Politics has become so absurd that it almost mocks itself these days. Almost. So it falls upon us to do the job.
This week a Democratic SuperPAC called the Senate Majority PAC began airing an anti-Scott Brown TV ad in the Manchester market. The ad continues the theme that Sen. Jeanne Shaheen's campaign has pounded since last spring when Brown refused to rule out moving to New Hampshire and running for U.S. Senate: Brown is a pal of "Wall Street."
Shaheen's fund-raising emails have repeatedly tried to portray Brown as someone too closely connected to Wall Street to be trusted. In a Sept. 27 email, for example, she wrote, "Brown would bring tens of millions in support from Wall Street and Tea Party billionaires." In a Dec. 20 email, she wrote, "a Wall Street Super PAC backing him launched a $70,000 statewide TV ad attacking me."
That SuperPAC, Ending Spending, made an ad to draft Scott Brown. It's chief financier is Joe Ricketts, founder of TD Ameritrade, which allows individuals to make their own stock trades without paying professional brokers. In other words, Ricketts has helped democratize investing and make average Americans wealthier and more financially secure. Apparently Jeanne Shaheen disapproves.
The goal of Ricketts' PAC is to reduce the federal debt, a goal Shaheen claims to share. But she would never stoop to accepting aid from anyone connected to "Wall Street." Or would she?
According to Opensecrets.org, the No. 5 industry contributor to Jeanne Shaheen since 1989 is "securities and investments." That is: Wall Street. The donors who give Shaheen $25 or $50 after she stokes their fear of "Wall Street" influence probably don't know that she happily takes so much Wall Street cash.
The Senate Majority PAC that attacked Brown for being a Wall Street crony is funded by... guess who? Its No. 2 donor is Euclidian Capital, a Manhattan investment firm located on 5th Ave., just three miles from Wall Street. The PAC's donors include billionaire investor George Soros, numerous investment firms, and recently departed New York City Mayor (and billionaire) Michael Bloomberg. They'll really help Jeanne Shaheen show Wall Street who's boss.
What we saw this week were millionaire and billionaire investors using New Hampshire's U.S. Senate race to attack each other over New Hampshire's air waves, while one side claimed to be appalled by the political influence of millionaire and billionaire investors. Amazing.