Much has been made recently of the way the Romney campaign is able to raise much more money than the Obama campaign because of contributions from big donors. But one simple trick will enable them to outraise Romney and to strike a major blow for political dependence.
Romney’s campaign is accepting big donations from rich corporations and individuals who stand to gain something from favorable attention. But Obama has something to sell that will in itself assure that favorable attention: naming rights!
Companies have spent tens of millions of dollars to put their names on locations, so that, for example, every time a sporting event takes place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, people are reminded that the Staples chain of stationery and office supply stores exists. But there’s no inherent connection between the company and the locale it sponsors.
Staples would get a lot more value for its money if it had naming rights to the Department of Education. That way, every time this important function of the federal government was mentioned, it would include a mention of an important supplier of materials used in schools.
Likewise, a huge new arena being built in Brooklyn will be known as the Barclays Center. People going to see Barbra Streisand or the Harlem Globetrotters may feel a moment of gratitude to this huge international bank for making the facility possible. But how much more, and more appropriate, attention Barclays would get if it were mentioned as sponsor of the Barclays Department of the Treasury!
Other obvious candidates suggest themselves immediately: the Halliburton Department of Defense, UnitedHealthcare Medicare, Monsanto Dept. of Agriculture, BP Department of Environmental Conservation, Citicorp Social Security. The possibilities are endless.
It’s important to assure that the sponsoring companies will not necessarily have any influence over the operations of the departments they sponsor.
The official “A-Z Index of U.S. Government Departments and Agencies” lists 35 departments and agencies under the letter A alone. I’ll have to get someone at the Access Board, the very first one listed, to count all of them through the whole alphabet.
Promising to name only the largest departments after donors should easily raise enough money to put Obama over the top. After the election, naming rights to all the remaining agencies could be auctioned off, with the proceeds going towards reduction of the National Debt.
But, you say, what happens if Romney wins the election anyway? Well, that’s already arranged. It will be the Bain Capital Presidency.