The Port Arthur News
Due to the democracy destroying decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in the “Citizens United” case, a deluge of cash will descend upon Republican politicians — who are virtually owned by Corporate America — to help defeat any Progressive candidate, be he Democrat or whatever. “Citizens United”, of course, was that decision which allows Corporate America to give any amount they wish on electioneering propaganda. Therefore, what our own esteemed Supreme Court Republican majority has managed to do is to make money more important than votes.
Texas oil billionaire H.L. Hunt once wrote that the wealthiest among us should get three votes instead of just one. Well, the Supreme Court has just made that possible by elevating money above mere freedom of speech.
Corporatists et al argue that we Progressives can also build secret finance groups to help politicians win elections. Which, of course, is true.
However, we Progressives-Democrats don't have anywhere near the money spent on elections by Corporate America “political action committees.” It's like we're running a sprint with one leg — hardly fair.
Besides, we don't mind in the least telling the public who we are and who we support, and why. Why then, does Corporate America want to keep that a secret about themselves? Why do they not want us to know who they're giving money to? As I've written before, secretly funded Corporate America spent $115 million on political campaigns last year. And $75 million of it was spent by the three biggest donors.
First, of course, was the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which spent almost $33 million. And, to quote the Hightower Lowdown, “...The Chamber recently had to make a slight revision of its longtime claim to be a grassroots organization of three million Main Street members. As revealed by “Mother Jones” magazine, its actual membership is less than 10 percent of that number. Moreover, most of its funding and practically all of its governing board are drawn from only about 100 businesses that bear such 'Mom and Popish' names as Aetna, Alcoa, BP, Signa, Exxon Mobil, JP Morgan Chase, Massey Coal, Pfizer, and Shell.” Immediately after the Supreme's ruling, the chamber began its secretly funded campaign front for which 93% of it went to Republicans.
The second largest spender was American National Network...$26 million. Corporate money from undisclosed donors paid for a TV ad, for example, that said, “Convicted rapists can get Viagra paid for by the new health bill.” So no wonder big Corporate America doesn't want their names attached.
Crossroads GPS was third with $17 million spent. Run by Karl Rove, GPS comes from very rich Wall Street hedge fund and private equity chiefs. And, to quote Hightower again, “The only way for progressives to compete is to begin NOW to rally grassroots support for (1) overturning 'Citizens United', (2) providing public financing for all elections, (3) revealing and shaming CEO's who are perverting our democracy, (4) requiring free airtime (a public resource), (5) impeaching a Supreme or two, and (6) generally bringing America's elections back to the people.”
Corporate America would be/is very comfortable running everything in this country. Under their supervision “America the Plutocracy” would be too mild a definition. They and their paid-off legions of Senators and Representatives very quick jump on any sort of idea or bill that might prevent them from ruling us all...
So along comes Elizabeth Warren, an Oklahoma girl who became a Harvard law professor and who has put consumer protection on the national agenda. Called the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) the bureau will protect consumers from further financial crises, like gigantic growing subprime mortgages, payday loans with 400 percent interest rates, inescapable credit card debt, and more.
Warren said to Lou Dubose of the Washington Spectator, on the day after the CFPB bill passed, “...members of the House-Senate conference committee and their staffs...created a strong, independent consumer agency that will have the tools to rein in industry tricks and traps and to cut out the fine print. For the first time, there will be a financial regulator in Washington watching out for families instead of banks.”
But, as one might guess, Republicans have thrown several raging fits over the CFPB, treated Ms. Warren ugly, and have already introduced three bills that attack it. And GOP congressmen have said they won't confirm anyone Obama selects as chairman. Says Barney Frank, “I was troubled the administration was going so slowly, but now Republicans have solved that problem with announcing they wouldn't confirm anybody.” Obama will probably install Warren by a recess appointment. We'll see.
Neal Morgan of Nederland is a retired educator. Contact him at email@example.com.