11.03.10 10:14 AM ET
Follow the Money
About $4 billion were spent on this midterm election. This follows a 2008 presidential campaign that cost some $2 billion. Brings to mind that old saying that "politics has gotten so expensive that these days it takes a lot of money just to get beat with." And it's a reminder that "money is the mother's milk of politics." Will Rogers is supposed to have said the first sometime in the 1930s; California's Jessie Unruh said the second in the 1970s. If they could only see us now!
• Election Reactions from Beast writers They would be amazed, disgusted and worried. But what about us, and the here and now? One of the most important questions to ask, and to keep on asking, about this national election and the next is: who gives how much money to whom, expecting to get what for it--and what DO they get for it? This goes to the vitals of our country and what it is to become. But there is precious little news coverage of it and little public attention paid to it. There is decreasingly little transparency about where the money comes from. More and more it is shrouded in secrecy.
This year's political horse races are over. Time to follow the money.
Dan Rather is anchor and managing editor of HDNet’s Dan Rather Reports . For 24 years, he served as anchor and managing editor of the CBS Evening News with Dan Rather. His books include The American Dream, Deadlines and Datelines, The Camera Never Blinks, and The Palace Guard.