Tuesday, August 16, 2011

It's An Iowa Thing, Part 2

I found out last night, from Rachel Maddow, just how the Ames Straw Poll actually works. The short version: it's all about money. Here's a bit of knowledge:
  1. You must be at least 16 1/2 years old and either a resident of Iowa or a student at an Iowa college to vote.
  2. Democrats can vote.
  3. There's a poll tax. It would make Strom Thurmond proud. In fact, the Straw Poll is part of a fundraising dinner for the Iowa Republican Party. If you qualify under #1, you can pay a $30 poll tax to vote for $30.
  4. This poll tax can also be paid for by candidates. The candidates can and do literally buy votes. Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann bought 6,000 tickets last weekend and despite the fact that as many as 1,177 of those "voters" picked someone else, she used the occasion to show off her racism: "“You have just sent a message that Barack Obama will be a one-term president. This was a wonderful down-payment on taking the country back.” Bachmann backs buying ballots!
  5. Candidates bid on the best placement within the display area. Bids last weekend started at $15,000.
    Ron Paul got his money's worth, too: He paid the most for the choicest booth space, $31,000.

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