Al Gore's Constitutional Hack-A-Thon (And Its Madison Avenue Connection)
by Joe Mandese, Mar 9, 2013, 5:10 PM
During his SXSW Interactive keynote conversation Al Gore told interviewer Walt Mossberg something he told me and a group of Madison Avenue brass during a private dinner a couple of years ago after keynoting MEDIA magazine’s Outfront Conference, that America’s constitution has been “hacked” by the political media and fundraising process.
Back in the days when he began running for the House, Gore estimated that he spent “less than 1%” of his time focused on fund-raising. Today, he estimated, the average member of Congress now spends the vast majority of their time -- about five hours daily -- raising funds for advertising.
Gore said it isn’t necessarily that the public officials become beholden to the individuals and organizations that give them those funds, but that it alters the perspective of who they’re representing, and they’re representing them.
“They’re mainly thinking about what impact their actions and words will have on the people they are asking for money,” Gore said, adding that by raising those funds, “They know they can use that money to pay for all the television commercials they need to make their constituents believe they are the best thing since sliced bread.”