FINANCE REFORM #5
by Wendy Vapors, 2/18/00
Dc: This is DCR, a news program that's reality free.
In the Enough! Party, the gap is beginning to narrow between Senator
Sam Spleen and Governor Dick Burstyn.
The candidates have agreed to extreme disclosure, revealing all their
financial relationships and wearing so many insignias on their clothing
they look more like race car drivers than candidates.
Throughout the campaign it's been thought that Spleen had better brands
than Burstyn, but last week Burstyn surprised analysts by cutting a
deal with Prairie Patty's Buffalo Burgers. Now both candidates have
fast food partners, and while Spleen is allied to the much larger and
more popular Lunar Burgers chain, Burstyn's decision to run with the
buffalo is beginning to pay off. Wendy Vapors reports.
Wendy: As quickly as you can say "special order," Governor
Dick Burstyn's campaign for the presidential nomination in the Enough!
Party has begun to close the gap with Senator Sam Spleen.
At campaign stops around the midwest, Burstyn has been downright gleeful.
(sfx: applause up)
Burstyn: Thank you, thank you. I think people are finally beginning
to see that I am the candidate of ideas, I am the candidate of principles,
values and character, and I am the candidate of lunch! Plains Patty's
has put out a terrific Buffalo Burger feast for us ... let's eat! (fade)
I'm serving ... line up here! Now ... who wants relish?
(sfx: crowd up and down)
Wendy: At each rally, Burstyn dons a chef's hat and invites the crowd
to have a free meal, courtesy of his financial sponsor, Plains Patty's.
The technique appears to be working, as the crowds on the Burstyn circuit
have been growing, while Senator Spleen's following appears to be holding
steady or declining.
Early this week on the political insider TV show "Berate the Press,"
Spleen played down the apparent change in fortunes.
Spleen: They say there's no such thing as a free lunch. I believe that.
My opponent is trying to send a different message by feeding buffalo
meat to the voters, but it's going to taste like baloney after a while,
when they take a good look at what he stands for.
Pundit 1: Be that as it may, Senator ... (chuckling) you have to admit
it hurts when your opponent has the voters literally eating out of his
Spleen: But where have those hands been?
Pundit 2: What do you mean by that?
Spleen: Whose pockets has he been digging in?
Pundit 3: What about yourself? A list of your donors reveals some pretty
deep pockets that ...
Spleen: (backpedaling) That's not what I'm saying. What I mean is ...
um ... a candidate touches a lot of people on the campaign trail. And
then to serve the burgers ... it could be a sanitary question ... to
Wendy: Still, the Burstyn rallies are getting rave reviews and playing
to enthusiastic crowds.
(sfx: crowd hubub up)
Ordinary Citizen #1: I don't like politics. And I don't care all that
much for hamburgers. But this buffalo burger ... it's just different
Ordinary Citizen #2: I went to a Spleen rally and they gave me diddly
squat! I was surprised. I thought he had a lot of big money behind him.
Ordinary Citizen #3: It wasn't too gamey. That's a surprise.
Wendy: But do you feel like your vote is being bought?
Ordinary Citizen #3: Well, sure! But ... I feel like I'm getting a decent
return. The whole family's here. At Lunar Burgers, this would be $15,
(sfx: crowd down)
Wendy: Meanwhile, at Senator Spleen's rallies, the new development in
the Burstyn campaign has not gone unnoticed by the hungry throngs.
(sfx: larger crowd up)
Spleen: (fade up) ... and I say to you my friends that history will
remember what we did with this opportunity! History will decide if we
were selfish, or if we served! I want to be remembered as a servant!
A public servant! An attentive servant! A servant who listened.
Crowd: (chant) Serve lunch! Serve lunch! Serve lunch!
Spleen: Now just a minute. Hang on here. You know there's no such thing
as free lunch! (chuckling nervously) Now people, let's be serious. My
opponent has much smaller crowds.
(sfx: crowd fade out)
Wendy: The Spleen campaign is playing down the significance of this
trend, but political analyst Marie Anthony thinks it could have startling
Marie: A big part of any campaign is feeding the press. Every day. Feed
them the issue of the day, which they feed the public, and feed them
food too. Well, now the public wants the food and they couldn't care
less about the issues. If Senator Spleen doesn't recognize that and
act on it, he could pay a price in the long run.
Wendy: Where will it all end?
Marie: It could come down to who has the best fries. Or ... and this
is kinda scary ... what if they start to ask for cake? Do you let them
eat it, or not?
Wendy: So far, Lunar Burgers has not commented publicly on the escalating
campaign food wars, but reliable sources portray the company as "watchful"
It seems that Governor Burstyn's alliance with Plains Patty's Buffalo
Burgers has "upped the ante" in the Enough! Party campaign
... so much so that no one can tell where this is going to end, or whose
plate will be full, and whose will come up ... empty. I'm Wendy Vapors,
and I'm reporting.
Dale Connelly Reporting Home