white men with money

Meet Your New Local Oligarch!


Alexander Treadwell and the things he holds dear.Photo Illustration: Everett Bogue; Photos:
iStockphoto (money); nytimes.com (Treadwell)

For decades and even centuries, we as a nation have been forced to feign allegiance to that ridiculous “democracy” canard. This year, the Republican Party cuts the crap: We have an oligarchy on our hands, so let’s just be governed by the rich and not pretend otherwise. According to the Times, the GOP, lagging well behind Democrats in fund-raising for 2008, has been “aggressively recruiting wealthy candidates who can spend large sums of their own money to finance their Congressional races.” Splendid idea! In Texas, banker and real-estate developer Francisco Canseco is putting up $711,000 to finance a House campaign; in Illinois’ Fourteenth Congressional District, no fewer than three candidates (including one Democrat) have blown over $300,000 each on the race.

The patron saint of the trend must be Michael Bloomberg, whose every move is now being outright copied by fellow billionaire and mayoral hopeful John Catsimatidis. Still, most vanity candidates are at least successful business owners; not so an Albany-area contender with the awesome name Alexander Treadwell, who’s ponying up $320,000 to unseat Representative Kirsten Gillibrand. Treadwell is, we’re delighted to quote the Times, “independently wealthy.” He’s the grandson of a General Electric co-founder and, aside from being the former State GOP chairman, has apparently never held a job. One wonders what kind of relevant experience his campaign will highlight: sensible management of domestic staff? Or is everyone in New York’s Twentieth simply getting a GE microwave oven next November? —Michael Idov

Short of Money, G.O.P. Enlists Rich Candidates [NYT]

Meet Your New Local Oligarch!