As another election season rolls along, there can be little doubt that "cahoots" is an underutilized word.
It is obvious to even the most casual election observer that there are a lot of people "in cahoots" with each other to steer our political process. For example, take your average independent political action committee (if there be such a thing).
Now, by law, indy PACs are not supposed to coordinate any advertising with a candidate's campaign. They can support the candidate (or blast his or her opponent), but they can't say to the campaign, "Hey, let's get together and we'll alternate ads" or "Here's what our ad is about tonight - why don't you (a) piggyback on that subject or (b) cover something else."
If such "Coordinated Communications" occur, the amounts spent are limited by laws about campaign contributions and the like.
In short, the messages from the PAC are supposed to be independent from - and not approved by - any campaign whose candidate benefits from them. Got it?
So it was very interesting to note the ads on behalf of one big campaign during the Olympic Games telecasts. During the first week, there were tons of ads (some not so nice about an opponent) paid for by a PAC. The last few nights, those ads seemed to disappear and they were replaced by ads paid for by the candidate's campaign. These ads were bright and bouncy, showed people at the beach and on surfboards and the like.
How interesting. The nasty, serious PAC ads went away right before the primary election and the nice "let's all go swimming in Hawaii" ads showed up paid for by the campaign. How did the PAC know when to stop? How did the campaign know when to start?
The only possible answer is - cahoots!
* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.