How Not to Spend $50 Million
Who among us has not imagined spending a large sum of money? Usually we think of whatever uplifts us or whatever we think will bring us everlasting joy. Rarely does anyone think about how not to spend $50 million.
Lots of things are happening today. As always, some are far more important than others. Today’s election in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District ranks low on the importance list.
Not very many months ago I could have asked a whole lot of people whether Georgia even had a 6th Congressional District. The cleverest would have thought about the size of various states and backed in to an answer. California huge definitely at least six. New York the same. Vermont small probably not six. Wyoming the same. Where is Georgia? Yeah definitely. Georgia must have at least six.
It actually has 14 but almost nobody needs to care. They have to be taught to care and therein lies a problem. Programmed might be a better word that taught.
Elections don’t generally happen in June and this one is only happening because Tom Price, who represented the district for 12 years, was appointed to be Secretary of Health and Human Services.
Not surprisingly for an appointee in the Trump administration, Price is a Republican, and his former congressional district located north of Atlanta and shaped faintly like Texas leans that way too. In terms of education Georgia’s 6th is ranked well in the top ten in the entire country finishing ahead of the Massachusetts district that includes Harvard.
The contestants to succeed Price are Karen Handel, a Republican and Jon Ossoff, a Democrat. Ossoff is taller and the taller candidate often wins. He is 30 and makes documentary films. She is more than 30 and is a veteran Georgia Republican.
It might have seemed extraneous to say that Price represented the District for 12 years but in the House of Representatives, where seniority is key, his tenure would have put him in the top third.
Guess where the Handel – Ossoff winner will rank in seniority.
It could be a decade before the winner is ever heard from again.
Guess how much money is being spent on the race.
Surely the headline tipped you off — $50 million. This is the most expensive House race in our entire history. I doubt the record will last long.
So, what are we buying with that $50 million? Control of the House perhaps? Nope the Republicans have 239 seats and the Democrats have 194. Two are vacant. With 435 seats in total this win or loss will not change control.
How about the differences between Handel and Ossoff? Could they be worth $50 million? Hard to say since virtually nobody knows what these differences are even if anyone believed the campaign rhetoric.
That pretty much leaves partisan bragging rights, “sending a message” and the threat of the apocalypse that “might” happen to one side or the other.
Bragging rights, “sending a message” and a possible apocalypse seem like pretty good examples of how not to spend $50 million.
On the other hand doing so is a pretty good indicator that we have lost our minds.