And then I wrote...

by Dick Schilling, Editor Emeritus

... that this column will appear October 1, which means we have a whole month of political ads still ahead of us.
An article I was reading recently went pretty much as follows:
“He elected to soak the rich with taxes and sometimes seize their assets, but the legislature refused to let him, so he did what he could to circumvent the legislators by creating false cases in order to fine them.”
And that same article said he “wanted to be close to his people, but as their God,” not their leader.
A news release from the Republican National Committee critical of President Obama?
Not even close.
Rather, the article appeared in the September, 2014 edition of National Geographic, and referred to Nero, the emperor of Rome in the middle of the first century.
In another part of the article, it was noted that, contrary to what “everybody knows,” Nero was not fiddling while Rome burned. He was, in fact, out of the city, and hurried back. If he was playing anything while on vacation, historians say it was a kithara. That’s a stringed instrument he was known to favor.
And no, he wasn’t playing golf, which had not been invented yet.
Articles in both Sunday papers to which I subscribe dealt with the amount of money being spent by “outside interests” in the Iowa campaign for United States Senator. Democrat Braley vs. Republican Ernst. Reporters from those papers and others apparently got together to compare notes on who is supporting the candidates.
I will probably wear out the “mute” button on my TV remote because I refuse to listen to the ads for either party. The tone doesn’t change and I long ago made up my own mind who would get my vote.
But before I quit listening, I probably would have concluded that the Koch brothers were the worm in the election apple. They are supporting Ernst. The TV ads harp on that. But the largest single contribution may be coming from a Braley supporter, millionaire hedge fund manager and climate change activist Tom Steyer. And the largest PAC fund seems to be Harry Reid’s Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. I don’t recall any commercials naming Sen. Reid or Steyer. Maybe they started after I quit listening.
It sort of is a case like in poker: I’ll see your millionaire and I will raise you one!
I refer you to Todd Dorman’s lengthy treatment in the September 21 issue of The Cedar Rapids Gazette for more details than I care to relate, or remember, for that matter. That day’s Des Moines Sunday Register has a longer but less detailed account of the same topic.
If you have not made up your mind, they are worth the reading.
Suit yourself on National Geographic.