Two left-wing groups, MoveOn and Mayday.US, sponsored a video contest to highlight the “problem” of money in politics. They published the videos that were submitted on a web site, and encouraged viewers to vote for the best one. Sadly, their effort was nowhere near as successful as the Power Line Prize competition of a couple of years ago. They got one really good entrant, produced by American Commitment, which focused on the epic hypocrisy of Tom Steyer, the number one funder of the 2014 election cycle. Here it is, “America’s Biggest Hypocrite”:
We and others urged our readers to vote for the Steyer video, and many did: it garnered more than 20 times as many votes as the second-place vote-getter. So it won the competition, right? No! The lefty panel of judges awarded the prize to a lame liberal production. We noted the seeming injustice here. A disappointed Phil Kerpen, head of American Commitment–well, he probably wasn’t all that disappointed–said:
The leaders of “pro-democracy” groups chose a video that got 99 votes over a video that got 7,590 votes — because the latter was about liberal Tom Steyer and the former was against fossil fuels. It speaks for itself.
Still, many wondered whether democracy had been served. Reader John Simutis voted for “America’s Biggest Hypocrite.” To do so, he had to submit his email address. So he got this email from Mayday, announcing the contest’s winners:
Thanks for voting in the #MAYDAYin30 video contest! Before we tell you who the winners are (unless you scroll down before reading this!) we wanted to tell you a bit about MAYDAY.US.
We’re a people-powered movement to reduce the corrupting influence of big money on politics. More than 50,000 of us came together to crowd-fund nearly $11M, making us the SuperPAC to end all SuperPACs – we embrace the irony! …
And now to the main announcement. After nearly 100 video submissions and 11,000 votes cast, we are so excited to announce the winners of the #MAYDAYin30 video contest! Drum roll please…
Winner, Category #1: General money in politics ad
“This is your country”
Winner, Category #2: Candidate specific ad
“William the K St. Lobbyist vs. Iowa”
Both of these ads were insightful and creative, and they emphasized the MAYDAY message of getting big money out of politics. We feel so grateful to have a community that puts everything they have into supporting our cause. Your vote was key in bringing the best videos forward, videos that our celebrity judges really enjoyed watching. …
– The MAYDAY Team
John didn’t see how this explained the upset victory by a liberal ad, so he emailed Mayday:
And, you didn’t choose the video that actually received the most votes – 10 times the votes of your selection.
How very … “people-powered.”
Heh. That provoked an explanation of sorts from Mayday:
Thank you for writing to share your thoughts. Here’s why the Steyer video did not win the contest overall:
In the contest rules, we stated that the video had to fit into one of two categories:
Category 1: Ads that address the general issue of money in politics.
Category 2: Ads about a MAYDAY race (either for a MAYDAY candidate or against a MAYDAY candidate’s opponent).
The Steyer video received the most votes and was evaluated by the judges in Category 1 as ads for Category 2 had to be in support of a specific MAYDAY candidate. The judge panel reviewed it along with the other winning entrants, but did not consider it the best entry.
From the beginning, we announced that we would take the top vote earners in each category and pass them on to our judges. Our judges would then use their expertise to select a winner. This is exactly what happened.
We continue to feature the video on our website for being the top vote earner. MAYDAY.US has treated this video respectfully and fairly. We stand by the integrity of the #Maydayin30 Contest.
I added the emphasis to highlight the key language. The judges “did not consider [the American Commitment video] the best entry,” based on their “expertise.” But why wasn’t it the best entry? Certainly not because of its production values, which were obviously superior. Rather, because of its content: it focused on Tom Steyer, who contributed more money to the current electoral cycle than anyone else. So why didn’t it satisfy the contest’s alleged purpose of opposing “the corrupting influence of big money on politics”? Obviously, because Steyer is a liberal.
This MoveOn/Mayday video contest, lame though it was, was revealing. When liberals say they want to get money out of politics, they aren’t serious. What they mean is, they want to get conservative money out of politics.
Why is that? The answer is simple: liberals command the culture. They control virtually all universities, virtually all public schools, virtually all newspapers, virtually all of Hollywood and the entertainment industry, almost the entire apparatus of the news. That control, added to the corruption of crony government, gives liberals access to enormous amounts of money, so that in almost every contested election, the liberal candidate has more money than the conservative candidate.
And yet…liberals have a problem. Their arguments are terrible, and their theories are contradicted at nearly every turn by the facts. Which means that they can’t withstand criticism. They can’t take competition; they need a monopoly. Which, in turn, means that they must prevent voters from hearing conservative ideas and arguments. They can do that in the schools and in the culture, and they don’t have to worry about newspapers or broadcast television. But there is a loophole of sorts: during election seasons, conservatives can buy time on television and on the radio to broadcast messages that liberals are otherwise able to blockade. This is intolerable! Because when people hear conservative ideas, unfiltered by the liberal press, they tend to find them persuasive.
So “money in politics” must be denounced. Most money in politics is liberal, from labor unions, crony billionaires like Tom Steyer, and so on. But that isn’t the money the Democrats mean: they want to silence conservative voices, so their monopoly can be preserved and threats to their rule–democracy, one might say–can be eliminated. The MoveOn/Mayday contest was a microcosm of one of the central political conflicts of our time.