Money has an important effect on politicians! Money infiltrates the process, scripts the message, catapults people across the stage. Directly and indirectly, money spins the wheel.
The real measure of the power of money in politics is hidden, buried within the outcomes. The depth of the ocean doesn’t reveal the power of the tides. The politicians voted in, no matter their platform or views, are bedazzled by it, be they right, left, center, or other. Money finances the noise that shapes the parameters of the debate. Money selects the superstars from among the winners.
There is so much money involved until “it” can afford to lose. That’s just part of the ledgermain. The throw away money convinces folk who should know better that maybe it’s not important.
Finally, if it weren’t important, why do office seekers spend so much of it to get elected? Why is it given and withheld? Why are the laws regulating its influence constantly schemed and bypassed? And why are the winners rewarded with it so lavishly?