Unconventional wisdom 

One last political note: If you happen to tune into the GOP goings-on in Philly this week, or catch the big donkey shindig in San Diego later in the month, keep in mind who’s footing the bill for all that helium and confetti, and who really pays in the end.

According to the nonprofit Institute for Public Accuracy, the Republican convention comes with a $50 million price tag, while the Dems will spend about $35 million for their SoCal party. Federal funds will provide $13.3 million for each of those conventions. The rest comes from corporations with special interests aplenty.

There’s AT&T, for example, which forked over $1 million to each party for their conventions. With a major merger pending, the telecommunications giant “is trying to prevent the government from ensuring that other Internet service providers can have open access over its cable lines,” reports the Institute (www.accuracy.org).

Then there’s Detroit’s own General Motors, another member of the million-dollar club. It, says the Institute, has a keen interest in preventing tougher fuel standards for those highly profitable (and polluting) sports utility vehicles.

And so it goes, with corporation after corporation ponying up what for them is a pittance while we pay the ultimate cost through higher ISP fees and dirtier air.

It’s no wonder that filmmaker Michael Moore recently sent out an e-mail message urging all those who have dropped out of the cynical exercise known as mainstream politics to cast a vote come November for alternative candidate Ralph Nader. “Bush and Gore,” opined Moore, “make me want to Ralph.”

News Hits is edited by Metro Times news editor Curt Guyette. He can be reached at

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