Are Republicans Going to Let Bain Buy the Nomination?

Mitt RomneyOf course Romney is leading in the polls. The people that are writing the mega-checks to his Super PACs are the same ones that control conservative media empire Clear Channel Communications… Bain Capital.

You’ve got to admit, it’s a pretty good scheme. Buy the company that pays the salaries for the leading conservative talk show hosts and then you control their message. Rush Limbaugh? He’s syndicated through Premiere Radio Networks, a division of Clear Channel, which is owned by Bain Capital. (Thomas H. Lee Partners also has a stake in the conglomerate, but Bain holds the majority share of ownership.) Sean Hannity? His show is syndicated at the good graces of Bain as well. Glenn Beck? Yep, you guessed it, Bain is the one ultimately signing his checks too.

But wait, there’s more.

Not only does Bain own the conservative talk show circuit, but they are not even having to wait until the elections are over to cash in. A few people have publicly lamented at the fact that Bain capital is the primary donation source for both Romney’s campaign and his Super PAC. What they failed to mention is that Bain is not making a donation; it’s making an investment. Where do you think Romney is spending all of his campaign cash? His largest expenditures by far have been on ad buys, made in large part to the stations owned by Clear Channel Communications.

Bain is simply writing checks to itself and then daring the other candidates to follow suit with their own ad buys. Otherwise they risk allowing the Romney message become the only message that listeners hear.

Gingrich was targeted by Bain-sponsored attacks in Iowa and watched his campaign deteriorate from front-runner status to bottom of the heap in less than four weeks. The Bain-sponsored commercials have proven to be effective. What most people do not realize is that the time in between the commercials, during the opinions of Rush and the predictions by Sean and the analysis by Glenn…it’s all content that is sponsored by Bain capital.

These guys have largely declared Mitt Romney the “presumptive nominee” for well over a year now. By overlooking his gaffes and either ignoring or diminishing any competitor that rises near him in the polls, recent surveys indicate that Republicans’ enthusiasm to vote is dropping like a rock. In other words, everyone assumes that Romney is going to win so they figure they may as well stay home during the primaries. This is the same group that gave rise to the Tea Party so that they could “take their country back.” Surely they aren’t going to cede it to an investment firm?

It’s not too late for the party to stop this. Less than two percent of the delegates determined so far and there are a number of promising people still in the race. Is the GOP going to hold its nose and let Bain crown Romney or hold its ground and send the message that our democracy is not for sale?

Consider a few of the myths surrounding Romney’s “presumptive” status that have been circulating for the past twelve months:

MYTH – Romney is the only nominee that can beat Obama.

FACT – Newt Gingrich said it best. Why would you want to nominate the guy who lost to the guy who lost to Obama? Romney has been statistically tied with Obama for the past couple of months – a far cry from a sure win – and that is before the Obama campaign has turned on their one-billion dollar machine to circulate endless loops of Romney’s gaffes and flip-flops.

MYTH – Romney’s campaign is more organized.

FACT – Iowa was the first major test of all of the campaigns and Ron Paul out-organized the entire group. Paul spent time just before the caucuses training his volunteers down to the detail of what they should wear, busing in caucus-goers from all parts of the state and educating Iowans with a flood of leaflets and phone calls. He did not carry the state, but he came in third…an impressive finish for a candidate that was essentially ignored by the media until that point.

MYTH – Romney is the only candidate ready for the National stage.

FACT – By nature of the fact that they are all human and all being followed by cameras twenty-four hours a day, all of the candidates have had their share of less-than-stellar moments, including Romney. The big difference is in how the media has covered them. According to Google Trends, Perry’s “oops” moment (where during a debate he forgot one of the agencies that he would eliminate) was covered twenty-five times more than Romney’s infamous “corporations are people” moment. Cain’s Libya stumble was covered forty times more.

These are just a few of the “false truths” that we are accepting without question because they are fed to us time and again, on talk shows and “news reports”, day in and day out.

So now is the time for Republicans to decide. Is their nomination one that represents fiscal conservative principles, or is it a glorified eBay auction available to the highest bidder? Is the GOP a party of ideas, or a party that bases its message on a well-timed corporate acquisition? Is Romney really “the man that can beat Obama”, or is he simply the man that beat them at their own game?

Oh, and for those that still believe that Romney should be the President because of his economic prowess, you may want to take a look at how Clear Channel is doing since Bain came into the picture. After laying off over two thousand workers, analysts are predicting that they will file for bankruptcy by 2014.

Shawna Vercher currently the host of the radio talk show “The Shawna Vercher Show“, a non-partisan call-in show discussing politics and current events. She is also the President of the national civic advocacy group My America, an organization created to restoring balance to the national political conversation by reclaiming patriotism and engaging American voters.