Campaigns create media for carefully selected audiences, just like advertising agencies or television studios. A political campaign serves its customers, who are still quaintly referred to as campaign “donors.” The campaign’s mission is to elect a government representative on behalf of these customers – most of whom are Florida’s wealthiest individuals and industries.
What makes Scott and his campaign so frightening is that he’s both the candidate and his own biggest client. Scott spent $85 million to win his first term in 2010, and $73 million of it came from his own pocket. This year, Scott’s campaign will spend more than $100 million to win re-election. But we are not his customers.
Every two weeks in this column, I’ll explore the broader politics behind our daily lives. It begins with the dreary recognition that campaigns are little more than awkward companies hastily serving their clients. They’re spending huge amounts to persuade us to advance their goals for them. And it works.
And it’s creepy.
That’s the bad news.
The good news is that Central Florida’s voter demographics have changed rapidly since 2010. Orlando’s youth culture – especially as represented by our increasingly organized independent music scene – is now poised to take a greater role in influencing Florida’s political future. If you know how to throw a punk show at Uncle Lou’s, maybe this is the year to discover you already know how to organize a protest.