Not that I'm defending Sharpton, as he's clearly an opportunist but it's not at all uncommon to pay your opponents campaign debt (for example)
after winning a run off within a party. It helps heal wounds and rally support going forward. The winner usually has money to burn as well.
But I know that's not what was going on here in full. The job of "activist" doesn't pay well. Frankly just being a Democrat pays next to nothing.
After political life, you've got professor, laywer (if properly trained) and "activist" or "strategist" as options.
Look at the differences in just the current administration. Rumsfeld, Cheney, Bush, all of them I suppose, bounce back and forth from corporate to
political roles as if there's no difference... some several times during their career. Sometimes just being paid for their name and government
contacts. Their functions are practically indistinguishable as lobbysists and Republican government officials anyway. Increase the wealth of
constituents. That's pretty much what they do regardless.
Gouliani (how it should be spelled) gets millions now just for slapping his name on practically anything. Security consulting? Stock investing?
Zell Miller was a Democrat for 40 years, but went Republican at retirement. To say he wasn't paid to do so is an outright lie. No Bush didn't pay
him to campaign. Again you don't have to pay Republicans. Zell was already on the conservative lobbyist payroll for Phillip Morris by the time he was
campaiging for Bush. That's less a change of heart as promotion on the payroll foodchain.
So the disingenuous concern about actually paying someone above the table
a few grand for campaigning for a Democrat is nothing in comparison
to the millions it pays to be a Republican.
Don't you think any Democratic politician could change parties tomorrow and raise triple the amount from less sources just by hitting up pharmcos and
oil lobbies (for example)?
It takes millions of $10 donations to run as a Democrat. And it still sucks the life and future economic opportunitues out of you. Sharpton, Dean,
Gore, any of them deserved alot more than $35 grand or whatever Sharpton got for that long year campaiging against Bush.
I'd love to know what Zell or Gouliani made in that same year. More than $35 thousand I can tell you. In fact, I'd wager if Sharpton only made
$35,000 in that year aside from real expenses he probably made less than anyone in the entire campaign including Kucinich or any of the lesser bit
players that actually had jobs already in government.
He's an activist for crying out loud. Something a capitalist society despises with vigor and for all practical purposes makes darn near impossible to
be without a tact for selfish gain.
Now, Nader in comparison is a very rich man from his form of activism. Salaried founder and board member of several dozen watchdog groups. Prolific
author. I wouldn't vote for that shill any more than I would a Republican.
[edit on 9-12-2004 by RANT]