Don Beyer buys (“wins”) the 8th Congressional Democratic primary with $1.1 million with 17,700 votes at a cost of $62 per vote
The Democratic Party’s primary on June 10 proved once again that money talks and hot air walks: Don Beyer the Volvo dealer owner and millionaire spent over a million dollars to get about 17,800 votes (46 percent of 38,000 votes cast). The total votes cast were less than 10 percent of active registered voters in the 8th Congressional district that includes all of Arlington, the City of Alexandria, and a portion of Fairfax County. The eight leading candidates spent $4 million or $105 per vote cast to market themselves to voters. http://electionresults.virginia.gov/resultsSW.aspx?type=CON&map=CTY
Beyer spent $61.80 per vote cast for him. He blanketed households of known Democratic-leaning voters with slick brochures, telemarketing calls, and extensive paid telemarketing campaign like he was selling a new Volvo sedan. Beyer’s nearest Democratic competitors were Arlington state delegate Patrick Hope who spent $268,000 and got 7,092 votes ($35 per vote received) and Alexandria state senator Adam Ebbin raised $291,000 and got 5,262 votes at $48 per vote received. The highest spending candidate per vote received was Laverne Chatman who spent $192 per vote received.
According to press reports, Beyer used his ties to Obama campaign donors to raise the big bucks as well as loaning his campaign $200,000 from his own pocket. Don Beyer may be a good businessman and nice man, but he is a multimillionaire, and a member of the top 1%, and his mind set and interests inevitably reflect the interests of that group. Most of us living here in Northern Virginia are working and middle class people, highly education with good incomes but clearly not millionaires and wealthy businessmen.
Will Beyer if he wins the general election understand the concerns of the bottom 99%–such as lack of middle class jobs and middle class income and help for young and unemployed people facing a bleak job market with heavy student debts? Will Beyer champion higher taxes on the upper 1% and middle class persons concerns that conflict with the rich and the corporations who got us into this economic mess? Will Beyer advocate for a higher carbon tax that will cut sales of Volvos, SUVs, and vehicles?
Candidates of the U.S. Green Party refuse to accept corporate or PAC funds. It will take the rise of an independent and progressive political party like the Greens with many successful candidates to begin to reform our corrupt political process. The Democratic and Republican Parties are essentially business organizations that rich people use to rise to power in order to protect the interests of the 1%.