The names Magic Don Juan, Iceberg Slim, Superfly, The Mack, Priest and Willie Dynamite might ring a bell if you’re familiar with so-called real and fictional pimps. Back in the day, the pimp game was more predictable. There were the big hats, the big rides, the flashy clothes and the obedient workers.
Today, everything is “pimped.” You can pimp your car, you can pimp your house, you can even pimp your school.
Pimps have always controlled their workers, so to speak. “Bring me my money, B,” or whatever the pimp said, was always obeyed.
In 2012, the pimp game is out of control. The modern day pimps don’t ride in Cadillacs; they fly in Lear jets. And, if you want to find the biggest and the best pimps, look no further than the political pimp game.
When American politicians created an environment where any corporation and any individual from the United States or anywhere in the world could set up and fund a Political Action Committee that could accept contributions and make expenditures of any amount of money imaginable, they thought it was the political American Dream but, instead, it is turning out to be a nightmare.
If an ordinary pimp could get you to do things you may not want to just by buying you a mini-skirt, a wig and a fresh set of press-on nails, what do you think a Super Pimp with a Super PAC can get you to do by giving you $100 million?
Yes, I know Super PACS are not supposed to be directly connected to individual candidates and their campaigns but even Stevie Wonder and Adam Newman of The Young and Restless can see Super PACs and politicians are joined at the hip like Siamese twins.
A couple of years ago, you might have thought a $500 contribution to your favorite candidate meant something. But when bankers, corporations, foreign nationals and wealthy individuals can contribute $500 million to a campaign if they desire to, your little $500 is not even a drop in the bucket.
David Plouffe, a top political adviser and former campaign manager for President Barack Obama, recently appeared at a Super PAC called Priorities USA Action for an event that backed Obama’s reelection bid. That event came quickly after the president gave his blessings to Super PACs and signed off on a plan to send cabinet officials and senior White House advisers to address the PACs on his behalf.
Well, do such actions by Obama and actions by Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and others violate campaign finance laws that ban cooperation between “independent groups” and the candidates they are backing?
You tell me.
OK, how does the implementation of Super PACs affect the readers of The Gantt Report and the newspapers and their publishers that publish it?
The black media institutions will get less advertising even though the amount of advertising money spent on elections will be more than ever before. Black media owners don’t have a clue who runs various Super PACs or who buys the PAC media.
Gantt Report readers and other citizens will see more and more negative and distasteful advertising that will attack and demean other candidates, rather than tell why one candidate has better ideas, policies and programs than the other.
Since most political money is spent on television ads, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) should require Super PACs to fully disclose who financed them and where the Super PAC money was spent. The FCC should also require that political ads be truthful.
Obama’s base is composed of black and other minority voters. If the president is raising more money than he did four years ago, he should spend more campaign money in the black community than he did four years ago.
You have to realize that you can’t have political pimps without having political whores. And when candidates ignore the voters’ concerns and issues and just do what their biggest campaign contributors tell them to do, it’s the same thing as when one encounters a regular pimp. The people get tricked.
Lucius Gantt is a consultant based in Tallahassee and author of the book Beast Too: Dead Man Writing. He may be reached at allworldconsultants.net
Photo: Lucius Gantt