to escape their image as selfless givers, nurturers by nature. Not for them the Judeo-Christian philosophy, which holds that only by bequeathing much of what one has earned to those less fortunate can one earn it anew and possess it."
Of course, they can spend their own money anyway they please, even on their own campaigns. But maybe this blatant flaunting of their wealth seemed a little crass to poor and middle-class voters, especially to those who had lost their jobs, homes and health care coverage. Perhaps even members of the "old money" sect were turned off by the classlessness and tastelessness of these relative newcomers to wealth.
Their campaign to extend tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans like themselves had to send a far stronger message to the electorate than all their empty pledges to "save the citizens of their states from an unemployment sinkhole and their children from educational dead ends."
California Watch tallies her expenditures at more than $160 million, which could rise by the time expenses are totaled for the last month of the campaign.
Cost of each of her 3,748,669 votes: $38.32.
"Whitman’s spending could have bought full tuition for 23,553 California residents at the University of California-Berkeley, which would almost double current undergraduate enrollment. She could have made 95,764 connections for at-risk youth through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles. Or, if she wanted to be known as the Savior of San Jose, she could have wiped out the megalopolis’ budget deficit twice over.
Yet this Silicon Valley mogul didn’t choose to fill the coffers of a state with a $20 billion budget deficit and a once-model public university education system teetering on the brink of collapse. Maybe she should be excused for knowing little about her adopted state’s political history, as she never voted in 40 years of elections, or even registered in California." (emphasis mine)
Cost of each of her 3,827,046 votes: $4.35.
". . . . her total campaign spending could have doubled the total assets of Goodwill of Southern California. It could have fully funded Pajaro Valley Unified School District for a year, saving the schools’ sports programs. Or, if Fiorina wanted to befriend folks closer to her mansion in Northern California, she could have increased the budget eight-fold of Raphael House, which provides low-income family services and shelter in San Francisco. Maybe she would have earned more headlines if she’d used her campaign budget to go global and purchase one million bed nets to combat malaria in Africa or provide micro-loans to more than 350,000 small businesses in South Africa, most of them to poor women."
During her six years as HP chairwoman and CEO, Fiorina laid off 30,000 workers. With Sarah Palin's endorsement, she may have committed political suicide in a state with unemployment at 12.4 percent in August, the third highest in the nation, by campaigning for repeal of health care legislation, overturning Roe vs. Wade, and returning California's unspent stimulus funds to the Treasury.
Cost of each of her 498,306 votes: $84.08.
"That would have covered a full year’s worth of salary and benefits for 802 state employees facing furloughs because of the state’s budget shortfall. It could have provided heating assistance to Connecticut families in need for seven years. It could have paid for 15 million school lunches across the whole country, or paid for two years of enhanced security for our troops in Iraq."
Now, I don't know about you, but I would happily take Fiorina's $14.7, the smallest expenditure of the three, fund no-kill shelters for large and small animals, build a nurturing network for abused children, feed the hungry, improve city, state and national parks, donate to library and school programs, donate to medical research, support Doctors Without Borders, rebuild and replant Appalachian mountain tops, hire Whitman's former housekeeper, and still have money left to buy that motor home and travel all over the country with my dog Lucky.