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Can’t Buy Me Love

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Tom Steyer is literally trying to buy endorsements:

A top aide to Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer in Iowa has privately offered campaign contributions to local politicians in exchange for endorsing his White House bid, according to multiple people with direct knowledge of the conversations.

The overtures from Pat Murphy, a former state House speaker who is serving as a top adviser on Steyer’s Iowa campaign, aren’t illegal — though payments for endorsements would violate campaign finance laws if not disclosed. There’s no evidence that any Iowans accepted the offer or received contributions from Steyer’s campaign as compensation for their backing.

But the proposals could revive criticism that the billionaire Steyer is trying to buy his way into the White House. Several state lawmakers and political candidates said they were surprised Steyer’s campaign would think he could buy their support.

This would be funny if it wasn’t for the ludicrous amount of money Steyer is lighting on fire on behalf of a vanity campaign that can’t break 1% in the polls:

Steyer has largely self-funded his presidential campaign, spending $47.6 million of his own money in the first three months since launching his bid, much of that on online fundraising and advertising. Steyer has qualified for the November debate, but he remains at the back of the pack in early-state and national polls.

There are a lot of useful political things that could be done with that money, and the fact that this is what Steyer is doing instead is an excellent defense of a wealth tax in itself.

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