In Philadelphia on Sunday, 40,000 runners ran down Broad Street (which splits the city into halves) from North Philadelphia to the Navy yard in deep South Philly. There were probably 1000 or so top class runners leaving 39,000 fun runners clocking times from 7 to 11+ minutes per mile. It was a spirited race atmosphere. Impromptu bands played free all long the path. Rocky music can be heard at various places to help keep the runner’s spirits soaring.
The Broad Street Run is one of many events sponsored and supported (all or in part) by the City of Philadelphia where anyone can participate. On these days, anyone can be a Philadelphian.
Most runners wore normal running gear. Many of them wore shirts proclaiming memory or support for someone sick, less fortunate or symbolic of some greater good. Spectators lined the Street and were fully engaged. They offered “hand slaps” as runner passed by and cheered “doing great, keep it up”.
The run involved everyone even though there was little prize money and none beyond the top two or three men, women, and wheel chair entires. Involvement came from sheer enjoyment of living.
The Broad Street Run is an example of something money can’t buy. The 2016 Presidential election, however, may be something that can be bought, and if not, there will be mind blowing amounts of money spent trying.
The Federal Election Commission chairwomen said in a recent speech that the FEC was powerless to enforce campaign financing rules for the 2016 election. As a consequent, the path is clear for untold amounts of money to be raised and spent by completely opaque super PACs.
The Supreme Court has told us in a 5-4 decision that this unlimited spending funneled through corporations is actually an exercise of free speech. The Court’s decision seemed wrong headed when first made, and now as each year brings even more unchecked spending, I just wonder whether the Justices can still sleep well at night.
Ironically, many pundits seem concerned about certain donations to the Clinton Foundation by foreigners. The implication seems that foreign interests might gain favors from a President Hillary Clinton following generous donations to the Clinton Global Initiative. Hmmm.
With opaque super PAC rules, actual donors remain anonymous. Hmmm.
I wonder why foreign interests are not being mentioned as a risk with Super PACs? Or did the Supreme Court feel they get free speech too?