Simony: sahy-muh-nee, sim-uh-]  noun 1. the making of profit out of sacred things. 2. the sin of buying or selling ecclesiastical preferments, benefices, etc.

In today's sense, contributing to a campaign is very much equivalent to the corrupt practice of simony that was rampant throughout  the medieval papacy. So widespread was this practice that in 1517 Martin Luther protested this debasement and he wrote  The Ninety-Five Theses. Thus the Protestest movement began.

The subject of campaign donations and the speculation that they are a matter of simply buying favors of those in a position of power has also been addressed, hence Campaign Finance Reform and the availabilty for this information to be disclosed to the public. Also mandated in the campaign finance reform movement is the stipulation of caps on the amount an individual and corporation can contribute.

Campaign contributions are no more than simply providing money to a candidate of your choice to further your interest and cause. Donate enough money and your cause will be placed higher on the list, which is likely why Mr. Fleischer and Mr. Dupree together donated more than $30,000 in the 2010 campaign cycle.

The candidates in Hyde Park, each have a record of numerous donations, both giving and receiving. For this blog, I will provide the example of Mr. Kakish as his situation is rather unique.   It can be understood that what Mr. Kakish decides to do with his money is his own business.  However, it is rather suspicious that a political unknown, and who has never voted in a town election, is currently unemployed, and has been plagued with serious financial problems to the extent that the vehicle he drives is not registered in his name. A vehicle that was registered in his name was repossessed for non-payment.  His home was remortgaged under a co-signer. But yet Mr. Kakish has the funds to donate to his newly found friends in Dutchess County Republican politics.He also admitted to the Poughkeepsie Journal that he didn't 'know about the going-ons in town,' but did plan on finding them out once he ws elected to office (putting the cart before the horse).  Is this simply a matter of him being civically diligent? Or is it a matter of an indoctrination into this elitist model. The current supervisor Tom Martino, has stated that he was told that he had to pay to play. It has been alledged that he was directed to buy insurance from Erik Haight (who coincidently has made donated to the Hyde Park Republican Committee, Yancy McArthur, Sue Serino and Justin Varuzzo) as well as being instructed to hire the law firm of Steve Saland to represent the town immediately after the 2009 election. Turn down these directives and you have made an enemy for life.

One observation that is quite significant is that  contributers appear in multiple candidates financial disclosures, indicating that the contributers and their respective candidates belong to a small elite pool that share resources, individuals and interests and in order to 'play you must pay.'

On a final note, it is rumored the monetary figures that actually have been disclosed represents only a portion of what passes hands as much of campaign finance is done on a cash basis in order to avoid reporting.
You may do your own searches on the candidates and contributers: